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Colloquium - Belding

Bridging the Digital Divide: A Case for Wireless Networks
University of California, Santa Barbara
12/8/2009
3:30pm-4:30pm

Access to communication plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of any nation. The past few decades have witnessed revolutionary changes in communication technology and information access has become a key component of many people's lives. While on one hand the Internet revolution has played a pivotal role in the development of economic, social, financial and educational sectors of the industrialized world, it has also created a "digital divide" that separates the affluent and developed nations from the developing and under-developed regions of the world.

The goal of our research is to make significant strides towards overcoming this divide through the development of inexpensive, self-configuring, self-monitoring, and self-sustaining wireless network communication solutions. Due to low literacy rates and an urgent need for basic communication in developing regions, our solutions must support the transmission of real-time voice and video traffic. While we intend for our solutions to be broadly applicable, we focus our attention specifically on rural Africa to leverage our partnerships with the Meraka Institute in South Africa and the LinkNet project in Zambia.

In this talk, we will present some of our recent research on dynamic and adaptive solutions that are designed to bring Internet connectivity to rural, under-developed regions. We will include recent work on real-time multimedia traffic support and wireless network monitoring, including work on the use of white space spectrum for channel access. We will conclude by highlighting other recent and upcoming research by the MOMENT research group.

Elizabeth M. Belding is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elizabeth's research focuses on wireless mobile networking, specifically monitoring and measurement, network adaptability, multimedia, advanced service support, and solutions for developing and underdeveloped regions. She is the founder and director of the Mobility Management and Networking (MOMENT) Laboratory. Elizabeth is the author of over 80 technical papers and has served on over 50 program committees for networking conferences. Elizabeth served as the TPC Co-Chair of ACM MobiCom 2005, IEEE SECON 2005, and ACM MobiHoc 2007, and as the TPC Area Chair of IEEE Infocom 2008. She is also the co-founder of the ACM Wireless Networks and Systems for Developing Regions (WiNS-DR) workshop, and serves on the steering committee of the ACM Workshop on Networked Systems for Developing Regions (NSDR). She has served on the editorial board for the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing journal. Elizabeth is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, and a 2002 MIT Technology Review 100 award, awarded to the world's top young investigators.

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