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Deborah Estrin

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Deborah Estrin
Deborah Lynn Estrin

(1959-12-06) December 6, 1959 (age 64)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS, PhD)
Known formobile health, small data, networked sensing
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsCornell Tech
Doctoral advisorJerome H. Saltzer
Doctoral studentsChalermek Intanagonwiwat, Gene Tsudik, Jeremy Elson

Deborah Estrin (born December 6, 1959) is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech. She is co-founder of the non-profit Open mHealth and gave a TEDMED talk on small data in 2013.[1]

Estrin is known for her work on sensor networks, participatory sensing, mobile health, and small data. She is one of the most-referenced computer scientists of all time, with her work cited over 128,000 times according to Google Scholar.[2]

In 2009, Estrin was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for the pioneering design and application of heterogeneous wireless sensing systems for environmental monitoring.


Estrin entered the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, majoring in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). After graduating from Berkeley with a BS degree in 1980, she moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received her PhD (1985) in EECS under the supervision of Jerry Saltzer.[3] She has also received honorary degrees recognizing her work: a degree honoris causa from EPFL in 2008,[4] and an honorary doctorate degree from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2011.[5]

Estrin was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California between 1986 and 2001, and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) between 2001 and 2013, where she was the founding director of the NSF-funded Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS). In 2012, Cornell Tech announced Estrin as the first academic hire to the high-tech campus in New York City.[6] At Cornell Tech, Estrin is the Robert V. Tishman '37 Professor of Computer Science.[7] She is also the founder of the Health Tech hub and director of the Small Data Lab,[8] and a member of the Connected Experiences Lab.[9]

Estrin's research has focused on using mobile devices and sensors to collect and analyze data, with applications to health and well-being.[3] Her non-profit startup, Open mHealth, created open data sharing standards and tools that allow developers of health applications to store, process, and visualize data.[10] Her research also explores immersive recommendation systems and the privacy implications of user modeling and data use.[3]

Estrin has received numerous academic and popular recognitions for her research. She was named one of Popular Science's "Brilliant 10" in 2003.[11] In 2007, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2009 was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. She is a fellow of the ACM and the IEEE[12] for innovations in scalable network protocols and sensor network research.[13] In 2018 she was elected as a McArthur Fellow for "Designing open-source platforms that leverage mobile devices and data to address socio-technological challenges such as personal health management".

She is the daughter of the late Gerald Estrin, also a UCLA Computer Science professor, and of the late Thelma Estrin, a pioneering engineer and computer scientist also at UCLA. She is the sister of Judy Estrin, and a wife to Ache Stokelman.


Estrin is featured in the Notable Women in Computing cards.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Deborah Estrin". TEDMED. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  2. ^ "Deborah Estrin - Google Scholar Citations". scholar.google.com. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  3. ^ a b c "Deborah Estrin". destrin.smalldata.io. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  4. ^ "Direction - EPFL". direction.epfl.ch. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  5. ^ Networks, Uppsala Center for Wireless Sensor (6 September 2006). "WISENET". www.wisenet.uu.se.
  6. ^ "Deborah Estrin is first NYC tech campus faculty member - Cornell Chronicle". www.news.cornell.edu.
  7. ^ "Cornell Tech - Deborah Estrin". Cornell Tech. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  8. ^ "small data lab". smalldata.io. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  9. ^ "Connected Experiences Lab". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  10. ^ "Digital Health Records". Open mHealth. Archived from the original on 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  11. ^ "PopSci's 2nd Annual Brilliant 10". popsci.com. 18 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Deborah Estrin". Cornell Tech.
  13. ^ "IEEE Fellows 2004 | IEEE Communications Society".
  14. ^ Fuller, Brian (18 October 2005). "Perlman, Samuelson, Tsao, honored for innovations". EETimes. UBM Electronics. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Deborah Estrin - MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  16. ^ "Notable Women in Computing".

External links[edit]