Graduate Student Profiles

Ritesh Agrawal

Ritesh Agrawal graduated with his PhD in Geography in the spring of 2010, having worked under Dr. Donna Peuquet. Ritesh currently works as a Research Engineer for AT&T Interactive in San Francisco, and is one of six people who have been designated as the initial team in the new west-coast AT&T research lab.

While Ritesh was a graduate affiliate of the GeoVISTA Center at Penn State, he interned at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He is also the core developer of Memento, a free online service that allows students and professionals to manage their documents and libraries, create group projects, and maintain their professional networks.

Ritesh's dissertation focused on a holistic approach for dealing with the information overload problem within the modern computing environment. His approach and prototype implementation incorporate tools for the breadth of needed tasks for learning about spatial and space-time domains, including information filtering, knowledge acquisition, organization, transfer and recall.

More about Ritesh's Thesis Research

Mapping Trajectories of Inquiries

Internet and associated digital technologies provide new learning opportunities by bringing most of known human knowledge right to our fingertips. However, this ever increasing knowledge base is making it difficult for us to analyze and process information. While much progress has been made to store and retrieve information, a holistic solution to address online learning challenges remains elusive. As individuals, we lack an effective solution to filter and prioritize the key information required to develop coherent knowledge and the mental ability to capture, retrain, and recall all the accessible information. It is the aim of this research to conceptualize, design and develop such a holistic solution: one that incorporates tools for the breadth of needed tasks, including information filtering, knowledge acquisition, organization, transfer and recall.

Working towards such a holistic solution, the current research takes a top-down approach to find a comprehensive solution. It first proposes a conceptual framework that aligns and integrates different opinions and beliefs pertaining to the information overload problem into a single view. Based on the proposed conceptual framework, a unified software architecture is conceptualized and designed to address the information overload problem as one of representation, management, learning and communication. Lastly, a prototype proof-of-concept software system to serve as an evaluation framework for this research will be designed and developed.

Ritesh's Full Thesis


Return to Grad Highlights