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April 28th, 2016: Dr. Hari Balakrishnan presents "Making Roads Safer by Making Drivers Better", 3:30 PM 120 Clemens Hall

Professor Linda Boyle

Hari Balakrishnan - Professor, MIT


Hari Balakrishnan is the Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science and a Director of MIT's Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing. His research is in networked computer systems, with current interests in networking, data management, and sensing for a world of "truly mobile" devices connected to cloud services running in large datacenters. Based on the CarTel research project, he co-founded Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), a company that develops mobile sensing, inferencing, and data analytics technologies to change driver behavior and make roads safer around the world. He is an alumnus of UC Berkeley (winner of the 1998 ACM doctoral dissertation award) and IIT Madras (1993), which named him a distinguished alumnus in 2013. He was inducted to the National Academy of Engineering in 2015 for his contributions to networks and distributed systems.

Making Roads Safer by Making Drivers Better

The world's roads see over 50 million injuries and 1.25 million fatalities every year; road accidents are the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 to 30. This talk will describe how mobile sensing (centered around a user's smartphone), data analytics, and behavioral science can improve road safety by making people better drivers. I'll discuss several challenges in achieving this goal, as well as learnings from successful deployments in multiple countries. Interesting problems include inferring vehicular dynamics from noisy sensor data; accurate driving; detecting and discouraging distracted driving; designing good incentives for safe-driving; and the design of new sensing platforms to augment smartphone sensors. To try out a safe-driving app, install "EverDrive" on your iOS or Android phone; this app includes a contest to find and reward the safest drivers in MA and NY during April-June 2016.

Sponsored by:  Department of Computer Science and Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series