Elizabeth Belding

Professor, UCSB

Jun. 8th, 2018, 11am-12pm, DBH 6011


Expanding Internet Access through Opportunistic Networking


Access to information and communications technologies plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of any community. Are developed nations beyond the digital divide? Recent studies show that less than 15% of Native Americans living on Tribal land in the U.S. have home Internet access. In this talk, we will discuss the digital inequalities that exist in developed countries, particularly focusing on the U.S. and its indigenous population. We will present a detailed analysis of Internet traffic traces from Native American communities that demonstrate important nuances of usage. Based on this understanding, we will present new, non-traditional network access approaches that facilitate Internet participation from users within rural, underserved communities.

Speaker Bio:

Elizabeth M. Belding is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elizabeth’s research focuses on mobile and wireless networking, including network analytics, information and communication technologies for development (ICTD), and computing for social good. She applies her wireless network expertise to a wide range of contexts, and is particularly interested in improving Internet and cellular accessibility and participation in developing, resource-challenged, and marginalized communities worldwide. Her projects have included work in Zambia, South Africa, Mongolia, and refugee camps. Most recently, she has been working with the Native American communities in the US. She is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and was recently named a 2017 N2Women Star in Networking and Communication. She is particularly proud of receiving the UCSB Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2012 and the NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award in 2015 for her mentorship of graduate students.