BuildSys Keynote

Intelligent Environments that Support Well-being, Creativity, and Inclusion
Dr. Burçin Becerik-Gerber, University of Southern California


Advances in data science and artificial intelligence are transforming our society, allowing the formation of intelligent built environments while providing unprecedented opportunities for built environments that can support well-being, inclusion and improve work performance. While energy efficient built environments have gained tremendous attention from both academia and research, the pandemic made us realize the impact of built environments on health, well-being, inclusion, productivity and human experience, in general. Well-being is strongly dependent on the links between the built environment and the personal, cultural, and social factors that drive health, productivity, and comfort. There is a need for facilitating new forms of collaborations by integrating disciplines and networks in the building, computation and health domains and to produce innovative human-centric building design and operation strategies that will benefit the larger community of scholars and practitioners. This talk will focus on CENTIENTS’ (Center for Intelligent Environments) recent work on intelligent work environments that improve worker productivity while supporting worker health and well-being. We will cover a range of topics on the changing world of work including smart offices and intelligent buildings that sense user data, model user behavior, reason and interact with their users through the applications of AI and human-machine collaborations. The topics in this talk will cover work from home, smart office workstations that sense diverse preferences of workers, control office environmental conditions for promoting work performance and creativity, and automate ergonomic assessments, and detect worker’s stress and provide solutions for stress reduction and recovery for supporting worker health and well-being.

Biography of Dr. Becerik-Gerber

Dr. Becerik-Gerber is the Chair and Dean’s Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. She also serves as the co-director of the Center for Intelligent Environments (CENTIENTS) at USC. Her research focuses on interactions between the built environment and its users and aims to understand and predict how and why humans interact with their built environment. She then uses this information to develop novel technologies, interfaces, tools to improve human experience, well-being and performance as well as to achieve societal objectives, such as energy efficiency, safety, security, health. In her work, Burçin uses machine learning and data science to improve design, construction and system intelligence of user-centered built environments.
Burçin joined USC Viterbi School of Engineering as an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2008. Since then, her work has received support worth over $10m individual and collaborative grants from a variety of agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, California Energy Commission, and various corporate sponsors. She has authored/co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications, one book and two book chapters. She serves as an Associate Editor for ASCE’s Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering since 2011 and as an Editorial Board Member for Nature’s Scientific Reports since 2021.
In 2012, MIT’s Technology Review named her one of the world’s top young innovators under the age of 35. She was selected to take part in the NAE’s Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2011 and Frontiers in Engineering Symposium in 2013 for her innovative research and educational approaches in civil engineering. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2014), Viterbi Junior Research Award (2016), FIATECH CETI (Celebration of Engineering & Technology) Outstanding Researcher Award (2018), and Outstanding Engineering Merit Award from the Orange County Engineering Council (2020). In 2018, she was awarded a Rutherford Visiting Fellowship at the Alan Turing Institute, the U.K.’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. She is inducted to the National Academy of Construction (NAC) in 2020.
In addition, she received mentoring and leadership recognitions such as the Mellon Mentoring Award (2017) and an Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) Fellowship (2021) which speak to her commitment to education and service. In 2022, she received an Emmy Award as a co-producer of the documentary, “Lives, Not Grades,” which told the story of a novel course, she co-designed and co-taught, that focused on engineering innovation for global challenges.

SenSys/BuildSys Joint Keynote

Once and Future Sensor Net Systems
Dr. David E. Culler , Google, UC Berkeley (emeritus)


Twenty years ago Sensys was created around an ambitious research agenda centered on the emergence of a new computer class - embedded in the physical world, equipped with a rich array of application-specific sensors (rather than a human user interface), interconnected by a self-organized low-power wireless network, operating unattended over long periods, capable of local processing, and forming a pervasive mycelium of intelligence. This revolution was seen as so foundational that even the Internet Architecture had to be set aside to meet its austere operational constraints, along with most of the conventional computing stack. Inexpensive MEMS sensors blossomed; motes were invented, seeding open-source hardware; TinyOS’ event-driven application-specific runtime became the norm, enabling a host of low-power MACs and routing protocols. IEEE 802.15.4 gave us a radio tailored for this setting; IETF standardized RPL as Zigbee faded. Smart meters, RFID tags, wearables, and IoT emerged. The visions of environmental monitoring, structural health monitoring, smart logistics, pervasive health monitoring, elder-support, energy efficient built environment, and more seemed to be on the verge. Meanwhile, the smartphone became the dominant computing platform with all the important processing pushed to the cloud. Bluetooth remained a wireless USB replacement, and WiFi marched along. The Unix stack moved to Arduino, thermostats and doorbells. We will explore tales of the journey past, take stock of where we have come, alternate roads that might have been traveled, and try to look ahead.

Biography Dr. Culler

Prof. David Culler received his B.A. from UC Berkeley in 1980, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from MIT in 1985 and 1989, respectively. He joined the EECS faculty in 1989 and is the founding Director of Intel Research, UC Berkeley and was Associate Chair of the EECS Department, 2010-2012 and Chair from 2012 through June 30, 2014. He won the Okawa Prize in 2013. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Fellow, and an IEEE Fellow. He has been named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Researchers and the creator of one of MIT's Technology Review's 10 Technologies that Will Change the World. He was awarded the NSF Presidential Young Investigator and the Presidential Faculty Fellowship. His research addresses networks of small, embedded wireless devices, planetary-scale internet services, parallel computer architecture, parallel programming languages, and high performance communication. It includes TinyOS, Berkeley Motes, PlanetLab, Networks of Workstations (NOW), Internet services, Active Messages, Split-C, and the Threaded Abstract Machine (TAM).