I'm a designer, engineer and writer from Lahore. During the day I lead a design team at Amazon. I make novel Urdu technology called Matnsaz, and write about Pakistani pop music at Hamnawa. I'm an Alumni Council member for the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I frequently lecture on design, and speak at conferences.
Email: me at zeerak dot net
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Matnsaz is a breakthrough typing technology for the Urdu language. By studying the nature of the Arabic script, and the environment of South Asia, this new design allows Urdu speakers to better use technology natively. An innovative correction system is built on a custom open-sourced Urdu text corpus, Makhzan.
Matnsaz has been covered by Time Magazine, Geo, Rest of World, The Friday Times, Harvard and Princeton.
Talks regarding Matnsaz and my work on Urdu computing have been hosted at the International Design Conference, Harvard, Stanford, LUMS, Amazon, NYU, and the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture.
Full list of press and talks available here.
I've been writing about Pakistani music for over a decade. Currently I'm editor of Hamnawa, a publication that includes writing by me and guests, curation, a podcast, and analytics for musicians and production companies.
A more exhaustive list of appearances and writing on Pakistan music is here.
I am frequent guest lecturer in design & computer science classes at Harvard & LUMS. As an elected member of the Alumni Council of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, I work with the school's faculty and students to expand their influence in technology and internationalization. Expert opinions have also been sought by juries for CHI, the Harvard MDE program, and the Savannah College of Art & Design. A full list of educational engagements is available here.
I hold a Masters in Design Engineering with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Science, and a Bachelors of Science in Engineering with High Honors in Computer Science & Public Policy from Princeton University. I've also completed coursework at Oxford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.