Hi. My name is Neha.

I’m a PhD candidate at the I School in UC Berkeley. My dissertation research examines media practices of low-income earning youth in India, seeking to highlight the interplay between the social and the technical. I focus on the affordances of the now ubiquitous mobile phone and how users navigate these affordances, driven by their desire for entertainment. My field sites include Maksi (Madhya Pradesh), Bikaner (Rajasthan), and New Delhi. My recent publications are listed below.

My background includes Master’s degrees in Learning, Design & Technology and Computer Science from Stanford University, and a double major in Computer Science and Applied Math from UC Berkeley. I also worked as a Software Design Engineer at Microsoft Corporation for two years.

Get in touch.




Kumar, N. and T. Parikh. (2013) Mobiles, Music, and Materiality. ACM CHI 2013.

Kumar, N. and N. Rangaswamy. (2013) The Mobile Media Actor Network in Urban India. ACM CHI 2013.

Kumar, N., Mathur, A. and S. Lal. (2012) Banking 101: Mobile-izing Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets. To appear in Bell Labs Technical Journal Human Science and User Experience issue, Vol. 17, No. 4.

Kumar, N. and T. Parikh. (2012) Mobile Media and Piracy in India.  Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth. April, 2012.

Kumar, N., Singh, G. and T. Parikh. (2011) Folk Music in India Goes Digital. ACM CHI 2011.

Kumar, N. and T. Parikh. (2010) Folk Music and New Media in Rural India. In Extended Abstracts of ACM CHI 2010.

As an instructor, I have taught:

    - Info 181: Technology & Poverty at UC Berkeley (Summer 2012, 2013)

    - MS&E 75SI: Brainstorming India at Stanford University (Spring 2008)

I have recently been Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for:

    - CS 160: User Interface Design at UC Berkeley (Spring 2013)

    - I 213: User Interface Design at UC Berkeley (Spring 2011)


Other courses I have been a Teaching Assistant for (sometimes more than once) include CS 157: Computational Logic, CS 154: Finite Automata & Complexity Theory, CS 161: Design & Analysis of Algorithms, and EDUC 122: Collaboration for International Environmental Education at Stanford University, and CS 150: Digital Systems Design and CS 61B: Data Structures at UC Berkeley.


Outside of work, I spend a lot of my time on photographic pursuits. Some of my albums are online at http://freefalling.smugmug.com. I particularly enjoy photographing people. Anywhere. On the music front, I have been a student of Hindustani vocal classical music, off and on, for as long as I can remember (now on). I used to dabble in creative writing too, before the Ph.D. writing took over.