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First Visiting Scholar to Halıcıoğlu Institute Brings Expertise in Sensors and Data Privacy

professor Mani Srivastava headshotSAN DIEGO, Oct. 8, 2018 – Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute brings a leading expert in embedded and mobile sensing, cyber-physical systems (CPS) like self-driving vehicles, and the Internet of Things (IoT) as its first Visiting Scholar to UC San Diego.

UC Los Angeles professor Mani Srivastava is now serving as the first faculty member in the new program, through Fall 2018. Srivastava is among the most highly cited researchers in computing, and will be operating from the Institute in the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The Visiting Scholar program provides an on-campus resource in the Institute, designed to bring expanded resources across the student, academic and industry communities.

“This role gives me a chance to cross boundaries and interact with people on a direct level, and give a different perspective to my work, and to the work of others,” said Srivastava. He is currently on sabbatical from UCLA, where he serves on the faculty in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, with a joint appointment in the Computer Science Department.

Halıcıoğlu Institute co-founder and director Rajesh Gupta welcomed Srivastava, lauding his renowned work in developing wireless computing, and his current work in addressing the variety of challenges in CPS and IoT remote-sensing systems.

Dr. Srivastava is a leading authority in distributed sensing and data science, and we look forward to his role helping us fulfill our mission by bringing relevant resources to campus and the wider community,” said Gupta, a UC San Diego distinguished professor and Qualcomm Endowed Chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Gupta said that as Visiting Scholar, Srivastava will help ramp up campus activities on sensor data, IOT device security and digital privacy issues, coordinated by Halicioğlu Institute. IoT or Internet of Things indicates devices such as “smart” technologies like digitally networked thermostats, household appliances, and wearable health monitors such as FitBits and Apple Watches. 

The subject will be explored in one of the upcoming series of “mini-symposiums” being planned by the Institute over the 2018-19 academic year. The half-day symposium-style program led by Srivastava, "Learning and Leaning on the IoT Edge Devices: Privacy and Policy,” is planned for Nov. 29-30.

His current research includes how to make systems secure and privacy friendly, energy efficient, aware of their location and context, and dynamics in the network and in the operating environment. He works on enabling devices to process data intelligently and take actions autonomously.

He has particular focus on privacy issues rising from the vast amounts of sensor data streaming from the expanding universe of common devices equipped with a wide array of sensors, in what Srivastava calls “unintended information leakage.”

With his research into sensor data the issues he explores go beyond just the technical ability to collect and process the data, but also how to handle it. “You look at these sensors on your cell phone, in your home, your office, out in the world, they look innocuous, they’re in the woodwork and you barely notice them. But they provide a real time biography of your private moments,” said Srivastava.

Srivastava is a pioneer of wireless networking, and mobile and computing technologies. He started his career as a member of the technical staff at Bell Lab’s research division in the 1990s where his group built one of the first wireless multimedia systems. Subsequently, after joining UCLA he conducted research that helped create many of the foundational technologies behind wireless sensor networks and smartphone-based sensing that later enabled CPS and IoT.

He has earned renown as a researcher, with citations in excess of 52,000 and an H-Index of 98, a metric of scholarly or scientific citation. He has published more than 300 scholarly papers, many recognized with awards, on topics in embedded systems, low- power systems, sensor networks mobile computing, and cyber-physical. He is a Fellow of both the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). His research has been funded by many government agencies and companies including: the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and for technology giants such as Cisco, Intel and Nokia.

From his teaching experience, he talks with pride of the accomplishments of many former students who have gone on to become leaders in the engineering and computer science fields, working at top companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft, and as faculty at major research institutions including Purdue, UC San Diego, University of Maryland and Yale. He shows his genial regard for students on his UCLA Lab website, noting that one of his top three goals is to: “Have fun working with the great students in my research group.” Another top goal he jokes about is his ambition, which he identifies complete with an emoji punctuation: “To develop some cool idea, create a successful company, get rich, and retire :-).”

During his term as Visiting Scholar, he also looks forward to being so close to the beach and exploring the region. At the same time, he looks forward to forging new connections with his research through the program and opportunities proximity brings.

“There is so much to explore in all that comes with sensor data and the immense amount of information being collected. Data science is focused on making sense of it, closing the loop on it,” he said. “The question is: What will we do with it?”


About the HDSI Visiting Scholar Program: Nominations are open all year for recommendations to the interdisciplinary program. Decisions will be made quarterly.

Contact:

Faye Chou Kurpanek, HDSI Chief Administrative Officer/MSO
858-534-5213 | 858.361.8160 (cell) | flchou@ucsd.edu

Lisa Petrillo, HDSI Media/Communications
858-246-2491 | 858-382-1252 (cell) | lpetrillo@ucsd.edu