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From Small Sensors to Big Data: How the Sensor Web is Changing our World

Prof. Barry Smyth, Digital Professor of Computer Science, University College Dublin

Thursday 05 December 2013, 1145-1300
Lecture Theatre 3, Management School Building

School of Computing and Communications Seminar

Doors open at 11.45am; Talk starts at Noon Sharp

Refreshments available after the talk.

In our increasingly digitized world almost everything we do creates a record that is stored somewhere, whether we are purchasing a book, calling a friend, ordering a meal, or renting a movie. And in the world of the sensor web this no longer limited to our online activities: exercising in the park, shopping for groceries, falling asleep, or even having a shower, are just some of our everyday activities that are likely to generate data.

The world of the sensor web is all about understanding how we can (and whether we should) use this information to enable better decisions. Better decisions for where we might live or where to send our kids to school. Better decisions about the food we eat and the exercise we should take. Better decisions by our governments and policy makers when it comes to managing education, energy, infrastructure, and healthcare. And better decisions for business and enterprise when it comes to understanding customer needs and demands.

In this discourse we will discuss the origins of the sensor web and the attendant big data revolution. We will explore how these ideas suggest new ways of thinking about some of modern society's toughest challenges and how the resulting technologies will impact on our everyday lives in the future.

Prof. Barry Smyth

Barry holds the DIGITAL Chair of Computer Science at University College Dublin and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He is the CEO of INSIGHT, a new £70m research centre funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry, where he leads a growing group of more than 200 researchers in the area of Big Data Analytics. Barry's own research interests include information discovery, personalisation and recommender systems. He has published more than 400 scientific papers and co-founded two companies (ChangingWorlds and HeyStaks) to commercialise technologies arising from his research; in 2008 ChangingWorlds was acquired by Amdocs for $60m.