CACM_TACCESS_one-third_page_vertical:Layout 1 6/9/09 1:04 PM Page 1“The key is for
its teams to travel
to the places
and learn directly
Does Jigsaw do its own academic-type
DK: Jigsaw has the capacity to
pursue formal academic research that is
extremely helpful in many different cases.
For example, it works with organizations
that conduct rigorous research, often
data-driven and quantitative, they use to
inform product development.
How does Jigsaw build trust into its
DK: At every stage of the product-development process, including research
and meeting potential users, Jigsaw aims
to be cognizant of local sensitivities and
privacy needs. Since we must establish
our credibility with users, as well as with
various partners who will sometimes
eventually own the projects themselves,
transparency is maintained about what
needs to be done, how to accomplish
it, and what using a product entails.
© 2017 ACM 1528-4972/17/03 $15.00
to places with repressive governments,
that lack freedom of the press, or where
people are struggling for access to
the free and open Internet. Included
are engineers, product managers, and
cross-functional support technicians
looking to understand the problems
faced by real people sometimes far from
academic recognition of their struggle.
All products have their own websites,
as well as developer websites, where
information is shared as much as possible.
They collaborate with organizations
that need their help, believing the very
organizations that ought to be defended,
for free, are the ones that underpin how
societies work, with, say, independent
media, election monitors, and those that
protect human rights around the world.
Open source is also used for many of the
projects so they can be scrutinized by
peers and other organizations and can be
leveraged by other organizations. Nothing
is built without due consideration of all
These solutions and the approach Jigsaw
takes exemplify Jigsaw principles—build
a community, look for technological
innovation, and pursue it even while
addressing big global challenges.
What will Jigsaw do next?
This quarterly publication is a
quarterly journal that publishes
refereed articles addressing issues
of computing as it impacts the
lives of people with disabilities.
The journal will be of particular
interest to SIGACCESS members
and delegates to its affiliated
conference (i.e., ASSETS), as well
as other international accessibility
What happens to the Jigsaw teams when
DK: They speak to the people most
affected but also work toward developing
a holistic understanding of the local
environment. Along the way, they gain
insight from talking to business leaders
and people building technology in these
environments. This helps develop the
context and the market, along with how
people use a given technology in real-world
situations. There are nuances of behavior
and things that really inform their work.
DK: Technology affects so many
aspects of our lives, from the way
we access information to the way we
communicate. It is difficult to imagine a
future where technology does not play a
role in addressing the world’s toughest
safety and security challenges. Jigsaw
aims to find new ways to reach vulnerable
populations around the world and better
understand their challenges. The key is for
its teams to travel to the places struggling
with conflict, instability, or oppression and
learn directly how people use technology.
There is no substitute for showing up.
Nidhi Rastogi is a Ph. D. candidate in the Computer Science
And it is important even for engineers
who spend most of their time in front of
a terminal to speak to the people actually
using these tools and how the tools ended
up in their daily lives. There is no substitute
for being on the ground, so much of the
initial research takes place in the field.
Department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N Y,
where she is leading innovation in anomaly detection in
large networks using graph analytics. She holds a master’s
degree in computer science from the University of
Cincinnati and has extensive work experience in networks
at Verizon Wireless and GE Global Research. She is also
committed to social good by using her skills in securing
cyberspace, networks, graph analytics, machine learning,