History-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University


Recognizing the rising importance of mobility-related technologies, the CyLab Mobility Research Center (MRC) was established at CMU Silicon Valley in 2008 and was chartered to advance the state of the art in mobility technology, its uses, its societal impacts, and to foster entrepreneurial efforts intent on accelerating innovation into the marketplace. It includes the SmartSpaces research initiative (begun in 2004), which transformed itself in 2012 into the SmartCommunities initiative, and the Disaster Management Initiative (DMI). In this section, we examine the history of the MRC, describe current research activities, and propose a strategic direction for the next five years.

Based on the recommendations of the 2006 Presidential Review of CMU Silicon Valley, and recognizing the rapid growth and evolution of mobile computing and communications, the Mobility Research Center (MRC) was established. Early partnerships with Nokia, SAP and CyLab provided seed funding for Martin Griss and two new (at the time) faculty members: Pei Zhang and Joy Zhang.

The MRC sponsored three successful workshops to identify promising focal areas and partners in mobile healthcare, mobile education and disaster management. The overwhelming interest in disaster management, as observed by participation in that workshop, was the impetus to create the Disaster Management Initiative (DMI). Since its inception, the DMI has sponsored a vibrant weekly forum that has brought together thought leaders from around the region, representing government, private, and community interests. Three successful DMI Workshops have been held, showcasing current research and fostering discussions about new initiatives.

Teaching of related topics at CMU Silicon Valley has been influenced significantly, and most recently, a connected embedded teaching track has been designed, proposed and approved. This new track focuses on the architecture, design, and evolution of the software, hardware and systems issues related to Internet of Things wherein mobile technologies play a key role.

In retrospect, the MRC has fulfilled its launch objectives with ten faculty members actively participating, a strong publication record, and a growing base of funding. The premise of the market relevance of mobility research has been more than validated. As the mobile revolution continues, rapidly overshadowing the personal computing era, many challenging areas of research remain. The MRC is well positioned to establish itself as a world-class center for mobility research in the years ahead.