I shifted my personal website to: https://sites.google.com/site/siakallol/
[This page has not been updated since August 2011]

Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed

PhD Student (Fulbright S&T Fellow)
Department of Information Science
Cornell University

Room No. 120, 301 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Email: sa738@cornell.edu

Short Bio:

I am a first year PhD student at the Interaction Design Lab (IDL) of the Department of Information Science, Cornell University. In my research I focus on the problems of learning technologies and try to devise solution for those. I am also interested to learn how knowledge or information disseminate in a community. In these days, I am studying about the information foragingpersuasion, user modeling, interaction design, etc. My long term goal is to get a position in academia from where I can contribute to my self-defined intersection between human life and technologies.

I have come from Bangladesh, a beautiful country of south-east Asia. I moved to Ithaca for my PhD in the Fall of 2011 after receiving the International Fulbright Science and Technology AwardPreviously, I worked 2 years as a Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). I had both of my Bachelor and Masters degree from the same Department. I worked on the e-Learning tools for the autistic children for my M.Sc. dissertation. In the final year thesis of my undergrad  I worked with Prof. Masud Hasan on some optimization problems of Computational Geometry. Before entering BUET, I topped the merit list of Notre Dame College, the best college for Science in Dhaka at Higher Secondary level  (US Grade 12 Standard). Further back in the day, I had a blast at Ideal School & College, one of the most revered high schools in the country. 

I lead a research group called, Human-Technology Interaction where we address different problems found in Bangladeshi communities and develop solutions with the help of technologies. I have launched and now maintain the open source digital map making initiative in Bangladesh.

Research Interests:
The objective of my research is to devise intelligent systems for improving the quality of life. I work with people with different needs and aptitudes, pick up problems from their lives and develop solutions. Most of my current research projects are highly inter-disciplinary where I have to work with doctors, psychologists, mappers, economists, government, people from public health sectors etc.

My current research interests revolve around multi-modal data mining and their diverse applications. One of my favorite research questions addresses mapping of the virtual features of computer-aided systems to the mystic behaviors of Autism. I have conducted many experiments with my games and software and found hand-to-hand success in developing social skills of autistic kids. Another big motivation of my research is the ICT development of Bangladesh. I am interested in contributing to micro-credit, mass-education, public health sectors, agriculture etc through location based services.
I have established the Human-Technology Interaction (HTI) research group at CSE, BUET and I am currently trying to have a laboratory for this group.

My past research interests were in theoretical computer science, mostly in the optimization problems of Computational Geometry.
I still pass my leisure in thinking some beautiful puzzles of geometry.
To know more about my research, please click here.

My Erdos Number is 4. [Check out how]

Current Research: 

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are defined by the abnormal behavior of human beings in course of social communication. The abnormal cerebral structure of the people diagnosed wit ASD limits their ability for socialization at their early age. The traditional methods for assisting the autistic children suffer from various practical challenges and are not effective. Hence, we try to make attractive and effective means of E-Learning for the autistic children. We have developed a number of computer games which need the children to exhibit their skill in speech to win. So far, we could make games for developing "loudness", "intelligibility", "turn-taking" etc. We tested our games with a good number of participants in Bangladesh and got encouraging results. I am now conducting different surveys, making newer games to develop other speech skills for the autistic children. We are also making a class-room software which enables autistic children to attend classes with neuro-typical (normal) students in the same classroom. 

This research work is being done in collaboration with a PhD student of the Affective Computing Group of MIT Media Lab. This project is supported by Autism Welfare Foundation (AWF) and One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

[see more]

With the burgeoning growth of mobile-phone users in the third world countries, the necessity for location based systems is going higher. While the third generation mobile phones are thought to be the ideal platforms for various ubiquitous services, low cost mobile phones are being considered to be a way to help the poor rural people of the developing regions. The SMS-based services have a bright future in helping this big population who live under the poverty line. However, illiteracy very often compromise the scope of text-message based services. Hence, voice messaging and other options are getting popular in today's world. Mobile-phone based services are very often dependent of the digital map of a place. So, the first step for implementing an intelligent location based service for a region is to make a good digital map of that place. With a very similar mindset, I have launched the "MapBangladesh" project here in Bangladesh. I am being helped by International OpenStreetMap Foundation. The objective of this project is to make free and open maps using GPS units. Besides making beautiful maps, we also are designing a number of systems which can help people with location based services.

I was involved in setting up a bio-surveillance project in Bangladesh which was supervised by Professor Artur Dubrawski of the Auton Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University. The main idea of that project was to deliver early alerts of epidemics based on the real-time data collected from different hospitals via SMS.

Past Research:
I worked on a number of optimization problems of Computational Geometry. Most of these works were continuation of my undergraduate thesis. I worked on optimizing the cutting cost (in term of area or length) of a geometric shape out of another. I could devise a number of algorithms for this. Most of my works on geometry were done with Prof. Masud Hasan who is an active researcher of this field. Our works on cutting polyhedron out of a sphere was the first algorithm that could cut a 3D objects using guillotine cuts. I also worked on Voronoi diagrams. I mapped a number of facility location problems to Voronoi games and determined the optimized solution for those.

Recent Publications: [see complete list]

  • A Computer Game based Approach for Increasing Fluency in the Speech of the Autistic Children
in IEEE ICALT '11 [acceptance rate: 24.59%]
  • A-Class: Intelligent Classroom Software for the Autistic Children [pdf]
  • Teaching intelligible speech to the Autistic children by interactive computer games [pdf]
  • Increasing Intelligibility in the Speech of the Autistic Children by an Interactive Computer Game [pdf]
in IEEE ISM '10 at the workshop, IEEE MTEL
  • Smart Blood Query: A Novel Mobile Phone Based Privacy-Aware Blood Donor Recruitment and Management System for Developing Regions
in IEEE AINA '11 at the workshop, DMWPC
  • Vindictive Voronoi Games and Stabbing Delaunay Objects  [pdf ] 
  • Cutting a Convex Polyhedron out of a Sphere  [pdf of JCCGG] [pdf of WALCOM]  SpringerLink ]
in Journal of Graphs and Combinatorics, Springer, extended version of JCCCG '09 and WALCOM '10.
  • Cutting a cornered convex polygon out of a circle  [pdf]
in the Journal of Computers (JCP), extended version of  ICCIT '08.

Courses Offered:

At Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET):
  • Spring '11: Programming Languages C/C++ (Theory and Laboratory for the Junior students: EEE L-1/T-1 and CSE L-2/T-1)
  • Spring '11: Microprocessor and Micro-Controller Laboratory (L-3, T-2)
  • Summer '10: Computational Geometry: Invited Lectures on "Duality and Arrangement" for the Senior students of Theory Group
  • Summer '10: Machine Learning Laboratory (for the Senior students with specialization in Artificial Intelligence)
  • Summer '10: Pattern Recognition Laboratory (for the Senior students with specialization in Artificial Intelligence) 
  • Summer '10: Programming Languages C/C++ (Theory and Laboratory for the Junior students: EEE L-1/T-1 and CSE L-2/T-1)
  • Summer '10: Object Oriented Programming Languages Laboratory C++/Java (for the Sophomore students of Level-2, term-1, Section: B1)
  • Summer '10: Information System Design, Level-3, Term -1 (Section: A1)
  • Summer '10: Digital Logic Design laboratory, Level-2, term-1 (Section: B1, B2)
  • Fall '09: Structured Programming Language Laboratory ( CSE 106) , Level-1, Term-2 (section: A1, A2, B1) 
  • Fall '09: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSE 402), Level-4, Term-1 (section: A1,  A2, B1, B2)

At Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST):
  • Summer '10: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory 
  • Summer '10: Pattern Recognition Laboratory 
At University of Asia Pacific (UAP):
  • Fall '10: Computer Simulation and Modeling
  • Fall '10: Numerical methods
At United International University (UIU):
  • Spring '10 : Structured Programming Language Theory and Laboratory
  • Fall '09 : Artificial Intelligence,  Structured Programming Language Laboratory, Microprocessor and Interfacing( Theory & Lab).
  • Summer '09: Data Structure (theory & lab), Structured Programming Language Laboratory
  • Spring '09: Data Structure (theory & lab), Computer Networks Laboratory, Compiler Design Laboratory
Subpages (2): Erdos Number What's New