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Jane Goodall on Gaetano Borriello

Gaetano_FP-copyToday we received a remarkable testimonial to Gaetano Borriello’s impact from Jane Goodall:

“It was with great sadness that we learned of Professor Borriello’s passing. Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss.

“The Institute was first introduced to Prof. Borriello and his students in 2009. Since then, the use of Open Data Kit (ODK) has transformed our approach to conservation in Africa and enabled us to greatly advance our mission of creating a world where people, animals and the environment can live in harmony.

“With ODK we have been able to empower and give voice to hundreds of village forest monitors and protected area rangers in Tanzania, Uganda, Congo and Eastern DRC so they can help conserve their forests and ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations. More recently, Prof. Borriello and his students were instrumental in helping the Institute improve our process of collecting data in our long-term chimpanzee behavior research in Gombe, Tanzania, where I started my work in 1960.

“My colleagues who met and worked with Prof. Borriello recall his kindness, thoughtfulness and desire to be of service, as well as his humble nature and the unassuming way in which he was developing the next generation of computer scientists and engineers so they too can use their knowledge to improve the lives of others. What a great loss indeed he is to our world.”

Read the full letter here.

You might also enjoy the closing keynote that Gaetano gave at UbiComp 2014. He began by saying his remarks would not be technical but a story, a timeline about one project, ODK (Open Data Kit). If you want to know what Gaetano and some of his work was all about, this is the speech to listen to. It’s funny and fascinating. All of us are immensely proud of the reach that the work of Gaetano and his students is having around the world.

Watch the speech here.