THIS INSTALLMENT OF Research for Practice provides
curated reading guides to technology for underserved
communities and to new developments in personal
fabrication. First, Tawanna Dillahunt describes design
considerations and technology for underserved and
impoverished communities. Designing for the more
than 1. 6 billion impoverished individuals worldwide
requires special consideration of community needs,
constraints, and context. Her selections span protocols
for poor-quality communication networks, community-driven content generation, and resource and public
service discovery. Second, Stefanie Mueller and Patrick
Baudisch provide an overview of recent advances in
personal fabrication (for example, 3D printers).
Their selection covers new techniques
for fabricating (and emulating) complex materials (for example, by manipulating the internal structure of
an object), for more easily specifying
object shape and behavior, and for
human-in-the-loop rapid prototyping.
Combined, these two guides provide
a fascinating deep dive into some of
the latest human-centric computer science research results.
As always, our goal in this article is
to allow our readers to become experts
in the latest topics in computer science
research in a weekend afternoon’s
worth of reading. To facilitate this
process, we have provided open access
to the ACM Digital Library for the relevant citations from these selections so
you can enjoy these research results in
full. Please enjoy!
Peter Bailis is an assistant professor of computer science
at Stanford University. His research in the Future Data
Systems group ( futuredata.stanford.edu) focuses on
the design and implementation of next-generation data-intensive systems.
By Tawanna Dillahunt
According to the Global
erty Index 2013, 1. 6 billion people—or
more than 30% of the combined popu-
lations of the 104 countries analyzed—
were impoverished in terms of health,
education, and living conditions.
Here, these individuals and those fac-
ing similar conditions are referred to
Designing and building technology
to support people in these underserved
communities has several complexities. Overcoming these complexities
requires the following:
˲ Understanding the needs of a specific underserved population and empowering or enabling individuals from
that population to produce information and develop their own solutions.
˲Understanding the context and
constraints that underserved indi-
Article development led by
Expert-curated guides to
the best of CS research.