Dr. Kentaro Toyama

Senior Researcher of School of Information, University of California, Berkeley


Kentaro Toyama is a visiting researcher in the School of Information (at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he is working on a book arguing that increasing human wisdom should be the primary goal of international development activities. He also writes a blog critiquing technology for development

Until 2009, Kentaro was Assistant Managing Director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. At MSR India, he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group, which conducts interdisciplinary research to understand how the world’s poorest communities interact with electronic technology and to invent new ways for technology to support their socio-economic development. Among the group’s prize-winning projects are MultiPoint, the use of multiple mice per PC to allow many children to interact with a computer simultaneously; and Digital Green, a method for amplifying agriculture extension efforts through locally produced video and mediated instruction to smallholder farmers. In 2006, he co-founded the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD)to provide a global platform for rigorous academic research in this field, and he remains active on its advisory board.

Prior to his time in India, Kentaro did computer vision and multimedia research at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA and Cambridge, UK, and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. Kentaro graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a Bachelors degree in Physics.