Professor Abowd and his colleagues have demonstrated how advanced information technologies can be used in homes and schools to support the many challenges facing those impacted by autism and related developmental disabilities, including the individuals, the families, educators, clinicians and researchers. Professor Abowd has promoted a vision of health care and education that incorporates the use of advanced information technologies to address difficult challenges relating to the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral disorders, such as autism, as well as the assessment of behavioral change within complex social environments. He has set forth a vision for using ubiquitous computing in the evaluation of autism-related behaviors and in the evaluation of their response to treatment. Professor Abowd's work in autism has resulted in the development and optimization of behavioral evaluation protocols for use by parents, caregivers, educators, and health care clinicians within naturalistic environments. He has supported the commercialization of work in this area. Professor Abowd has influenced scientists and clinicians within the fields of Psychology and Education through his tireless efforts to educate others about the benefits of incorporating computing into behavioral science protocols. Professor Abowd brings energy, innovation, and inspiration to new projects and collaborations and is shaping the approach of a new generation of behavioral and computing scientists. He has continuously promoted the idea of scaling the impact of research to the population level through the use of technology.
For contributions to ubiquitous computing research, with emphasis on applications for education, home and health.
Dr. Abowd currently serves as the Director of the Health Systems Institute, a joint Georgia Tech/Emory University research institute investigating the impact of technologies on healthcare delivery. This extends his own work over the past decade on information technologies and autism.
Dr. Abowd directs the Ubiquitous Computing Research Group in the School of Interactive Computing. This effort started with the Future Computing Environments research group in 1995, and has since matured into a collection of research groups, including Dr. Abowd's own group. One of the major research efforts that Dr. Abowd initated is the Aware Home Research Initiative, which he founded in 2000 and directed until 2008.