CSE 490c, Information and Communication Technology for Development, Autumn 2018

This is an engineering course teaching the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to address specific needs of developing countries. While ICTs are having an enormous impact on livelihoods worldwide, deployment environments vary dramatically based on available infrastructure and technologies accessible to people. The goal of this course is provide background to develop and deploy technologies in a global setting that address development challenges. Specific topics will include: health information systems, data collection technologies, applications for basic mobile phones, user interface design for low literate populations, behavior change communication, voice based social networks, community cellular networks, open source projects for global good, low-cost smartphones, satellite image analysis and mobile financial services. The course will consider a wide range of application domains including health, education, agriculture, finance, and livelihood.

The class sessions will be a lecture / discussion format with readings and assignments. There will be a series of small group implementation projects to gain familiarity different technologies and software systems and to explore the design space for various applications.

Class Meetings:

Lecture: MWF, 1:30-2:20 pm, Mueller Hall (MUE) 153
Quiz Sections: Th, 1:30-2:20 (MGH 058) or Th 2:30-3:20 (MGH 058).

Contact Information:

Richard Anderson (anderson@cs), Office hours: Wed 2:30-3:20 (CSE 582) or by appointment

Teaching Assistants:
Samia Ibtasam: Office hours: Tues 4:00-4:50, (CSE 007)
Naveena Karusala: Office hours: Mon 4:00-4:50, (CSE 220)


This course will have weekly short assignments and regular reading assignments. In addition, there will be four programming assignments to implementt representative software systems. Students are expected to participate in discussions in class and quiz sections. The course will not have exams or a project.


The main prerequisite is sufficient programming background to be able to complete the programming assignments. This probably works out as having taken at least two quarters of programming courses including the equivalent of CSE 143. The implementation languages for the assignments have not been determined yet - but familiarity with Java is probably necessary.