This reports looks at the inroads information and communication technologies to development (ICTD) is making as a research area in computer science and engineering (CSE) at the university level. It spans application areas from healthcare to transportation, and requires the use of computing skills from networking to user interface design. Addressing problems of developing regions and under-served communities lets students explore a different part of the ICT design space, leading to new implementation and research questions. ICTD is also an area that has the potential to excite students about the CSE field more generally, with its emphasis on enabling social benefits with technology, and is rich in possibilities for interesting student projects.
The paper looks at two course offerings at the University of Washington that introduce students to the field by way of 1) reading papers from literature in the area to gain exposure to this very different design mindset and 2) doing practical projects that engage students in engineering problems under unique design constraints. The report is designed to help CSE educators identify an approach to integrating the field of ICTD into their curricula.