Shree in Turkey

Shreeharsh Kelkar

Welcome to my home page. I am a PHD student at MIT in the HASTS program.  I started in August 2010 and expect to graduate in 2016.

I also have a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering from VJTI (Bombay University).

Here is my full CV (in pdf).  My blog-posts on the Platypus blog.  For publications, click here.  And my Twitter account. 

If you'd like to contact me, my email is shreeharsh at gmail dot com.  

I study computing and its role in workplaces using historical and ethnographic methods.  More broadly, I am interested in the relationship between institutions, technology and knowledge production.  I ask questions like: how are technologies shaped by institutions?  What is the relationship between technological and institutional change? How can we understand algorithms , code, and software as specifically sociological phenomena?  Methodologically, I try to answer these questions by analyzing practice.  

 enjoy blogging on my personal blog (and try to blog once a week, although that's easier said than done, alas).  I find blogging useful in relating academic theory to the interesting things that happen in the world.  Sometimes, it's also fun to try out ideas on the blog, and perhaps an idea might turn into a research project.   Since, 2014, I have been a Contributing Editor for the Platypus blog, a creation of the folks at CASTAC (Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing).  The focus of the blog is to write about topics dear to STS and Anthropology, but for a wider audience.  For my blog-posts on Platypus, click here.

Dissertation (ongoing)
Tentative Title: Platformizing Higher Education: Computer Science and the Making of MOOC Infrastructure      
Based on a 18-month multi-sited ethnographic study of the engineers, instructors and researchers who build the computing infrastructures for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), this dissertation investigates how computer science as a regime of expert knowledge is re-configuring notions of educational expertise. It shows that actors working on and within MOOC infrastructures draw self-conscious inspiration from the technical precedents and work practices of Internet
platforms like Amazon and Google. In so doing, these actors transfer their expertise in techniques like crowd-sourcing, used extensively in these platforms, to the process of teaching and learning. Tracing the diffusion of these techniques, I show how Silicon Valley norms are transferred to higher education.

Flamenbaum, Rachel, Manduhai Buyandelger, Greg Downey, Orin Starn, Graham Jones, Catalina Laserna, Shreeharsh Kelkar, Carolyn Rouse, and Tom Looser. 2014. “Anthropology in and of MOOCs.” American Anthropologist 116 (4): 829–38. doi:10.1111/aman.12143. [pdf]

Book Reviews
2015. “Delete: A Design History of Computer Vapourware.” Journal of Design History, March. doi:10.1093/jdh/epu039.  [pdf]

Selected Blog-Posts:
Other Projects:
In my previous life, before I became a social scientist, I was a computer scientist working for Avaya Labs.  I worked on adapting the tools of the Web 2.0 (like wikis, blogs, tagging, social bookmarking and so on) so that they could be used for collaboration within organizations.  My colleagues and I built a system that allowed users in an audio conference to tag the conference (or parts of it) collaboratively, so that the annotated audio could be used as a source of information. 

Publications (Computer Science)