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San Diegans and their Cell
Phones will Monitor Air Pollution

Photo of researchers
The CitiSense leadership team (l-r) includes Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) professor William Griswold, CSE professor Ingolf Krueger, School of Medicine/Calit2 professor Kevin Patrick, CSE professor Tajana Simunic Rosing, and CSE professor Hovav Shacham. (Not pictured: CSE professor Sanjoy Dasgupta).

You want to go for a run, but you don't want to run in polluted air that might aggravate your asthma. Jacobs School computer scientists are creating a network of environmental sensors that will help you avoid air pollution hot spots. The system, called CitiSense, will provide up-to-theminute information on outdoor and indoor air quality, based on environmental information collected by thousands of sensors attached to the backpacks, purses and board shorts of San Diegans.

The goal of CitiSense - funded by the NSF - is to build and deploy a wireless network of small environmental sensors carried by the public. Cell phones will shuttle information collected by sensors to central computers. Here, it will be analyzed, anonymized and reflected back out to individuals, public health agencies and San Diego at large. The sensorwearing public will have the option to also wear biological monitors that collect basic health information, such as heart rate. This combination of sensors will enable the team's medical experts to perform health science research, such as investigating how particular environmental pollutants affect human health.


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