Tahir Ramzan

Solution Developer | Scholar | Researcher | Innovator

Optimist | Volunteer | Survivor | Entrepreneur

Projects

Google Summer of Code Student 2016 (ModSec)

Implemented Apache HTTPD connector for libModSec (aka ModSec v3), ModSecurity is an open-source web application firewall, a toolkit for real-time web application monitoring, logging, and access control.

Tech Stack

  • C and C++
  • Apache HTTPD

Google Summer of Code Student 2015 (CiviCRM)

Developed refunds and partial payments extension and APIs for CiviCRM, CiviCRM is a constituency relationship management used by many large NGOs including Amnesty International, Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation, CERN and the Wikimedia Foundation for their fundraising.

Tech Stack

  • PHP
  • SQL / MySQL
  • HTML / CSS / JavaScript
  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal

Volunteer

Google CodeIn Mentor 2019 (TensorFlow)

TensorFlow is a free and open-source software library for dataflow and differentiable programming across a range of tasks. It is a symbolic math library and is also used for machine learning applications such as neural networks. It is used for both research and production at Google. Tahir volunteered his time to guide and help students about TensorFlow in Google Code-in 2019. Google Code-in is an international annual programming competition hosted by Google that allows pre-university students to complete tasks specified by various, partnering open source organizations.

Google CodeIn Mentor 2018 (PostgreSQL)

PostgreSQL is a free and open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance. It is designed to handle a range of workloads, from single machines to data warehouses or Web services with many concurrent users. Tahir volunteered his time to guide and help students about PostgreSQL in Google Code-in 2018. Google Code-in is an international annual programming competition hosted by Google that allows pre-university students to complete tasks specified by various, partnering open source organizations.

Education

2020 Virtual University of Pakistan
MSc Economics (Distinction in 18 Credit Hours)
2019 Virtual University of Pakistan
Master of Science in Computer Science
2014 Virtual University of Pakistan
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
2014 Virtual University of Pakistan
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
2008 Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA)
Electronics Certificate
2007 Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA)
Electrician Certificate

Research, Development, Innovation, and Exploration Activities

  • Wi-Tribe Pakistan Developers Challenge Winner 2012
  • Startup Finalist at Pakistan Software Export Board 2012
  • Finalist of Telenor Youth Summit 2013
  • Startup Pitch Finalist of Plan9 Launchpad, Punjab Information Technology Board, 2013
  • Volunteer at Kashmir Flowers Day 2013
  • Attended Google for Entrepreneurs Week 2013
  • Organized GSA event “No Trouble, Know Google” Mirpur University of Science and Technology, 2013
  • Delegate at Pakistan Innovation Forum 2014: The Challenge and Opportunity of Creating an Innovation Nation
  • Finalist of Discover Challenge, National University of Science and Technology, 2014
  • Finalist of Pakistan Software Houses Association Launchpad, 2014
  • Facilitator and Organizer of Android Student Club (Powered by Google), 2015
  • Android Trainer at Aurat (Women) Foundation Workshops, Life Development Foundation, 2015
  • Delegate at Pakistan Cyberspace Conference, 2015
  • Attended third e-Learning and Distance Education Conference: Evolution, Challenges & Solutions, 2016
  • Research work accepted and presented at International Social Sciences Conference, SBK Women University, 2016
  • Delegate at Pakistan Innovation Forum 2016 - Innovators of Tomorrow
  • Delegate at Development Innovation Lab on Ag-Innovation & Food Security, 2016 (Development Innovation Labs are an initiative of the Pakistani Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum)
  • Research work accepted and presented at the National Graduate Conference, Allama Iqbal Open University, 2017
  • Delegate at PRIME National Debt Conference, 2017
  • Presentation in Student Start-Up Business Center, Virtual University of Pakistan, 2017
  • Research work accepted and presented at the fourth e-Learning and Distance Education Conference: Envisioning the Future: Rethinking, Reshaping, Redesigning Education, 2017
  • Research work accepted and presented at International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities: Social Sciences and Humanities in the New Millennium: Challenges and Prospects, 2017
  • Participated in PyCon Pakistan Conference 2017
  • Attended ICT4D Conference 2017
  • Attended the World Islamic Economics & Finance Conference 2018
  • Selected for Startup Lahore, Punjab Information Technology Board, 2018
  • Delegate at Young Leaders, KP Provincial Youth Assembly, 2018
  • Delegate at National Youth Summit Pakistan by Centre for Sustainability Research and Practice, University of Lahore, 2018
  • Presentation in Student Start-Up Business Center, Virtual University of Pakistan, 2018
  • Research work accepted and presented at International Conference on Innovations in Teaching and Learning, Virtual University of Pakistan, 2018
  • Panel Discussant at National Graduate Conference, Allama Iqbal Open University, 2018
  • Speaker at PyCon Pakistan Conference, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, 2018
  • VU Student Week 2018: Regional Winner and National Finalist of Speed Programming and Regional Runner-up and National Finalist of Android App Development Competition
  • Led the Virtual University Team of 05 students and secured the second position in the federal universities pool of the Inter-University Stock Trading Competition 2018 by Jamapunji - An initiative of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
  • Attended National Peace Summit - When #PeaceTalks by Peace Without Borders and Shaoor Foundation for Education & Awareness, 2019
  • Delegate in UNITEx Pakistan, University of Lahore, 2019. UNITEx is a 48-hour national and social hackathon for the SDGs.
  • Speaker at PyCon Pakistan Conference, Habib University, Karachi, 2019
  • Invited Speaker at GSoC Awareness Drive, Fast-National University, Islamabad, 2019
  • Completed Ideas for a Better World: Leading Change Through Policymaking, British Council, 2019
  • Delegate at 6th Participatory Course on Peace and Tolerance, Center for Human Rights Education, Lahore, 2019
  • Facilitated Google Summer of Code Proposal Guidelines Workshop at Fast-National University, Islamabad, 2020
  • Ranked 47th in Google Hash Code 2020
  • Delivered a workshop on “Programming for Kids and Newbies” at Google Live, 2020
  • Delegate at 10th Participatory Course on Democracy and Human Rights, Center for Human Rights Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2020
  • Completed Learn Calculus with GeoGebra by Dr Ashraf Iqbal, 2020
  • Y Combinator Startup School Certified, 2020
  • Delivered a talk on “Introduction to Opensource” at Artificial Intelligence Club, Habib University, Karachi, 2021
  • Research work accepted and presented at Computational Thinking in Schools Conference by CSpathshala Community and ACM India, 2021
  • Presentation of research work at 2nd Doctoral Students' Conference: Tradition, Development & Innovation in Didactics - Early Career Researchers Conference (TDID - ERC 2021) by Doctoral School at Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania and Linz School of Education at Johannes Kepler University, Austria, 2021
  • Presentation of research work at Arts in STEAM Conference by Linz School of Education, Johannes Kepler University, Austria, 2022.
  • Talk on “Open-source and low code/no code (LC/NC)” in FOSSASIA Summit, 2022.

Awareness Campaigns and Activism

  • Tahir promotes opensource education and technologies. He initiated Opensource Literate Pakistan to aware and to educate people regarding potential, possibilities, and opportunities of opensource. He conducted opensource and Google Summer of Code awareness sessions with Azad Chaiwala, Junaid Ansari, Carla Riechman, Saad Hamid, Amineshwar Kaur, Rayanul Kabir, Stateviews.pk, Muhammad Ali Rajper, Muhammad Iqbal Trainer, Radio FM 101 Mirpur, and Scholarship Network Community.
  • Tahir is the petitioner of public interest litigation in Islamabad High Court (Tahir Ramzan versus Federation of Pakistan and others - Writ Petition # 399/2020) against intellectual dishonesty, record tampering, and data manipulation in Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and its projects. Tahir pointed out irregularities, incompetencies, and corrupt practices in the Prime Minister’s Pakistan Citizen Portal and the Virtual University of Pakistan: Writ Petition Link
  • In early 2017, Tahir led an awareness campaign regarding cryptocurrencies and their misuse, which was a scam to fool the public. This campaign prompted the Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner Mirpur Division to release a press advisory statement based upon his campaign. Subsequently, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan did the same. Later that turned out a multi-billion global scam: Article Link
  • Tahir initiated a campaign about “ATM Card Swipe Swindle” in 2016. Where he achieved success in generating awareness concerning this fraud, which affected the majority of ATM card users in restaurants and fast-food outlets, his work included alerting the authorities since the public could be manipulated, and the potential for misuse of ATM cards was high.
  • Tahir also initiated and successfully led a campaign for his university students called “Protest against Discrimination in Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme” in 2014. The outcome of this campaign was that his university received quota in the scheme for its students. Along with his fellows, he has proven how a peaceful protest can be successful through intellectual dialog. This campaign took 18 months of continuous struggle and hard work, which included social media awareness, print media press coverage, and communication with higher authorities and the government.

About Tahir

Coming from a family with an unfortunate financial situation, Tahir has been working since his childhood. He has had many different types of work experiences, including working as an office boy, laborer, electrician, and supporting staff and tutor as well as spending time as a volunteer. He left his kindergarten school after passing level 02 in 1999, going on to work with his father in a college canteen in 2002 as a support-worker. In 2003 he left that college canteen and started another. Where the principal of the college offered him free education; the college classes were 03 years higher than his current educational level. That principal left the college within a year, so Tahir finalized his study after passing level 06. In 2006, he was admitted as a private/non-regular candidate in the examination of level 09 and 10 and passed. After that, he worked in varying capacities in different places as he needed to leave often to make time for his studies and exams. He gained a one-year vocational Electrical Certificate in 2007 and a one-year vocational Electrician Certificate in 2008. He passed levels 11 and 12 in 2009 as a private/non-regular student while working with lawyers as part of their support staff. He then gained admission to an e-learning and distance university, the Virtual University of Pakistan, where he graduated with dual bachelor degrees in BSIT and BSCS. He studied MSCS and worked on his research project “Teaching of Mathematics using IT”; the theme of the project is “Future Technologies in E-learning and Distance Education.” Tahir is a two times Google Summer of Code student. GSOC is a prestigious program for the best student programmers across the world, where participating mentoring organizations select a few top proposals out of thousands. He developed refunds and partial payments extension and APIs for CiviCRM. CiviCRM is a constituency relationship management used by many large NGOs, including Amnesty International, Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation, CERN, and the Wikimedia Foundation for their fundraising. He implemented Apache HTTPD connector for libModSec (aka ModSec v3). ModSecurity is an open-source web application firewall, a toolkit for real-time web application monitoring, logging, and access control. He was Android Students Club Facilitator and Organizer in 2015, where he was required to teach and train club members about mobile application development; Google-funded ASC and they selected just a few proposals to launch and run this community. The use of information communication and mobile technologies for development is his core research interest, particularly the use of ICT for the education of kindergarten children who are not in school as well as within the agricultural sector where farmers are under-privileged and living below the poverty line. He aims to empower them and to provide real meaning and practical use for ICT amongst people where it has had no positive or productive use until now. His focus is on localized and context-aware human-computer interaction as per sociological, psychological, and pedagogical aspects. His future goal is to dedicate himself to teaching and the education of oppressed children, women, and farmers. He believes in creating the two-subject curriculum; literacy (local language, the national language, and foreign language) and mathematics (problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning) because they have less time and resources to get involved in more courses. Their education needs to be blended using technology, e-learning, and distance education. He believes that sustainable development is dependent on education and growing awareness between children, women, and farmers. He loves teaching, training, collaboration, volunteer, research, and development opportunities. He thinks problems are possibilities to make new meaning for the future, and today is the future. He is an advocate of human rights, the economics of education, the industry of knowledge, and open-source paradigm; feel free to ping him if something which lies within.