Pokhriyal wins National Statistics Prize in D4D challenge

Computer science and engineering graduate student Neeti Pokhriyal (left) won the National Statistics Prize in the D4D Challenge Senegal. Wen Dong (right), assistant professor of computer science and engineering, is her advisor.

Published April 20, 2015

Intrigued by an opportunity to use ‘big data’ to further societal development, computer science and engineering graduate student Neeti Pokhriyal entered the 2015 Data for Development (D4D) Senegal Challenge and won the National Statistics Prize.

Pokhriyal used data on mobile phone usage and mobility to generate a virtual network, and correlated it with poverty indicators such as education, health, and living conditions.

The resulting map will assist policymakers in developing anti-poverty programs for specific population groups in Senegal.

The paper, entitled “Virtual Networks and Poverty Analysis in Senegal,” was co-authored by Wen Dong, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and Venu Govindaraju, interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development and SUNY Distinguished Professor.

Pokhriyal and Dong accepted the award during the NetMob 2015 Conference, held April 7-10, 2015 at MIT.