Open Source Software: Opportunities for Social Innovation from Around the World

About this webinar:

Check out some of the topics to be discussed at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), October 21 – 24, 2012 in Seattle. Three GHTC speakers are in this E4C webinar series and will discuss open source software opportunities around the world.

Learn about SocialCoding4Good, the emergence of free and open-source software on campuses in Taiwan, and a standards-based open source application to gather health assessment data in developing countries.

Jim Fruchterman

Jim Fruchterman is social entrepreneur and CEO of Benetech, a nonprofit technology company based in Palo Alto, California. A technology entrepreneur and engineer, Fruchterman has been a rocket scientist, founded two of the foremost optical character recognition companies, and created numerous technology social enterprises. Fruchterman cofounded Calera Recognition Systems and RAF Technology, Inc. both of which were based on optical character recognition technology. In 1989, Fruchterman founded Benetech as a nonprofit social enterprise, to produce reading machines, based on the Calera technology, for people who are blind.

Benetech expanded its focus in 2000 and began creating new technology for people with disabilities as well as the human rights and environmental movements. Benetech’s programs include Bookshare, the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities, Martus, software for tracking human rights violations, Miradi, project management tools for conservationists, and SocialCoding4Good, an online platform to match skilled software development volunteers from the technology sector with open source social good projects.

Fruchterman received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006 in recognition of his work as a pioneering social entrepreneur. He believes that technology is the ultimate leveler, allowing disadvantaged people to achieve more equality in society.

Hui-mei Justina Hsu

Hui-mei Justina Hsu obtained her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006, majoring in curriculum and instruction. She is currently working as assistant professor at the department of learning and digital technology in Fo Guang University in Taiwan. Her research interests are technology integration, cultural aspects of educational computing and children programming. She has been a member of IEEE since 2010.

Alex Gainer

Alex Gainer graduated last spring with an MS in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Cruz. He worked under Dr. James Davis making EHR software for the NPO Health Records for Everyone (HR4E). Currently, he works as an application developer for Google in Mountain View.

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