The research agenda for the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (SCIT), Makerere University focuses on the use of ICTs to improve the livelihoods of people in the areas of Agriculture, Health, Education, Government, Environment and E-Services. To realize this research agenda, the school’s research activities are coordinated by a research forum organised around four Research Groups of Artificial Intelligence (AIR), Networked Systems and Systems Security (NetS), Software Systems Centre (SSC) and Development Informatics (DI).
The AIR Lab is focused on leveraging cutting edge computational methods and applying them to solving real-life problems in developing countries using Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. Presently, there are few experts in most fields in developing countries, in health, agriculture, manufacturing, etc. The problem of a few experts is generally compounded by a lack of resources to apply to prevalent problems. The AIR group seeks to address these problems specifically. For the few experts, we use Artificial Intelligence techniques to automate several expert tasks and processes. AIR tackles the limited resources by using data science techniques to leverage available data to inform critical decision making particularly for interventions that will have an effect on the livelihoods of people. Current projects include; disease and pest control on cassava using artificial intelligence supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, automated techniques of malaria diagnostics, and automated auction market for small holder farmers. More details.
The Networked Systems and Systems Security (NetS) Group focuses on designing affordable, robust and energy-efficient networked systems and digital security solutions that improve livelihoods. This has been applied in the domains of environment monitoring, agriculture, health, commerce and Internet services among others. Current projects are in the areas of Wireless Sensor networks for environment monitoring, Network Security and Malware Management, Security Protocols and authentication systems, Policies, Protocols and Standards for networks in Developing Regions, Opportunistic Networks and Optical Networks,. The group has strong partnerships and collaborations with NORAD and SPIDER, the University of Bergen (Norway), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Xiangtan University (China), Dar es salaam Institute of Technology (Tanzania), University of Rwanda (Rwanda), University of Juba (South Sudan) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya).
The Software Systems Centre (SSC) spearheads software research and innovations geared towards improving the quality of software products and services. The centre provides a link between the academia and industry through which companies in the private and public sector can engage with the university in industry relevant research and innovations. The software centre therefore engages in foundational research and innovations that seek to develop models and tools to support the software engineering discipline and industry. Our main focus areas include health, education, agriculture and governance. The core areas of research include requirements engineering, business process engineering, software quality, systems security and digital innovations. The software systems centre also nurtures prospective software products and services to commercialization in partnership with selected industrial partners. These new products and services are expected to improve livelihoods of people and also impact the national economy and employment.