Advisory Board

Paul Dourish is a Professor of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Anthropology, and co-directs the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing. His research focuses primarily on understanding information technology as a site of social and cultural production; his work combines topics in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and science and technology studies. He has published over 100 scholarly articles, and was elected to the CHI Academy in 2008 in recognition of his contributions to Human-Computer Interaction. He is the author of two books: "Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction" (MIT Press, 2001), which explores how phenomenological accounts of action can provide an alternative to traditional cognitive analysis for understanding the embodied experience of interactive and computational systems; and, with Genevieve Bell, "Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing" (MIT Press, 2011), which examines the social and cultural aspects of the ubiquitous computing research program.

Before coming to UCI, he was a Senior Member of Research Staff in the Computer Science Laboratory of Xerox PARC; he has also held research positions at Apple Computer and at Rank Xerox EuroPARC. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University College, London, and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh.

Alex 'Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives, and is a founding member of the Advisory Boards for Nissan, Motorola Mobility, and a variety of start-up firms. He has previously helped create and direct MIT’s Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital’s Center for Future Health.

In 2012 Forbes named Sandy one of the `seven most powerful data scientists in the world’, along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States, and in 2013 he won the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review. He is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, mobile computing, image understanding, and modern biometrics. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels. His most recent book is `Honest Signals,' published by MIT Press.

Over the years Sandy has advised more than 50 PhD students. Almost half are now tenured faculty at leading institutions, with another one-quarter leading industry research groups and a final quarter founders of their own companies.

Sandy's research group and entrepreneurship program have spun off more than 30 companies to date, three of which are publicly listed and several that serve millions of poor in Africa and South Asia. Recent spin-offs have been featured in publications such as the Economist and the New York Times, as well as winning a variety of prizes from international development organizations.

Interesting experiences include winning the DARPA 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge, dining with British Royalty and the President of India, staging fashion shows in Paris, Tokyo, and New York, and developing a method for counting beavers from space.

Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and the inaugural director of the IBM Research - Africa lab, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The IBM Research - Africa lab has been established in August 2012. Researchers at the lab address key challenges of the African continent through commercially viable innovation that impact people's lives. The lab is focused on technologies around smarter cities, next generation public services, human capability development and financial inclusion. Since joining IBM in 1999 Kamal has been working on innovations in the services industry, the largest segment of the IT industry. He has held various technical and management leadership position with a focus on business transformation and IBM's global outsourcing business. With the appointment as Director of IBM Research - Africa, he will now have worked for IBM in Europe, the US, Asia and Africa. In his previous role Kamal was the Senior Manager at IBM Research- India, Bangalore working on Cloud Computing, especially application migration to the Cloud, IT services delivery in the context of IT outsourcing and social computing in the enterprise. Prior to joining IBM Research - India, Kamal lead a team at IBM Watson Research, NY, US, exploring new ideas in the area of IT Optimization with a focus on data center consolidation and application migration. He started his career at IBM Research working on model-driven business transformation. Dr. Bhattacharya has received three IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award and several IBM Research Division awards for his work. Furthermore, he has received multiple best paper awards at international conferences for his contributions in the area of business process management, IT service management and social computing. Kamal is an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Kamal started his career at IBM as an IT architect at IBM Global Services in Germany. He graduated with a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Goettingen University, Germany, in 1999.