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Harmeet Sawhney

Harmeet Sawhney

Professor & Director of Graduate Studies,
Dept. of Telecommunications.

Radio-TV Center, Room 325
(812) 855-0954

hsawhney 'at'

Director of Graduate Studies

Editor-in-Chief, The Information Society

I like to work on the intersections of the profound and the pragmatic where complex reality disrupts the tidy logic of established thought and forces new ways of thinking. I was drawn towards Telecommunications because it offers many such points of intersection.

Over the last couple of years I have been dwelling on issues related to universal access. They are interesting because they evoke ideals of democracy and equality which have to be reconciled with the realities of the situation on the ground. I have also been studying the interaction between values and the network development process. I am particularly interested in how metaphors shape our thinking about networks. Lately, I have been pondering about problems of coordination and control in a modern society. While interests shift in terms of topics, I tend to stay with issues which involve uncertainties of the future, our collective imagination which provides impetus for action in the face of these uncertainties, and the cultural values which color our imaginations.

In my spare time, I try and stay away from both the profound and the pragmatic -- a difficult feat. I find moments of such liberation while playing tennis, exercising in the gym, or just simply going on long walks.

Visiting Faculty:

  • Constance F. and Arnold C. Pohs Visiting Associate Professor of Telecommunications, Dept. of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Winter (Spring) 2004
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Information Systems, London School of Economics, Michaelmas (Fall) 2005
  • Visiting Scholar, Stanhope Center for Communications Policy Research, London, Fall 2005
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Communications & New Media, National University of Singapore, Spring 2013

Industry Experience:

  • Marketing Executive, Escorts Group, New Delhi,1984-85
  • Advertisting Executive, J. Walter Thompson, Bombay, 1985-86


  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India, 1982
  • M.B.A., Marketing, XLRI, Jamshedpur, India, 1984
  • M.A., Communication, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1987
  • Ph.D., Communication, University of Texas at Austin, 1991

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Teaching interests: Telecommunications technology and policy, international telecommunications, and management of creativity.
  • Research interests: Telecommunications infrastructure planning and policy, evolution of telecommunications networks, universal service, and the use of metaphors in the design of new technological systems.

Selected Publications: