Farhana Shahid

Researcher · Teacher · Booklover . She/ Her/ Hers

Hi, I am Farhana from Bangladesh. My passion for people drives me to rethink the design and use of technologies to suit the needs of underserved communities.

Currently I am an incoming PhD student in Cornell Information Science working with Professor Aditya Vashistha. Before the PhD journey gets into full swing, I am preparing for my thesis defense at BUET, where I am a second year M.Sc. student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) working with Professor A. B. M. Alim Al Islam. Additionally, I am working as a full-time lecturer of CSE at Brac University.

My research focuses on the design, use, and adaptation of existing technologies to meet the needs of resource-stricken communities and forcibly-displaced populations to uphold their rights to health and digital inclusion. Broadly speaking, my research falls at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Data Science, and Applied Machine Learning. My goal is not only to solve problems. Rather I aspire to bring solutions that are accessible, adaptable, and acceptable to the communities I am working for.

Now, in between pondering over the research questions, I often go down the rabbit hole of books. My favorite genre is non-fiction. However, fiction always helps mediate between "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?"

Recent News
  • Oct 20: Presented our paper on dengue epidemic in Bangladesh at CSCW!
  • Oct 20: Our work on 2019 Dengue epidemic in Bangladesh won CSCW Honorable Mention Award!
  • Sep 20: Our work on PTSD among Rohingya refugees won IMWUT Distinguished Paper Award!
  • Sep 20: Presented our paper on PTSD and free-hand sketches at UbiComp!
  • Jul 20: Paper on PTSD and free-hand sketches accepted at IMWUT!
  • Apr 20: Paper on dengue epidemic accepted at CSCW!





PTSD within Low-Resource Communities

The critical lack of trained mental health professionals, communication and cultural barriers, and social stigma around mental health in low-rosurce communities expose the traumatized individuals to greater health risks. Traditional diagnostic tools of PTSD often suffer from under-utilization due to various issues associated with human-human interactions while applying them within resource-scarce populations. In this regard, we aim to explore alternative methods to potentially screen for PTSD using various low-cost, off-the-shelf tools, e.g., portable EEG headsets and free-hand sketches using simple pencil and paper. The findings from our field-level work involving refugees and slum-dwellers enable us to identify scopes for improvement in screening the potential cases of PTSD within low-rosurce communities.
Publications: IMWUT 2019, IMWUT 2020

Some female Rohingya refugees are waiting in a room for interview in the camp areaKutupalong Rohingya refugee camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh




Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Brac University
May 2018 - Present


Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Eastern University
September 2017 - April 2018

Courses Taught

  • Computer Graphics (Fall 2020, Summer 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Summer 2019, Spring 2019, Spring 2018)
  • Pattern Recognition (Fall 2020, Summer 2020)
  • Artificial Intelligence (Spring 2020, Fall 2019)
  • Object Oriented Programming (Fall 2019, Summer 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Summer 2018)
  • Digital Logic Design (Spring 2020, Summer 2018)
  • Algorithms (Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Summer 2018)
  • Data Structures (Summer 2019, Summer 2018)
  • Operating Systems (Spring 2018, Fall 2017)
  • Mathematical Analysis for Computer Science (Fall 2017)