Saving the World with
a Computer Science Degree
Portman Wells, Say Ahh Systems
Thursday, February 2, 3:30-4:20 pm, MEC 205
There are hundreds of organizations using technology to fight poverty,
disease, and inequality. They all need the help of talented computer
scientists. Portman Wills, a 2002 alum, will share stories from
projects in South America, Africa, and Asia and will then present five
Links for the companies' websites can be found here at this link: http://del.icio.us/tag/csforgood
- DDD, which taught keyboarding to unemployed, handicapped
Cambodians, and then hired them to do data entry.
- CITI, which helped hundreds of charities and
not-for-profits use technology effectively.
- Benetech, which built software to help victims of human
rights abuses easily and security file reports.
- Aurolab, which invented low-cost, high-quality artificial
lenses for cataracts patients in India.
- CDI, which provided technology opportunities to residents
of Brazilian favelas.
Portman Wills is the founder of Say Ahh Systems, where he is building
software to help consumers better understand and manage their families'
health information. He previously served as the Chief Architect at
Voxiva, where he designed global communications and information systems
for developing nations. Prior to that, he spent one year as Chief
Technology Officer of Digital Divide Data, where he architected a
system for synchronous data entry in multiple worldwide offices.
Other career highlights include: building the popular commencement
speech archive Fly Little Bird; designing the communications protocols
betweenLiberty Wireless (the first MVNO in the US) and Sprint; and
streamlining thehome loan process as a Program Manager for Microsoft's
HomeAdvisor realestate tool.
He studied mathematics, economics, and computer science at the
University of Virginia and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife.
After graduating from U.Va. in 2002, Portman Wills ditched a career at
Microsoft to volunteer with a World Bank project in Uganda. Since then,
he has become obsessed with using technology to combat the world's
social problems. He has lived and worked in South America, Africa, and