Ahmer Arif

Doctoral candidate at the University of Washington in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. I study the risks and opportunities that come with social media platforms becoming increasingly interwoven with public discourse. A second thread of my research involves integrating ethics (particularly practices of reflective self-examination) with engineering & computer science education. My work asks how we can adapt our tools and ourselves to flourish as a more networked and interdependent human family. I’ve also had the good fortune to work as a researcher and consultant with several large organizations like Facebook, Yahoo!, The World Bank and the UNDP.

Education arrow right

Publications arrow right

  • 2018 (forthcoming) Stewart, L.G., Arif, A., Nied, A.C., Spiro, S.E., & Starbird, K. Drawing the Lines of Contention: Networked Frame Contests Within #BlackLivesMatter Discourse. In Proceedings of the 21th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '18).
  • 2017 Arif, A., Robinson, J. J., Stanek, S. A., Fichet, E., Townsend, P., Worku, Z., & Starbird, K. A Closer Look at the Self-Correcting Crowd: Examining Corrections in Online Rumors. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '17).
  • 2017 Turns, J.A., Scalone, G., Arif, A., Lovins, T., & Atman, C. Dimensions in Designing Reflection Activities. In Proceedings of the World Engineering Education Forum Conference (WEEF `17).
  • 2017 Turns, J.A., Arif, A., Lovins, T., & Chinh, B. “It is helpful but having it due a week out might be too long”: How Engineering Students Experience Reflection Activities. In Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES `17).
  • 2016 Arif, A., Shanahan, K., Chou, F.J., Dosouto, Y., Starbird, K., & Spiro, E. How Information Snowballs: Exploring the Role of Exposure in Online Rumor Propagation. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16).
  • 2016 Atman, C.J., Arif, A., Shroyer, K.E., Turns, J., & Borgford-Parnell, J. “Spend another day in our class talking about this research please”: Student insights from a research-based design thinking exercise. In Proceedings of the 2016 Design Research Society Annual Conference (DRS `16).
  • 2014 Arif, A., Javed, F., & Arshad, N. Integrating renewables economic dispatch with demand side management in micro- grids: a genetic algorithm-based approach. Energy Efficiency, 7(2), 271-284.

Industry arrow right

  • Facebook User experience research intern with the Ads Platform team during the summer of 2017. Informed the design of Facebook's tools for managing ads by conducting multiple qualitative research studies with Facebook users, global sales organizations and small businesses.
  • Yahoo! Research intern with the Mail Anti-spam team during the summer of 2015. Supported the design of machine-learning classifiers to reduce spam by conducting quantiative research to understand the relationship between user login behaviors and mail abusing ones.
  • Carefully Crafted Senior software engineer at a web-consultancy from 2013-2014.
  • United Nations Development Programme Consultant for the Papua New Guinea office on a mobile-banking related project during 2013. Promoted financial inclusion in underserved rural areas by helping inform the UNDP strategy via research.
  • Developyst Chief technology officer for an education and data advocacy non-profit from 2012-2013. Supported multiple data transparency initiatives by managing multiple vendor & client relationships and an 8 person technology team.
  • The World Bank Consultant for the ICT Sector Unit on mobile governance related projects in Punjab during 2012. Automated the collection and reporting of key health and education indicators in the Punjab province by researching, engineering and implementing a mobile and web-based platform.
  • TimeSvr Part-time software engineer for a web-based startup from 2008-2009.

Teaching arrow right

  • Theories & Concepts In Human Computer Interaction delivered course lectures and graded assignments as a TA for a senior level undergraduate course at the University of Washington during Spring 2017. Taught students about postcolonial computing and the intertwined nature of society & technology.
  • Experimental Research Methods Ran tutorials and graded assignments for a Masters level course at the University of Washington during Fall 2014. Taught students about statistical tools like R and study design.
  • Graph Theory delivered course lectures as teaching associate for a junior level undergraduate course at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore during Winter 2011.
  • Theories of Literary Criticism Facilitated course discussions and provided writing support as the senior TA for multiple course offerings of Literary Theory, Greek & Shakespearean Tragedy and Introduction to Literature at the Lahore University of Management Sciences between 2009-2010.
  • Computing Structures Ran labs, delivered tutorials and graded assignments as a TA for a sophomore level undergraduate course at the Lahore University of Management Sciences between Fall 2008. Taught students programming fundamentals like recursion and time complexity of algorithms.