MacArthur Fellow Shwetak Patel


The new MacArthur Fellows list is out and, as usual, they are an interesting bunch. One person that I thought was worth pointing out is Shwetak Patel. I had the privilege of meeting Shwetak at a National Research Council meeting on sustainability and computer science. Basically, he’s working on devices that you can install in your home to monitor your resource usage. He’s already spun-off a startup company to make/sell some of these devices. 

In the writeup for the award, they mention

When coupled with a machine learning algorithm that analyzes patterns of activity and the signature noise produced by each appliance, the sensors enable users to measure and disaggregate their energy and water consumption and to detect inefficiencies more effectively.

Now that’s statistics at work!