Uttra Gautam and Selena Lucien receive a grant from the Alex Trebek Innovation and Challenge Fund

Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that two of its students, Uttra Gautam and Selena Lucien, were awarded a $6,000 grant from the Alex Trebek Innovation and Challenge Fund to develop an interactive pre-purchase wireless contract tool.

The Alex Trebek fund, created by uOttawa alumnus Alex Trebek and administered by the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement, seeks to identify, develop and provide promising solution on social and development issues in Canada and around the world. The fund finances innovative projects whose aim is to affect positive social change and promote the improvement in all sectors that influence the capacity of people to live healthy and productive lives.

Selena Lucien and Uttra Gautam are outstanding uOttawa law students who epitomize excellence in community engagement and social justice through their community and volunteer work, professional leadership, and legal innovation. They are passionate about equality and ensuring that Canadians and, in particular, vulnerable populations, have meaningful access to law.

Wireless devices, which have become ubiquitous in the daily lives of Canadians, are a social communication tool, as well as an important access point for education, content creation, and citizen engagement. Given the legal, regulatory, and market environment, most wireless consumers do not know their rights and how to navigate the complex marketplace. This often leads to restrictive use patterns and service interruptions, which directly impact consumers’ access to wireless devices and their ability to fully participate as members of society.

Uttra Gautam and Selena Lucien’s project will produce a prototype of two tools—an interactive and intelligent pre-purchase checklist and a contract analysis module, which will provide a systematic method for wireless consumers to review the terms of contract and the Wireless Code before they enter into negotiations with the wireless service providers. The tools will assist wireless consumers to make informed choices and will build digital and legal literacy.

Their project builds upon the research work by Professors Mary Cavanagh and Marina Pavlovic on the information needs of wireless consumers, as well as Uttra Gautam and Selena Lucien work in Professor Pavlovic’s Legal Engineering course and their January-term directed research project.

The Centre is committed to support such innovative student-run projects and is delighted to provide a contribution of $3,000 in support of this project. Selena Lucien and Uttra Gautam will work closely with Professors Cavanagh, Pavlovic, and Martin-Bariteau on the development of the tools, as well as several community partners.

 

Congratulations to our students!

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