Growing up in a challenging environment where access to proper mentors and resources was scarce, and having acquired experience and a position from where I can now give back, I spend a good amount of time and energy mentoring passionate Bangladeshi students who aim to become researchers and technology leaders in the future. I am deeply passionate about helping students, startups, and underrepresented groups to reach their full potential. I consider myself lucky to be able to mentor these talented people.
KolpoKoushol is a nonprofit research organization I founded in 2014. It organizes workshops in Bangladesh, focusing on design thinking, making, coding, and an interdisciplinary approach towards science and society. A few videos from the workshops are presented here. Additionally, I mentored 18 students via KolpoKoushol's 1-year long research mentorship programs.
KolpoKoushol (কল্পকৌশল, Imagination Engineering)
Some Interesting Alumni Feedback (voluntary feedback in 2020 via alumni feedback forms)
"My exposure to research initiated in 2016 when I participated in KolpoKoushol. Back in 2016, I was a computer science graduate in Bangladesh with no specific research agenda. Since then Dr. Saquib has been a mentor to me and contributed to every significant step of my research career -- from formulating research ideas to writing papers, applying for Ph.D., and collaborating during Ph.D. I found him as an exceptional mentor who continuously provided in-depth technical and theoretical guidance even without any monetary reward. Based on our initial gender portrayal idea, we have published two papers at reputed venues. The topic remains a significant influence on my Ph.D. dissertation, and we continue to be research collaborators. I wish him all the best for his further endeavours." Naimul Hoque (Former Research Student. Current: PhD Student, iSchool, University of Maryland, College Park)
"It has been a great learning journey, being a mentee of Dr. Nazmus Saquib since we first met in a workshop in 2015. His presentation on the ways to expand our knowledge of computer science and how it can be integrated with other streams like Arts, cracked the curiosity in me to learn more. I was truly motivated by him. We successfully published a research paper in a renowned conference, which proved to be really helpful to achieve my dream to pursue Ph.D in computer science. It was his immense talent and time management skills, that even being busy himself as a Ph.D student, he managed time for me. He has taught me how to make the best out of every moment, that nothing is impossible, and to trust my own potential. I am and always will be so thankful to him, for his continuous support and proper guidance, because of which I was able to score fully-funded admission in West Virginia University, to pursue PhD in Computer Science." Halima Akhter (Former Research Student. Current: PhD Student, Computer Science, West Virginia University. Women in STEM Fellow)
"Nazmus Saquib was an amazing mentor to my peers and me at KolpoKoushol. Despite all the mentees being very new to research, Saquib's ability to empathize with us and explain topics to us at a level that we understood was commendable. He taught us how to read deeply technical research papers, techniques I still use to this day. He took the time to meet with each group weekly while always being available for emails and messages. A lot of the mentees, including myself, went on to publish papers at top conferences under his supervision. I would be happy to work with him again in the future in any capacity." Shoumik Sharar Chowdhury (Former Research Student. Current: PhD Student, Computer Science, University of Houston)
"I was mentored by Nazmus Saquib during my gap year after high school and right before getting into college. Because it was such a crucial time in life, his mentorship and the projects that I were affiliated in through him had a huge impact on my academic choices such as choosing my university in Hong Kong and being inspired to actually pursue engineering as a career. His teaching style is very hands-on, very involved and enthusiastic - something that I really appreciate having experienced in my earliest stages imagining a future in STEM." Mashiat Lamisa (Workshop Student. She is currently an undergraduate student in HKAIST)
"I participated in the Kolpokoushol workshop in 2015. I always consider having Nazmus as my direct mentor back then as a pivotal moment that shaped my professional life. His passion and enthusiasm for the things he does and willingness to share his knowledge made me realize how research and collaboration in CS can be used for the good of people. Till now, his dedication to his work is inspiring for me. I am grateful to KolpoKoushol and for his effort and thoughtfulness as a mentor." Shahreen Salim (Workshop Student. She's currently a PhD Student, SUNY Stony Brook)
Research Projects in Social Justice, Equity, and Implicit Bias
Here are a few papers from my research mentorship program that were published in NeurIPS workshops (Machine Learning for the Developing World, ML4D). These projects dealt with bias, equity, and social justice in the context of Bangladesh, and were done under my active mentorship and collaboration. The papers utilized computer vision, NLP, and network science methods.
Skyview and Quality of Living in Dhaka, Bangladesh
We show that people in lower economy classes may suffer from lower sky visibility, whereas people in higher economy classes may suffer from lack of greenery in their environment, both of which could be possibly addressed by implementing rent restructuring schemes. (paper)
Gender Portrayal in Bangladeshi TV
We demonstrate a noticeable discrepancy in female screen presence in Bangladeshi TV advertisements and political talk shows. Further, contrary to popular hypotheses, we demonstrate that lighter-toned skin colors are less prevalent than darker complexions, and additionally, quantifiable body language markers do not provide conclusive insights about gender dynamics. Overall, these gender portrayal parameters reveal the different layers of onscreen gender politics and can help direct incentives to address existing disparities in a nuanced and targeted manner. (paper)
Political Statements Echo Chambers
Our research results indicate there is a presence of cliquishness between powerful political leaders when it comes to their appearance in news. We also show how these cohesive cores form through the news articles, and how, over a decade, news cycles change the actors belonging in these groups. (paper)
Data Science Paper Reading Club (Organizer)
Some discussion sessions from the data science paper reading club I organized for Bangladeshi students in KolpoKoushol. Check for all sessions in my Youtube channel!
Eulerian Video Magnification
Structure and Tie Strengths in Mobile Communication Networks
Detecting Pickpocket Suspects from Large-Scale Transit Records
Startup Advising and Mentoring (selected)
Data Science Advisor/Mentor. ShopUp is revolutionizing micro businesses in Bangladesh. It raised $22.5M in series A. I mentored their data science team to build automated loan assessment systems, disbursing $4M in microloans to microentrepreneurs.
Shikho is a math learning app for high school students in Bangladesh, with a rapidly developing user base. It provides video-based tutorials and quizzes, a significant step ahead from traditional math textbooks in Bangladesh.