I am a postdoctoral fellow with the eScience Institute at the University of Washington, where I am affiliated with the Community Data Science Collective and the Human-Centered Data Science Lab. I completed my PhD at MIT in 2016 where I was a part of the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group, and my work was centered around the Scratch programming language and online community.

I design, build, and study the use of computational toolkits that enable children to learn and express themselves through creating computer programs in an online social setting. I study how these programs become “objects-to-think-with” for children—and what, as well as how children learn as they create these programs.

I am particularly interested in how children learn with and about data. I have designed, implemented, and deployed systems that have been used by children to ask questions about their own learning and online social activity, and answer them through data and programming. In the process, not only did these children learn how to program data-analysis and visualization tools, but also, they started to engage in discourses on larger critical questions around data such as privacy and anonymity.

To better understand learning processes and outcomes with creative learning toolkits, apart from observational and interview-based studies, I also conduct large-scale quantitative analyses.

An overview of my academic work (including teaching experience) is available here.

In the past, I have been closely involved with the Free Software/Culture community in India, and I have been involved with a number of FOSS projects in various capabilities (developer, translator, community manager, etc.). Apart from actively working with FOSS projects from all over the world, I was also a member of the national working group of the Fress Software Foundation of India.

Before graduate school at MIT, I worked for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project as a software engineer. At OLPC, I worked on a wide range of projects, including ensuring support for multiple languages on the laptops, building a system for ebook reading and sharing, enabling block-based programming for the Arduino microcontroller kit, etc.

In 2014 I was named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Education.

I microblog occasionally as @sayamindu, and infrequently blog as well.

Sayamindu Dasgupta