Program Keynote Speakers

Ubicomp/ISWC 2018 Keynotes

Oct 9th, 2018 - Modeling and Planning Urban Systems with Novel Data Sources


Urban mobility models are important in a wide range of application areas. Current mainstream models require socio-demographic information from costly manual surveys, which are in small sample sizes and updated in low frequency. In this study, we propose a novel individual mobility modeling framework, TimeGeo, that extracts all required features from ubiquitous, passive, and sparse digital traces in the information age. Combining demographic data, road network information and billions of mobile phone records, we infer travel demand profiles and estimate travel times across five different cities. We demonstrate that the percentage of time lost in congestion is a function of the proportion of vehicular travel demand to road infrastructure capacity, and is closely tied to spatial density and selfish choices of drivers. In this context we explore the feasibility of smart routing applications during mega events.

  1. Photo of Marta Gonzalez
    Marta Gonzalez

    Marta C. Gonzalez is Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Physics Research faculty in the Energy Technology Area (ETA) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). With the support of several companies, cities and foundations, her research team develops computer models to analyze digital traces of information mediated by devices. They process this information to manage the demand in urban infrastructures in relation to energy and mobility. Her recent research uses billions of mobile phone records to understand the appearance of traffic jams and the integration of electric vehicles into the grid, smart meter data records to compare the policy of solar energy adoption and card transactions/credit to identify habits in spending behavior. Prior to joining Berkeley, Marta worked as an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, a member of the Operations Research Center and the Center for Advanced Urbanism. She is a member of the scientific council of technology companies such as Gran Data, PTV and the Pecan Street Project consortium.

Oct 11th, 2018 - Iniquitous Computing?


Today, the number of mobile phone accounts in the world exceeds the total human population, and even in remote, impoverished communities, smartphones are increasingly common. By one measure of ubiquity, then, ubiquitous computing has already arrived. Yet, current events -- bias in big data, fake news on social media, global computing systems held up by ransomware -- cast doubt on the value of pervasive, interconnected, technology infrastructure.

In this talk, I discuss lessons I learned through attempts to apply digital technology to problems in the world's impoverished communities. They lead to a simple, technological "Law of Amplification" that explains much about society's relationship with technology. The principle highlights the underlying issue facing the technology industry as a whole, and its corollaries point to future challenges for the ubicomp community, in our capacity both as technical researchers and as global citizens.

  1. Photo of Kentaro Toyama
    Kentaro Toyama

    Kentaro Toyama is W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. He is the author of GeekHeresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. From 2005-2009, Toyama was co-founder and assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India. There, he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group, which conducts interdisciplinary research to understand how the world’s poorest communities interact with electronic technology and to invent new ways for technology to support their socio-economic development. Prior to his time in India, Toyama did research in artificial intelligence, computer vision, and human-computer interaction at Microsoft and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Ghana. Toyama graduated from Yale with a PhD in computer science and from Harvard with a bachelors degree in physics.