headshot of Amir, wearing a grey suit, smiling

Speaker: Dr. Amir Behzadan (Professor, Texas A&M University)

Date: Monday, October 10, 2022

Time: 12:15 - 1:30 pm

Location: Bren Hall, Seminar Room 4016

Zoom: https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/86755203390

Title: Leveling the Playing Field: Artificial Intelligence for Equitable and Inclusive Disaster Resilience


The increasing number and intensity of climate disasters in recent years,  combined with the asymmetric population growth in disaster prone areas, has  made it extremely difficult to rely on conventional methods of disaster risk  mapping and impact assessment. Current methods that use historical evidence to  predict the impact of future disasters largely fail to account for the fast pace of  urbanization, unfolding consequences of climate change, and constantly evolving  natural-built environment interface. For instance, existing flood maps, that are a  critical part of community resilience and flood warning systems, are outdated,  cover only a limited portion of streams and shorelines, and are also not generally  designed to account for flooding caused by intense rainfall, an emerging problem  as the atmosphere warms. If effectively and responsibly used, new data analytics  and sensing technologies can transform our approach to disaster resilience by  enabling the reliable and equitable quantification of disaster impacts at high  spatiotemporal scales, and augmenting the human ability to perceive disaster risk  in an effective and unbiased manner. This talk will discuss research in the  Connected Informatics and Built Environment Research (CIBER) Lab to address  socio-technological challenges that have emerged from the use of big data and  artificial intelligence (AI) in disaster management at the intersection of natural  and built environments. The primary focus will be on demonstrating the thought  process, design, and pilot implementation of human-centered AI algorithms and  supporting systems that transform raw multi-sourced data into actionable  spatiotemporal knowledge to improve disaster damage assessment, decision making, and risk communication in a responsible and fair manner. 


Dr. Amir Behzadan is a Professor at Texas A&M University. He is affiliated with Texas A&M Data Science Institute, Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center (HRRC), Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR), and Geospatial Sciences, Applications, and Technology (GEOSAT) Center. Amir has received his Ph.D. degree in civil engineering and his M.S. degree in construction engineering and management both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and supports built environment resilience against climate disasters via equitable and inclusive data analytics and human-aware computing systems. Dr. Behzadan has authored 54 peer-reviewed journal articles, 72 peer-reviewed conference papers, and 7 books/book chapters. He has given several invited keynote speeches and a TEDx Talk, and received multiple research, teaching, and service awards including the Best Paper Award in the 4th International Conference on Civil and Building Engineering Informatics (ICCBEI), the Best Dataset Award (second place) from the Data, Sensing, and Analytics (DSA) Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Outstanding New Teaching Award from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), and the ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Fellowship. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, and serves on the editorial board of the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management.