photo of Deborah L. Estrin

Deborah L. Estrin

Computer Science
Cornell Tech, 2 West Loop Rd., New York, NY 10044


Deborah Estrin is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech in New York City where she founded the Jacobs Institute's Health Tech Hub. She holds The Robert V. Tishman Founder's Chair and serves as the Associate Dean for Impact. Her research interests are at the intersection of patient-centric health applications, personalization, and privacy (TEDMED). Estrin co-founded the non-profit startup, Open mHealth and has served on several scientific advisory boards for early stage mobile health startups. 

Before joining Cornell University Estrin was the Founding Director of the NSF Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA; pioneering the development of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real time data about the physical world.

Research Interests

Estrin's primary field of work is mobile systems and applications, including: mobile health, personal informatics, and privacy. She works closely with clinical researchers to develop novel techniques for chronic disease management using smartphone data capture and analytics. Earlier in her career, Estrin contributed to the design of Internet protocols, and later to embedded networked sensing systems, with emphasis on environmental monitoring applications. Since 2006, she has focused on mobile forms of sensing, particularly leveraging the location, activity, image, and user-contributed data streams being made available from mobile phones and Internet of Things devices more generally.

Teaching Interests

Estrin's teaching interests include: Health Tech, Internet Protocols, Mobile Systems, and Personal Informatics

Selected Publications

  • BAGDASARYAN, E., BERLSTEIN, G., WATERMAN, J., BIRRELL, E., FOSTER, N., SCHNEIDER, F. B., ESTRIN, D. Ancile: Enhancing Privacy for Ubiquitous Computing with Use-Based Privacy. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (pp. 111-124). ACM. November 2019. 
  • DODGE, H., H., & ESTRIN, D. Making sense of aging with data big and small. The Bridge, 49(1), pp.39-46., March 2019. 
  • WEN, H., YANG, L., SOBOLEV, M., ESTRIN, D. Exploring Recommendations Under User-Controlled Data Filtering. In Twelfth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys'18), October 2018. 
  • SELTER, A., TSANGOURI, C., ALI, S., FREED, D., VATCHINSKY, A., KIZER, J., SAHUGUET, A., VOJTA, D., VAD, V., POLLAK, J., ESTRIN, D. An mHealth App for Self-Management of Chronic Lower Back Pain (Limbr): Pilot Study JMIR Mhealth Uhealth September 2018.
  • YANG, L., HSIEH, C., YANG, H., POLLAK, JP, DELL, N., Belongie, S., COLE, C., ESTRIN, D., Yum-me: A Personalized Nutrient-based Meal Recommender System. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), July 2017.
  • AUNG, M. S. H., ALQUADDOOMI, F., HSIEH, A., RABBI, M., YANG, L., POLLAK, J.P., ESTRIN, D. and CHOUDHURY, T. 2016, to appear. Leveraging Multi-Modal Sensing for Mobile Health: a Case Review in Chronic Pain. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing.
  • ESTRIN, D. AND SIM, I. 2010. Open mHealth Architecture: An Engine for Health Care Innovation. Science Magazine, AAAS, 330, 6005, 759-760.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • The National Academy of Medicine (2019)
  • MacArthur Fellow (2018)
  • The IEEE Internet Award (2017)
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Uppsala University, Sweden 2011
  • The National Academy of Engineering (2009)
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland 2008
  • The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007)
  • ACM Athena Lecture (2006), Anita Borg Institute's Women of Vision Award for Innovation (2007), 
  • Outstanding Contribution Award (ACM Sigmobile)2009
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award in Computer Sciences & Engineering(University of California, Berkeley)2008


  • B.S. (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), University of California, Berkeley, 1980
  • M.S. (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1982
  • Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985


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