The words “societal networks” may conjure up Facebook, Flickr and the like for you. For Stanford Professor Balaji Prabhakar, the term applies to a broad range of human activities that are vital for a society’s functioning – transportation networks, electricity grids, healthcare networks, and recycling systems, for example.
Prabhakar is interested in human behavior and efficiency within these systems. At the November Café Scientifique tonight (yes a Wednesday night, 11/10!), he will discuss incentive mechanisms in societal networks, the role technology will play in improving efficiency, and his own experiments aimed at reducing road congestion in talk titled “It Pays to Do the Right Thing.”
Prabhakar is a faculty member in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. He has been a Terman Fellow at Stanford and a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has received the CAREER award from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Erlang Prize, and the Rollo Davidson Prize.
Café Scientifique events held at SRI in Menlo Park and are open to all free of charge. No reservations are necessary. Doors open at 5:15; the program runs from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Directions are available online (organizers ask that you don’t park at SRI’s main entrance at 333 Ravenswood.)