A dream of collaboration

Gates Cambridge Alumnus Pradipta Biswas is offered a visiting professorship in India which he hopes will lead to long-term collaboration.

A Gates Cambridge Alumnus has been given a visiting professorship to teach a course on Human Computer Interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi which he hopes will lead to a long-term collaboration between Cambridge and the Institute.

Pradipta Biswas [2006], a Research Associate at the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge, will give 14 lectures over October and November on everything from understanding new interaction techniques to usability evaluation. The IIT will select a group of 50 students to enrol on the course.

Pradipta says he hopes the visiting professorship will help him on his way to achieving his long-term goal of setting up a Human Computer Interaction research laboratory at the IIT Mandi in partnership with his department at Cambridge so that students from both sides can exchange ideas and research facilities.

He says: "I would like to open a channel between the UK and India so that students and researchers can visit each other and do collaborative research. I am still a full time researcher at Cambridge and we have a comprehensive set of instruments here which Indian researchers can benefit from. On the other hand, India provides a vast versatility in terms of culture, language, climate and human resources which is an excellent testbed for our research."

Pradipta is already part of two similar initiatives - the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, Systems and Services project and the Bangalore-Cambridge Innovation Network - but his dream is to set up a research centre which is more focused on Human Computer Interaction.

Pradipta, who did a PhD in Computer Science with the aid of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, is researching how to make the interfaces of modern digital devices accessible to elderly users and people with different ranges of abilities. In particular, he works on developing user models that help to reflect problems faced by disabled and elderly people in using interactive systems. He has published over 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences in Human Computer Interaction and Assistive Technology. Currently he is a member of the British Computer Society, Royal Society of Medicine, an European Union Task Force on Standardisation of User Models and a working group coordinator of the International Telecommunication Union's focus group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility.

He adds: "I shall also take the opportunity of a visiting professorship to publicise the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which after all taught me to dream."

Picture credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net and nokhoog-buchachon.