Chintan Vaishnav


Chintan Vaishnav

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Chintan Vaishnav is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and a member of the founding team of MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design. He is a socio-technologist, an engineer trained to understand human as well as technological complexity in large systems. Vaishnav is interested in creating socio-technical systems for improving lives in underserved communities, and in analyzing the implications of promoting and managing such technologies for policymakers, managers, and society at large. 

Vaishnav's research, teaching, and action spans technology, development, and policy. In the area of technology and development, he has designed and teaches a graduate-level course on Technology, Design, and Entrepreneurship for Emerging Community at MIT.  The objectives of this course are:  to enable students to understand the challenges of designing solutions for development; to frame research to address such challenges by applying design and systems thinking; and to produce solutions that are rigorous, relevant, and marketable. His research on technology and development focuses on designing information technologies and systems to improve lives of agricultural communities.

In the area of technology and policy, Vaishnav's work has focused on understanding the implications of Internet-based technologies for various levels of policy-making and the ultimate impact on various forms of freedoms. His doctoral work focused on understanding conditions under which technology disruptions do and do not occur, and how governments could achieve regulatory compliance without killing innovation when Internet-based services disrupt traditional ones. More recently, he has modeled and investigated the impact of cyberspace on political engagement, and issues of international relations such as trade and security.

Vaishnav has advised the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and has over the past decade worked with several large communications companies who are members of the MIT's Communications Futures Program.  He has several years of engineering research experience at the Bell Labs.  His work is published in the areas of computer networks, technology policy, strategy, and development.

Vaishnav holds a BS and MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, an MS in Technology and Policy, and a PhD in Engineering Systems from MIT.  He also holds a BA in Indian Classical Music from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, India.


"Fieldwork-based Determination of Design Priorities for Point-of-Use Drinking Water Quality Sensors for use in Resource-Limited Environments."

Bono, Michael S. Jr., Sydney Beasley, Emily Hanhauser, A. John Hart, Rohit Karnik, and Chintan Vaishnav. PLOS ONE Vol. 15, No. 1 (2020): e0228140.

"Machine in the Loop: Personalizing Farm Advisory for Smallholder Farmers Using AI."

Mallareddy, Nikhil, Chintan Vaishnav, Soumya Braganza. Presentation, ’International Conference of System Dynamics Society, Bergen, Norway2020.

"Solid-Phase Extraction, Preservation, Storage, Transport, and Analysis of Trace Contaminants for Water Quality Monitoring of Heavy Metals."

Hanhauser, Emily, Michael S. Bono Jr., Chintan Vaishnav, A. John Hart, and Rohit Karnik. Environmental Science and Technology Vol. 54, No. 5 (2020): 2646–2657.

"Not a Zero-Sum Game: How to Simultaneously Maximize Efficiency and Privacy in Data-driven Urban Governance."

Kodali, Nikita, Karen Sollins, Chintan Vaishnav. Presentation, 47th Telecom Policy Research Conference, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America2019.

"How Public Should Public Data Be: Privacy and E-Governance in India."

Vaishnav, Chintan, Karen Sollins, Nikita Kodali. Presentation, 46th Telecom Policy Research Conference, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America2018.

"In-Field Determination Of Soil Ion Content Using A Handheld Device And Screen-Printed Solid-State Ion-Selective Electrodes."

Rosenberg, Ron, Michael Bono Jr., Soumya Braganza, Chintan Vaishnav, Rohit Karnik, and A. John Hart. PLOS ONE Vol. 13, No. 9 (2018).

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