Breadcrumbs

Top Google man: Why we need nerds in a crisis

19 August 2010

Craig Nevill Manning

Dr Craig Nevill-Manning: Will give a public lecture at the University of Waikato on August 26.

The earthquakes this year in Haiti, Chile and China, and man-made disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are prime examples of disasters that exact a terrible toll on people around the world.

In all these cases, new technology has played a key role in saving lives and reducing misery. New approaches to disaster response are currently under development by several organisations, including Google.

Google’s New York-based engineering director and University of Waikato alumnus, Dr Craig Nevill-Manning, will give a public lecture during a visit to the University on August 26 on how these new systems are being used on the ground in disaster areas.

He says in the last decade, pervasive cellular data and internet access have provided new tools to help disaster responders and people affected by a disaster.

“For disaster responders, detailed aerial and satellite imagery is accelerating disaster response and rebuilding, and new cloud-based tools can improve communication and collaboration. SMS- and internet-based systems allow victims of a disaster to request help and provide on-the-ground status reports.”

Dr Nevill-Manning will discuss specific responses to the Haiti, Chile and China earthquakes and to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Dr Nevill-Manning is being honoured this year with a University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr Nevill-Manning will deliver his lecture “Nerds in Crisis: Using Technology to Respond to Disasters” at 6.30 pm on Thursday August 26 at the WEL Academy of Performing Arts on the University campus. A cash bar will operate from 5.30. All welcome.


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