Colloquium - Lakshmi Subramanian

Event Type: 
Friday, October 26, 2012 - 14:30


Education in resource-constrained schools around the world suffer from a multitude of basic problems including lack of good quality textbooks, teacher absenteeism, lack of quality teachers, and limited exposure to information and opportunities. Several projects like OLPC, Hole in the Wall, Digital Study Hall and many others have fundamentally taken different approaches towards addressing some of these roadblocks.

Our focus is on content. The Web has a wealth of educational information across diff�erent topics, which can potentially be used to improve teaching and learning. This talk will describe our limited expeditions in the education space with Contextual Information Portals (CIPs), where we aim to harness the potential of Web-based educational resources. CIPs are large searchable information repositories of web pages tailored to the information needs of a target population. The design of CIPs involve a combination of interesting ideas from data mining, systems challenges, information retrieval and big data management. Using several secondary school course syllabi, we show how one can efficiently construct CIPs for use as an education resource. The latter part of the talk will focus on our experiences working with teachers around the world in deploying CIPs in several schools in India, Kenya and Ghana.


Lakshminarayanan Subramanian is an Associate Professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. His research interests are in the areas of networks, distributed systems and computing for development. He co-leads the Networks and Wide-area Systems group and the Centre for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) at NYU. He is the recipient of several awards including the NSF CAREER Award (2009), IBM Faculty Development Awards (2009, 2010), and the C.V. Ramamoorthy Award. He has co-authored award papers at NSDI 2004, ICTD 2009, NSDR 2010 and SIGCOMM 2011. Many of his research works have led to deployments in several countries around the world, some of which are now being commercialized by various startups established by his students. He is the co-founder of Entrupy Inc. He is a member of the NYU WIRELESS initiative and is an affiliate faculty member in the NYU Global Institute of Public Health (GIPH).