About Me

I am a 4th year doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I hold a MS in Economics and a BE in Electronics Engineering with prior experience in education research and data analytics. I work at the intersection of development studies and technology and am advised by Prof. Joyojeet Pal.

Amongst other stuff, I love the following in no specific order - science, computer games, Doctor Who, mythology, cataloguing music, Carl Sagan, evolution, technology, dragons, Wong Kar-Wai, football, and Douglas Adams.

Research Interests

As an ICTD/HCI researcher, my research - both qualitative and quantitative - primarily focuses on technology appropriation in the Global South.

I look at the role of informality in the adoption, consumption, and reproduction of technology. To this end, a major strand of my research explores the informal technology markets that dot urban landscapes across the world. Through ethnographic observations and interviews, I investigate how such informal market infrastructures play an important role in allowing low and middle income communities access to technology goods and services.

A related strand of research maps the software piracy supply ecosystem - from understanding the institutions that support the warez scene where software is initially cracked to parsing the motivations of vendors who sell these softwares to consumers.

A final strand of research looks at the adoption and use of social media by politicians in the Global South with a focus on how social media relates to discourses of development.

Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Chandra, P. (2017). Informality and Invisibility – Traditional Technologies as Tools for Collaboration in an Informal Market, at CHI 2017 (upcoming)
  2. Chandra, P., Ahmed, S.I., Pal, J. (2017). Market Practices and the Bazaar: Technology Consumption in Urban ICT Markets in the Global South, at CHI 2017 (upcoming)
  3. Pal, J., Viswanathan, A., Chandra, P., et al. (2017). Choosing to adapt: Agency in technology adoption for mobile smartphone users in Bangalore, India, at CHI 2017 (upcoming)
  4. Pal, J., Chandra, P., et al. (2016) An Accessibility Infrastructure for the Global South, at ICTD 2016, Ann Arbor. link
  5. Chandra, P. (2016). Order in the Warez, Scene: Explaining an Underground Virtual Community with the CPR Framework. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 372-383). ACM. link
  6. Pal, J., Chandra, P., & Vydiswaran, V. V. (2016). Twitter and the Rebranding of Narendra Modi. Economic & Political Weekly, 51(8), 53. link
  7. Pal, J., Youngman, M., O’Neill, T., Chandra, P., & Semushi, C. (2015). Gender and accessibility in Rwanda and Malawi. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (p. 5). ACM. link

Peer-reviewed Notes and Workshops

  1. Marathe, M., Chandra, P., et al. (2016) In search of missing pieces: A re-examination of trends in ICTD research, at ICTD 2016, Ann Arbor. link
  2. Chandra, P. (2016). Across the Borders of Legality: Leveraging Pirate Infrastructures, at HCI4D Across Borders, CHI 2016, USA
  3. Chandra, P., & Jones, J. (2015). Assistive technologies and autonomy in a cyborg world. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (p. 31). ACM. link