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. He has made many contributions to mobile and sensor computing, Internet transport and routing, overlay networks and P2P systems, and data management. His previous work includes the the CarTel mobile sensing system, the RON overlay network, the Chord distributed hash table, the Internet congestion manager, several congestion control methods, low-latency datacenter networks, verifiable Internet routing, and wireless TCP.
In 2010, based on the CarTel project, Balakrishnan co-founded Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a company that uses mobile sensing, statistical methods, AI, and behavioral science to make roads safer by making drivers better. Over the past few years, CMT has become the world's largest and leading smartphone-centric telematics and analytics service provider, serving millions of users in over 25 countries via partnerships with insurers, cellular carriers, rideshare companies, and automobile makers. He 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).
Balakrishnan 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 IEEE Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2021), 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). He has also been honored for excellence in research and teaching at MIT: the Harold E. Edgerton faculty achievement award (2003), the HKN best instructor award (2018), the Jamieson award (2012), the Junior Bose teaching award (2002), and the Spira teaching award (2001).
He received his PhD in 1998 from UC Berkeley and a BTech in 1993 from IIT Madras, which named him a distinguished alumnus in 2013.