School of Information alumnus Joshua Blumenstock (Ph.D. 2012) was honored this week by the iSchools organization for his doctoral dissertation, “Essays on the economic impacts of mobile phones in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Blumenstock was cited by the iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award Competition, which named his dissertation a runner-up for the award. The winning dissertations were honored for the “significance of the research problem to today’s challenges and opportunities; scholarly contribution to the literature in any information related disciplines; application and rigor of the appropriate research methods; and clarity and organization of the presentation.”
In January, Blumenstock will be starting a position as assistant professor at the Information School at the University of Washington.
His research focuses on the economic and social impacts of information and communication technologies, and the development of new methods for the quantitative analysis of large-scale data. Recent projects use terabytes of data on network communication to understand the diffusion of mobile technologies (Pakistan and Mongolia), the welfare impacts of mobile money (Rwanda and Uganda), and the role of technological innovation in reducing corruption and violence (Afghanistan).
In addition to his Ph.D., Blumenstock holds an M.A. in economics from UC Berkeley and bachelor’s degrees in physics and computer science from Wesleyan University.