Melissa Densmore

Alumni (PhD 2012)


HCI for Bandwidth-Constrained Contexts



MSc Data Communications, Networks and Distributed Systems University College London BA Computer Science Cornell University

Research interests:
My interests are in networked systems research and the social aspects of information technology, particularly with respect to developing software and hardware infrastructure appropriate to communities in emerging regions. My current focus is on healthcare delivery and information systems in this area.

How I cross disciplines:
As a computer scientist that wants to make computer technologies that actually work in developing regions, I also need to understand principles from development economics, sociology, business, and anthropology. Learning more about each of these fields is giving me a better understanding of how to communicate with people from other disciplines, and helping me to apply my own expertise in more effective ways.

Information challenge I'd most like to address:
Many people are living without access to clean water, food, and education, due to lack of infrastructure, lack of money, and, significantly, lack of access to the information that can help them break out of the cycle of extreme poverty. I seek to address the challenges of building the infrastructure (roads, communication, electricity) that will allow them to draw upon resources outside their community, like doctors, agricultural pricing information, and government programs. I also seek to enable them to share information within the community, through education programs, computer literacy training, and local language content development.

Favorite thing about the I School:
One of the side effects of the interdisciplinary nature of the School of Information is that its people come from a very diverse set of backgrounds. Everyone is very unique, with their own personalities and visions for changing the world around them.

A website I recommend:

Something few people know about me:
I performed in the Orange Bowl Jamboree Parade with my high school marching band... twice!

Last updated:

July 14, 2020