Josh Blumenstock receives Intel Early Career Faculty Honor

Assistant Professor Joshua Blumenstock was one of nine faculty chosen from select schools in the US, European Union, China and Taiwan to receive Intel Lab’s 2013 Early Career Faculty Honor (ECFH). His research centers on understanding the social and economic impacts of technology.

The ECFH was created to help Intel connect with the best and brightest early career faculty members at top universities around the world. Intel Labs looks for faculty nominees who have less than five years of academic experience and who focus their research in areas of interest to Intel. The selection is highly competitive and rigorous.

“It’s an honor to receive this recognition,” states Blumenstock. “It’s particularly exciting because the focus of my research -- to understand the role of technology in people’s lives by exploiting large-scale behavioral datasets -- is an area that people don’t traditionally associate with Intel.

“At the same time, it does represent an exciting new direction for interaction and experience research. For while my work is rather technical and often based on formal mathematical models, the questions I seek to answer are fundamentally about human interaction and social behavior. I am interested in the interaction between people and technology, and believe that novel sources of data can provide a phenomenal opportunity to understand this interface.”

Blumenstock, who joined the UW Information School in January 2013, has conducted research in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, Rwanda, and Estonia using big data sets generated by mobile phones, social media, and sensors, to shed light on the processes of social and economic interaction, particularly in places where reliable data has historically been very hard to find.

“The people in the places where I work face real social and economic hardship. New forms of technology, and the data produced by such technology, can lead to insights and policy that can have a lasting, positive impact,” notes Blumenstock.

Blumenstock will receive a $40,000 cash gift to be used in support of his academic research and is paired with an Intel peer collaborator to build closer relationships with Intel researchers.