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News of Interest

SIGMOBILE: Distinguished Lecture with Ashutosh Sabharwal

Title: Measuring Human Behavior to Improve Health

Date: August 31, 2023; 10 – 11 AM ET

Registration Link:


It is well-appreciated that our behaviors significantly impact our health. Many healthcare outcomes could significantly benefit if we could measure individual behaviors’ impact on their health and use this quantitative understanding to guide future behavioral decisions. Behaviors can range from simple to quantify (e.g., physical activity) to vaguely defined and hence very challenging to quantify (e.g., socialization behaviors). In this talk, we share examples from our research over the last ~15 years on measuring behaviors in different clinical contexts. Our work has delved into a large spectrum of research projects: (i) quantifying inhaler use to improve pulmonary outcomes, (il) robust non-contact methods to measure physiological signals from cameras, (iii) measuring screen use to measure impact on pediatric health, (iv) health behaviors in diabetes and (v) sociability behaviors that impact mental health. We will share some general principles and highlight open challenges in measuring behavior and understanding its impact on health.


Ashu works in two research areas – wireless networks and digital health. In digital health, his research focuses on enabling new science and clinical translation to understand behavior-biology pathways. He has established the Rice Digital Health initiative. He is the lead of the NSF Expeditions in Computing project “see below the skin” ( and co-Pl on NSF Engineering Research Center, PATHS-UP ( In wireless, his research interests are wireless theory, design, and large-scale deployed testbeds. He was one of the inventors of in-band full-duplex communications, a technology now used in communication standards. He founded the WARP project (, an open-source project used by 150+ research groups worldwide. He is currently leading several NSF-funded center-scale projects, notably Rice RENEW (, to develop an open-source software-defined massive MIMO wireless network platform.

His work has led to multiple startups and products. He is a recipient of the 2017 IEEE Jack Neubauer Memorial Award, the 2018 IEEE Advances in Communications Award, the 2019 & 2021 ACM Test-of-time Awards, and the 2019 ACM MobiCom Community Contribution Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE, ACM, and the National Academy of Inventors.