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, serves as an Associate Dean, and is a part-time Amazon Scholar. Her research interests are at the intersection of user-centric data 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. Her honors include: ACM Athena Lecture (2006), Anita Borg Institute's Women of Vision Award for Innovation (2007), The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), The National Academy of Engineering (2009), The IEEE Internet Award (2017), and MacArthur Fellow (2018).

Current research collaborators include: Tanzeem Choudhury, Helen Nissenbaum, Jason Waterman, JP Pollak, Mor Naaman, Nate Foster, Nicki Dell


  • Small Data
  • Small Data are the myriad of data traces we each generate everyday. Unfortunately, that data is often unavailable to us in a form that we can make sense of or act upon. Imagine a special kind of app running in the cloud that privately and securely turns your small data into big insights

    Creating an ecosystem around small data

  • Immersive Recommendations
  • We explore a personalization approach in which individuals actively harness their own digital traces. We focus in particular on algorithms, systems, and rich user interactions that make personalization both immersive--through the use of diverse data sources--and intentional--through transparency and user-modeling inputs that allow the end user to amplify their aspirational-behaviors relative to historically-observed behaviors.

  • Health Tech Hub
  • Spring 2018 Teaching:

    INFO5555 Health Tech, Data, Systems

    CS5450 Networks and Distributed Computing, with Vitaly Shmatikov

    We launched a Masters of Science program in Health Tech in Fall 2015 and are accepting applications for Fall 2018.

    Our NSF funded research project with Cornell Information Sciences in Ithaca and Weill Cornell Medical College is developing new ways of measuring, and ultimately managing, pain (NSF Painless). NSF Painless project is funded by National Science Foundation Award 1344587.

  • Open mHealth
  • Open mHealth works with clinical experts and app and device developers to make digital health data as useful and actionable as possible. The open API platform gives developers a way to easily produce, access and integrate clinically meaningful and actionable data. Open mHealth builds products designed to support collaborative, connected, personalized care, that demonstrate the power of our open platform.

    The small data lab has built an open source, open mhealth compliant system to support rapid prototyping and small scale pilots. such as the NSF Painless project mentioned above. The software itself is available open source and described here (ohmage-omh).

Funders and Collaborators



Recent Tweets

Recent Presentations

  1. Scientific Meeting on Big Data for Better Science, Keynote: ”Scientific Meeting on Big Data for Better Science: Technologies for Measuring Behavior”, Royal Society of London. February 4-5, 2019
  2. Undergraduate Research Summer Institute Symposium, Keynote: ”Small Data and the Future of Personal Health” Vassar University, NY. September 26, 2018
  3. National Institute of Health Technology Showcase , Panelist, "mHealth Technology for individualized, n-of-1, assessments", Washington, DC, June 4, 2018
  4. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Health and Society Workshop, "AI and Patient Generated Data", Washington, DC May 10, 2018
  5. PCCW Symposium, Keynote: "How Data will Shape the Future of Personal Health", New York City, NY, April 13, 2018
  6. Cornell Silicon Valley Annual Meeting, Keynote: "How Data will Shape the Future of Personal Health", Mountain View, CA, March 13, 2018
  7. 4th Annual Centre for Behavioral Change Conference, Behaviour Change for Health: Digital & Beyond, Keynote: "Using small data to personalize, sustain, and study health behaviour", University College London, London, England, February 21, 2018
  8. Grand Rounds, Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Surgery, "Technology and Healthcare: experience at Cornell Tech to date", New York, NY, February 5, 2018
  9. Momentum 2017, MedStartr/Health2.0NYC. Partner Presentation, "Building Healthcare Entrepreneurs: Health Tech at Cornell Tech," November 30, 2017
  10. Grace Hopper, Distinguished Lecture, "In pursuit of digital biomarkers", University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA November 16, 2017
  11. Grand Rounds, Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry,"Leveraging mobile technologies for health research and intervention," November 15, 2017
  12. Future of Care Conference, Invited Speaker. "Using small data to personalize, sustain and study patient care." Rockefeller University, New York, New York, October 21, 2017
  13. Grand Rounds, Northwell Health's The Zucker Hillside Hospital, "Using small data to personalize, sustain, and study Health Behavior," Queens, New York, October 11, 2017
  14. Grand Rounds, Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Medicine, "Technology and Healthcare: Experience at Cornell Tech to Date," New York, New York, October 4th, 2017

Complete List of Selected Presentations