We were inspired to create IMI after studying two very distinct problems India faces. One, the country produces half a million engineers annually and yet 64% of the employers are, as surveyed by the World Bank, “somewhat” or “not at all” satisfied with their work. This gap between being “educated” and “employable” can be attributed to an overly theoretical curriculum in colleges with little application. And two, Mobile technology is scaling in terms of its social potential in communities. A cell phone is most often the only computing and communication device Indian’s have. However, the use of mobile technology as a tool to mitigate social challenges is limited, partly because engineers equipped with relevant expertise are not well versed with the problems and engineers (Indian students) who are aware of the problems lack skills to apply their knowledge.
IMI solves these two challenges. We have partnered with Indian universities to conduct several workshops this summer. A team of student instructors from MIT will interact with college students to direct their technical skills towards applications in mobile technology. The students will address challenges in their societies and provide solutions that use mobile phones as a medium. This approach will instill social entrepreneurship in the students, a quality much required in a country like India. Moreover, viable solutions will be awarded seed money by Google and other investors
Empower our students to feel competent at applying technical knowledge and providing innovative solutions, confident while approaching industry leaders and experts, and inspired to make a difference!
Aakriti Shroff I am a sophomore double majoring in Computer Science (6-3) as well as Management Science (15). My take on IMI and the degree of its impact is derived from this very equation. IMI will introduce a new form of instructor-student interaction with a heavy emphasis on a hands-on approach to learning. From my encounter with the Indian educational system, I feel that this fills a void in the otherwise theory-based curriculum. Moreover, the Indian Mobile Initiative is relevant to its times. India has not only joined the mobile technology era but is on its way to becoming a pioneer in the field. Introducing mobile application development to collegiate level students is thus another important step towards augmenting India’s developments. The amalgamation of innovation and relevance will gear IMI towards having an impact – an impact on the students we interact with and an impact on the societies the students will create technologies for. It is the creation of this trickledown effect that fuels my passion and inspiration for the project. As for my role on the team, I am confident that I bring organizationand leadership to the team. Also, being the only team member to have spent a significant amount of time in India, I have taken up most of the responsibility of coordinating the program with universities in India. During the course of the summer, I will be the entrepreneurial lead for the program while also assisting Kyle and Thiago with the technical component of IMI. As a founding member of the Indian Mobile Initiative, I will also share the responsibility of increasing the presence of the program both at MIT and in India. This being our launching year, all the members have to make an earnest effort to build a sustainable framework for the project to facilitate easy implementation in the coming years and I am not hesitant to partake in this. I have confidence in the IMI team and am passionate about my role in the project.
Kyle Fisher I am a sophomore double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (6-2) as well as Management Science (15), with a planned minor in Economics (14). The classes I have taken thus far complement my ability to teach both programming and entrepreneurship over this summer. Specifically, the most helpful classes I feel are a few of what I am taking this semester: Algorithms, Software Design and Construction, Founder’s Journey, and Marketing Management. Algorithms and Software Design and Construction will primarily build upon my previous exposure to programming and will help ensure a fresh and well-versed knowledge in software engineering; all of this will be very useful when assisting the students in building application prototypes. Founder’s Journey and Marketing Management will be useful when I am teaching specific segments of entrepreneurship with Aakriti. In India, I will be the technical lead of the project. My primary responsibility is to assist the students in creating prototype applications over the 5 weeks. At the very least, Thiago and I will: teach an intensive one-week introduction to Android programming, ensure all students’ computers are prepared to program and test the applications they will build, and conduct labs so students can work with assistance on their applications. I will also be coordinating closely with Aakriti on the entrepreneurship part of the program during idea generation and product launching course segments.
I am a sophomore double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (6-2) and Physics (8), and hopefully a minor in Economics (14). I bring a good quantitative skill set with my background in Physics as well as taking extra math classes here at MIT. In the more applicable side of programming for IMI, I have taken Algorithms last semester and am currently taking Software Design this semester along with other Computer Science class requirements. While I have previous experience coding Java applications from high school, these classes will help me formalize more advanced concepts in assisting students. Overall, my specialty with the team will be to help solve more algorithm and control flow problems in the programming part.
In India, I will mostly be helping with teaching the technical aspects of Android with Kyle. We will start with an intensive one week course in the basic of Android programming, which we plan to have students’ complete pre-designed labs to test and apply their programming language knowledge. During the five week program, I will also be around to help students design their applications, write them, and debug the entire thing. For the business aspect I will also be helping teach some basic business fundamentals and accounting, where my experience as treasurer for my fraternity and working in high school will be very helpful.
Pranav Ramkrishnan- Pranav is also a sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT. Pranav's brings to the team his experience in entrepreneurship and will serve as a mentor for our students this summer.
Google, India and the Android Developer's Advocacy were the first to believe in IMI's goals and helped us with the funding. More importantly, they are assisting us with the curriculum and mentoring our student teams through their journey.
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