Hari Balakrishnan

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The Mobile Sensing Revolution

Over the past ten years, personal mobile devices have undergone a sea change. No longer just phones, they now come equipped with a wide assortment of sensors that allow applications to acquire data about the context in which the device is operating. I will describe two very different applications of mobile sensing: designing better wireless network protocols and improving driving safety. These two examples will also show that building mobile sensing systems is complicated and difficult. I will propose abstractions to simplify the task.


Hari Balakrishnan is the Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science and a Director of MIT's Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing (Wireless@MIT). His research is in networked computer systems, with current interests in networking and data management for a world of truly mobile devices. He is an ACM Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, and an ACM dissertation award winner; he has received many best-paper awards, including the IEEE Bennett Prize and the SIGCOMM "Test of Time" award. He is a co-founder of StreamBase Systems and Cambridge Mobile Telematics, advises Meraki Networks (now part of Cisco), and worked at Sandburst Corporation (now part of Broadcom) from its founding days. He received a PhD from UC Berkeley and a B.Tech. from IIT Madras.