Mohammad Rashidujjaman Rifat

Md. Rashidujjaman Rifat
Ph.D. Student and Graduate Assistant
Department of Information Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Email: rashidujjaman.rifat [AT] colorado [DOT] edu

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I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. I work with my professor Dr. Amy Voida in Philanthropic Informatics Lab. Before joining the Ph.D. program, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Design Technology Lab (DTL), New York University - Abu Dhabi. At DTL, I was supervised by Prof. Jay Chen (Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, New York University - Abu Dhabi) and Prof. Kentaro Toyama (Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan).

I graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) with a BS in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). After my graduation, I worked as a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.

I was born and raised in Bangladesh, a beautiful South Asian country. I speak Bengali and English. If we ever meet, please call me Rifat — I go by my last name.


[Google Scholar Citation]
[dblp page]

My primary research area is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on Philanthropic Informatics and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). My broader interest lies in technical and social questions around infrastructure and collaboration for the developmental initiatives in resource-constrained settings. I do ethnography, and design, develop, and deploy software tools. I have worked on and interested in the topics: 1) crowdfunding, 2) nonprofit and philanthropy, 3) privacy and security, and 4) breakdown and repair.

Selected Ongoing and Completed Projects

I am incredibly grateful to my academic and research mentors and collaborators. Working on different projects with them is a privilege for me to learn a lot.

Designing Technologies Coupling Religious Sentiment for Social Good

In this project, I am following an interventionist approach to explore the areas where religious sentiment can be used to design technologies which will cause better socio-economic changes. From an initial exploratory study, I have found that religious institutions are the center for several social and philanthropic programs funded and run by the hosting community. I am trying to explore if religious institutional forces can be used to design technologies to enhance existing social and charitable practices within the community.

[CHI 2017]

Garbage Problem and What We can Do About It?

The poor waste collection, disposal, and dumping especially in developing regions is creating health and environmental problems. Deeper understanding of the problem including socio-economic condition, managerial infrastructure, and cultural practices within communities can lead to a sustainable solution. Based on an ethnographic exploration, I am working on different dimensions of the waste problem. The political aspect of the project is to find ways to empower waste pickers to get over the power dynamics and exploitation rooted in the system. The infrastructural dimension of the project is to foster cooperation and collaboration among community members in cleaning shared waste sites. The economic intent of the work is to enable waste pickers to increase their income, thereby improving the quality of their life. The design of appropriate technology based on the findings from the ethnographic study can regulate the communal waste cleaning program to give the waste problem a sustainable solution in developing regiongs.

[ICTD 2016][Pilot in Dhaka: Boithhok]

IT Repair in Bangladesh

Though maintainability and repair plays an important role in re-using broken devices and creating employment in third world countries, it rarely gets theoretical importance. In this collaborative work, we investigated the facts of the IT devices’ life cycle, how repairers learn things to repair broken devices, the impact of society on repairers life, and how repairers situate themselves within a society. The different facets we focused on this work include the informal learning practice of repairing digital devices, craft- and skills in repair practice, and privacy and security challenges in repair.

[ICTD 2016][ICTD 2015][DIS 2014][SOUPS 2014]

Fighting Sexual Harassment in Urban Bangladesh

Based on the findings from surveys, interviews, and focus groups around sexual harassment, I worked with a group in designing, development, and deployment of a web and a mobile phone based application named "Protibadi" designed to report, map, and share women’s stories around sexual harassment in public places. This project concerns women's security, its impact on their participation in the socio-economic infrastructure of rural societies, and the broader aspects of the familial stability.

[CHI 2014][TV Report on Protibadi][New Scientist Report]


I was one of the founding members of OSM Bangladesh community. In addition to the work as a voluntary trainer and development campaigner, I conducted research to find out ways of using OSM map data in mobile phone application development for meeting our local needs.

[ICCIT 2012][SCOReD 2011]

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Room No: 201, ENVD
Department of Information Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309, USA.

Email: rashidujjaman.rifat [AT] colorado [DOT] edu

rashidujjaman.rifat [AT] csebuet [DOT] org

Phone: +1 (720) 365-9175