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Promoting global connectivity

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Tanva Chheda
Chheda stands in front of the Equinor building in Fornebu, Norway, where she interned for a summer during her PhD. (Photo courtesy of Tanvi Chheda)

Tanvi Chheda

PhD '21
Geological Sciences

June 7, 2021

“A substantial part of the world's population has no or little access to the internet,” said Tanvi Chheda, PhD ’21, who also received a minor in management science & engineering. “In my role at Facebook, we’re trying to solve this challenge by investing in infrastructure projects and building innovative solutions that would bring better access to information to remote, rural, and developing regions.”

Following graduation, Chheda will work as a data scientist for the tech giant. “Our goal is to bring the internet to underserved parts of the world because having greater connectivity would enable people to access education, communication, banking, and business,” Chheda said. “It’s additionally exciting for me because I get to work with extremely large datasets, all while thinking about the impact, relevance, and applicability of our work on the ground.”

While at Stanford, Chheda worked on quantifying the uncertainty in our understanding and modeling of the Earth's past. “As a PhD student, I worked to create a decision optimization workflow that considers these uncertainties and incorporates the value of additional evidence to better constrain our understanding and model predictions.”

Chheda’s work at Facebook will involve a switch in content, but many of the skills she picked up at Stanford will remain applicable. “As both a SURGE participant and in the PhD program, I developed a methodological rigor and thoroughness that are very important for my role with Facebook,” she said. “In order to do my job, I have to think about assumptions and interpret results with a careful eye.”