Hari Balakrishnan is the Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science at MIT 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, sensing, and perception for sensor-equipped mobile devices connected to cloud or edge services running in datacenters. In 2010, based on the CarTel project, Balakrishnan co-founded Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT). CMT's mission is to make the world's roads and drivers safer. Using mobile sensing and IoT, signal processing, machine learning, and behavioral science, CMT's platform measures driving behavior to improve driving behavior and reduce risk, provides crash alerts and roadside assistance, and creates a smooth connected claims process. Today, CMT is the world's leading telematics and analytics provider, serving millions of users worldwide by partnering with insurers (including powering telematics programs at 21 of the top 25 US insurers), rideshares, auto manufacturers, and mobile network operators.
Balakrishnan received his PhD in 1998 from the EECS Department at UC Berkeley, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2021, and a BTech in Computer Science in 1993 from IIT Madras, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2013. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2015 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017. His honors include the ACM SIGCOMM Award recognizing lifetime contributions to "mobile and wireless systems, resilient networks, and congestion control" (2021), the IEEE Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2021), the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the New England region (2021), the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science (2020), Fellow of the ACM (2008), Fellow of the IEEE (2020), Sloan Fellow (2002), and the ACM dissertation award (1998). He has received six "test of time" awards for papers with long-term impact from ACM SIGCOMM (2011), SIGOPS hall-of-fame (2015), SIGMOD (2017), and SIGMOBILE (2017, 2018), and SenSys (2019), and has won several best-paper awards including the IEEE Bennett paper prize (2004). At MIT, his honors include the Harold E. Edgerton faculty achievement award for research, teaching, and service (2003), the HKN best instructor award (2018), the Jamieson teaching award (2012), the Junior Bose teaching award (2002), and the Spira teaching award (2001). He has advised 25 PhD students and 10 postdocs who have made their mark in research and industry at leading universities and companies.
Balakrishnan was an advisor to Meraki from its inception in 2006 to its acquisition by Cisco in 2012. In 2003, Balakrishnan co-founded StreamBase Systems (acquired by TIBCO), the first high-performance commercial stream processing (aka complex event processing) engine. Between 2000 and 2003, he helped devise the key network QoS algorithms for Sandburst (acquired by Broadcom). He is currently an advisor to a dozen startup companies.
The Systems CoR is focused on building and investigating large-scale software systems that power modern computers, phones, data centers, and networks, including operating systems, the Internet, wireless networks, databases, and other software infrastructure.
A webpage today is often the sum of many different components. A user’s home page on a social-networking site, for instance, might display the latest posts from the users’ friends; the associated images, links, and comments; notifications of pending messages and comments on the user’s own posts; a list of events; a list of topics currently driving online discussions; a list of games, some of which are flagged to indicate that it’s the user’s turn; and of course the all-important ads, which the site depends on for revenues.