ResearchGate - Google Scholar - LinkedIn
UMass_sealjkt39Jay Taneja
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science
University of Massachusetts - Amherst - +1-413-545-6428
309C Knowles Engineering Building
151 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A.

I study the application of computing tools to measuring and managing infrastructure in industrialized and developing regions, including energy and building systems, but also transportation, water, and sanitation systems. In my work, I develop and apply embedded/IoT and mobile systems and machine learning techniques.

I am always considering strong PhD students. Please write me a descriptive email with your interests and attach your CV.


I direct the STIMA Lab @ UMass (Systems Towards Infrastructure Measurement and Analytics). Here are some current projects:

  • Smart Electricity Grids in sub-Saharan Africa. Electricity grids in low-income countries generally have little sensing at the edges of the network. As utilities elsewhere invest heavily in smart meters, utilities in these contexts are faced with the choice of installing smart meters to improve existing customers’ electricity supplies or extending the grid to new customers. This project aims to augment electricity systems by adding alternative means of sensing to improve grid operation and planning, obtaining some of the capabilities of smart meters at a fraction of the cost. Benefiting from the groundswell of low-cost smartphones with a wide array of sensors, we are building mobile applications that enable continuous grid sensing where it did not previously exist, enabling utilities to more quickly respond to electricity outages, prevent future outages, and intelligently place future instrumentation. The computing challenges in this work center on predictive modeling using grid and mobile data. This work will extend towards other architectures for adding smart electricity services using commodity devices. Joint work with UC Berkeley.
  • Planning for Electricity Grids. Technology improvements in distributed generation, energy storage, and embedded systems have enabled a range of solar home systems and microgrids for providing electricity access to previously unelectrified households and communities. Though costs for these alternatives do not yet approach those of centralized electricity grids, the broader set of options available to utilities, policymakers, and other energy service providers places more emphasis on smart planning for growth in electricity consumption. However, there has been little research on projecting electricity consumption for households and communities that have not previously had access. We are addressing this shortcoming by developing models for predicting growth in consumption in low-income communities, enabling better planning for utilities and entrepreneurs providing new access to electricity. Joint work with Columbia University.
  • Microgrid Risk Modeling. As new architectures emerge for providing electricity access, microgrids present a tantalizing balance between the agility of market-driven, distributed electricity systems and the incredible economies of scale of grid-based systems. Microgrids have important advantages over solar home systems to allow growth in electricity consumption and enable multiplexing of scarce generation across a number of users, but presently face headwinds in accessing capital for construction because of risks from centralized grid encroachment, changing policy landscapes, and uncertain supply and demand considerations. This work aims to quantify that risk, particularly with investors in mind, to provide a likely range of outcomes given a site and a set of design decisions, allowing a more efficient allocation of capital and a better chance of sustainable electricity access. Joint work with Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Measuring Road Quality in the Developing World. A crucial ingredient for encouraging economic growth in developing communities is a high-quality road network. However, despite billions of investment into roads, constructions projects are marred by low quality construction, cost overruns, and insufficient planning. To help address these challenges, we are building models for predicting road quality using satellite imagery. Using machine learning and computer vision techniques, these models can determine road quality from present and historical imagery, and these observations can be continuously updated as new imagery is released. This work can help improve road monitoring programs as well as help isolate and quantify the economic gains due to road improvements. Joint work with the University of Washington.

Students in the STIMA Lab

  • PhD
    • Santiago Correa
    • June Lukuyu
    • Aggrey Muhebwa
    • Zeal Shah
    • Bob Muhwezi
    • Simone Fobi (at Columbia, co-advised with Vijay Modi)
  • M.S.
    • Shuya Zhang
    • Daksha Naik
  • Undergraduate
    • Joe Breda
    • Rohan Nandakumar
    • Ajey Pandey
    • Alex Yen
  • Alumni
    • Nathan Williams (Ph.D., 2017, Carnegie Mellon Engineering and Public Policy – co-advised with Paulina Jaramillo) – “Microgrid Utilities for Rural Electrification in East Africa: Challenges and Opportunities” – CMU EPP Special Faculty
    • CK Wijesundara (B.S., 2018) – Using Smartphones to Determine Ambient Temperature – UMass CS


  • ENG 100 – Introduction to Engineering (F’18)

  • ECE 331 – Hardware Organization and Design (S’18)

  • ECE 597ED/697ED – Electricity Infrastructure and Delivery in the Developing World (F’17, F’18)

  • ECE 232 – Hardware Organization and Design (S’17)

Publications (all available for download at Google Scholar and ResearchGate)

  • Noah Klugman, Santiago Correa, Patrick Pannuto, Matt Podolsky, Jay Taneja, and Prabal Dutta. “The Open INcentive Kit (OINK): Standardizing the Generation, Comparison, and Deployment of Incentive Systems.” In the 10th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD ’19). January 2019.

  • Gabriel Cadamuro, Aggrey Muhebwa, and Jay Taneja. “Assigning a Grade: Accurate Measurement of Road Quality Using Satellite Imagery.” In the NeurIPS Workshop on Machine Learning for the Developing World (ML4D ’19). December 2018.

  • Simone Fobi, Varun Deshpande, Samson Ondiek, Vijay Modi, and Jay Taneja. “A Longitudinal Study of Electricity Consumption Growth in Kenya.” Energy Policy, 2018.

  • Santiago Correa, Noah Klugman, and Jay Taneja. “Deployment Strategies for Crowdsourced Power Outage Detection.” In the 9th IEEE International Conference on Communications, Control, and Computing Technologies for Smart Grids (SmartGridComm ’18). October 2018.

  • Noah Klugman, Veronica Jacome, Meghan Clark, Matthew Podolsky, Patrick Pannuto, Neal Jackson, Aley Soud Nassor, Catherine Wolfram, Duncan Callaway, Jay Taneja, and Prabal Dutta. “Experience: Android Resists Liberation from Its Primary Use Case.” In Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom ’18). October 2018.

  • Noman Bashir, David Irwin, Prashant Shenoy, and Jay Taneja. “Mechanisms and Policies for Controlling Distributed Solar Capacity.” ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN), 2018.

  • Joseph Breda and Jay Taneja. “Fancy That: Measuring Electricity Grid Voltage Using a Phone and a Fan.” In the First ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS 2018), June 2018.

  • Santiago Correa, Noah Klugman, and Jay Taneja. “How Many Smartphones Does It Take To Detect A Power Outage?” In the Ninth ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (e-Energy ‘18), June 2018. Audience choice award (note).

  • Nathan Williams, Paulina Jaramillo, and Jay Taneja. “Investment Risk Assessment of Microgrid Utilities for Rural Electrification Using the Stochastic Techno-Economic Microgrid Model: A Case Study in Rwanda.” Energy for Sustainable Development, 2017.

  • Noman Bashir, David Irwin, Prashant Shenoy, and Jay Taneja. “Enforcing Fair Grid Energy Access for Controllable Distributed Solar Capacity.” In the 4th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Build Environments (BuildSys’17), November 2017.

  • Diego Ponce de Leon Barido, Simone Fobi Nsutezo, and Jay Taneja. “The Natural and Capital Infrastructure of Potential Post-Electrification Wealth Creation in Kenya.” Energy, Sustainability and Society, 2017.

  • Nathan Williams, Paulina Jaramillo, and Jay Taneja. “PV-array Sizing in Hybrid Diesel/PV/Battery Microgrids under Uncertainty.” In the IEEE PES PowerAfrica Conference, June 2016.

  • Adedamola Adepetu and Jay Taneja. “Filling Spatial and Temporal Gaps in Development Surveys Using Night Lights.” In the UNESCO Chair Conference on Technologies for Development (Tech4Dev 2016), May 2016.

  • Nathan Williams, Paulina Jaramillo, Jay Taneja, and Taha Selim Ustun. “Enabling Private Sector Investment in Microgrid-based Rural Electrification in Developing Countries: A Review.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2015.

  • Douglas Fabini, Diego Ponce de Leon Barido, Akomeno Omu, and Jay Taneja. “Mapping Induced Residential Demand For Electricity in Kenya.” In the Fifth ACM Symposium on Computing for Development (DEV-5), December 2014.

  • Jay Taneja. “Growth in Renewable Generation and its Effect on Demand-Side Management.” In the Fifth IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm’14), November 2014.

  • Jay Taneja, Ken Lutz, and David Culler. “The Impact of Flexible Loads in Increasingly Renewable Grids.” In the Fourth IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm’13), October 2013.

  • Jay Taneja, Virginia Smith, David Culler, and Catherine Rosenberg. “A Comparative Study of High Renewables Penetration Electricity Grids.” In the Fourth IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm’13), October 2013.

  • Jay Taneja, Andrew Krioukov, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, and David Culler. “Enabling Advanced Environmental Conditioning with a Building Application Stack.” In Proceedings of the 4th International Green Computing Conference (IGCC ’13), June 2013. Best paper award.

  • Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Andrew Krioukov, Jay Taneja, Sagar Karandikar, Gabe Fierro, Nikita Kitaev, and David Culler. “BOSS: Building Operating System Services.” In Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI ’13), April 2013.

  • Steven Lanzisera, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, H.Y. Iris Cheung, Jay Taneja, David Culler, and Richard Brown. “Methods for Detailed Energy Data Collection of Miscellaneous and Electronic Loads in a Commercial Office Building.” Building and Environment, 2013.

  • Nathan Murthy, Jay Taneja, Kamil Bojanczyk, David Auslander, and David Culler. “Energy-Agile Laptops: Demand Response of Mobile Plug Loads Using Sensor/Actuator Networks.” In the Third IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm’12), November 2012.

  • Anil Aswani, Neal Master, Jay Taneja, Andrew Krioukov, David Culler, and Claire Tomlin. “Quantitative Methods for Comparing Different HVAC Control Schemes.” In the Sixth International ICST Conference on Performance Evaluation Methodologies and Tools (VALUETOOLS’12), October 2012.

  • Tyler C. Jones, David M. Auslander, Jay Taneja, Jason Trager, Michael Sankur, and Therese Peffer. “Improved Methods to Load Prediction in Commercial Buildings.” In the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficient Buildings, August 2012.

  • Jason Trager, Michael Sankur, Jorge Ortiz, Tyler Jones, Jay Taneja, Dave Auslander, David E. Culler, and Paul K. Wright. “Rapidly Adaptable Plug-load Simulation for Evaluating Energy Curtailment Strategies.” In the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficient Buildings, August 2012.

  • Therese Peffer, David Auslander, Domenico Caramagno, David Culler, Tyler Jones, Andrew Krioukov, Michael Sankur, Jay Taneja, Jason Trager, Sila Kiliccote, Rongxin Yin, Yan Lu, and Prasad Mukka. “Deep Demand Response: The Case Study of the CITRIS Building at the University of California-Berkeley.” In the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficient Buildings, August 2012.

  • H.Y. Iris Cheung, Steven Lanzisera, Judy Lai, Richard Brown, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Jay Taneja, and David Culler. “Detailed Energy Data Collection for Miscellaneous and Electronic Loads in a Commercial Office Building.” In the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficient Buildings, August 2012.

  • Anil Aswani, Neal Master, Jay Taneja, Andrew Krioukov, David Culler, and Claire Tomlin. “Energy-efficient Building HVAC Control Using Hybrid System LBMPC.” In the IFAC Conference on Nonlinear Model Predictive Control, August 2012.

  • Jay Taneja, Randy Katz, and David Culler. “Defining CPS Challenges in a Sustainable Electricity Grid.” In the ACM/IEEE Third International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, April 2012. (Invited)

  • Anil Aswani, Neal Master, Jay Taneja, Virginia Smith, Andrew Krioukov, David Culler, and Claire Tomlin. “Identifying Models of HVAC Systems Using Semiparametric Regression.” In Proceedings of the American Control Conference, 2012.

  • Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Steven Lanzisera, Jay Taneja, Richard Brown, and David Culler. “@scale: Insights from a Large, Long-Lived Appliance Energy WSN.” In Proceedings of the 11th ACM/IEEE Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, SPOTS Track (IPSN/SPOTS ’12), April 2012.

  • Thomas Clasen, Douglas Fabini*, Sophie Boisson, Jay Taneja, Joshua Song*, Elisabeth Aichinger, Anthony Bui*, Sean Dadashi*, Wolf-Peter Schmidt, Zachary Burt, and Kara L. Nelson. “Making Sanitation Count: Developing and Testing a Device for Assessing Latrine Use in Low-Income Settings.” Environmental Science and Technology, 2012.

  • Steven Lanzisera, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Xiaofan Jiang, Hoi Ying Cheung, Jay Taneja, Judy Lai, Jorge Ortiz, David Culler, and Richard Brown. “Wireless Electricity Metering of Miscellaneous and Electronic Devices in Buildings.” In the 2011 Future of Instrumentation International Workshop, November 2011.

  • Anil Aswani, Neal Master, Jay Taneja, David E. Culler, and Claire Tomlin. “Reducing Transient and Steady State Electricity Consumption in HVAC Using Learning-based Model Predictive Control.” Proceedings of the IEEE, volume 100, no. 1: 240-253. 2011.

  • Randy H. Katz, David E. Culler, Seth Sanders, Sara Alspaugh, Yanpei Chen, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Prabal Dutta, Mike He, Xiaofan Jiang, Laura Keys, Andrew Krioukov, Ken Lutz, Jorge Ortiz, Prashanth Mohan, Evan Reutzel, Jay Taneja, Jeff Hsu, and Sushant Shankar. “An Information-Centric Energy Infrastructure: the Berkeley View.” Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems 1 (2011): 7-22.

  • Richard Brown, Steven Lanzisera, Hoi Ying (Iris) Cheung, Judy Lai, Xiaofan Jiang, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Jay Taneja, Jorge Ortiz, and David Culler. “Using Wireless Power Meters to Measure Energy Use of Miscellaneous and Electric Devices in Buildings.” In the 6th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL ’11), Copenhagen, Denmark. May 2011.

  • Jay Taneja, David Culler, and Prabal Dutta. “Towards Cooperative Grids: Sensor/Actuator Networks for Renewables Integration.” In the First IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm’10), October 2010.

    Xiaofan Jiang, Minh Van Ly, Jay Taneja, Prabal Dutta, and David Culler. “Experiences with a High-Fidelity Wireless Building Energy Auditing Network.” In the Seventh ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys’09), November 2009.

  • Prabal Dutta, Jay Taneja, Jaein Jeong, Xiaofan Jiang, and David Culler. “A Building Block Approach to Sensornet Systems.” In the Sixth ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys ’08), November 2008.

  • Prabal Dutta, Mark Feldmeier, Jay Taneja, Joseph Paradiso, and David Culler. “Energy Metering for Free: Augmenting Switching Regulators for Real-Time Monitoring.” In the International Symposium on Low-Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED ’08) Design Contest, August 2008. Design Contest winner.

  • Jay Taneja, Jaein Jeong, and David Culler. “Design, Modeling, and Capacity Planning for Micro-Solar Power Sensor Networks.” In the Seventh International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks Special Track on Platform Tools and Design Methods for Network Embedded Sensors (IPSN SPOTS ’08), April 2008.

  • Xiaofan Jiang, Jay Taneja, Jorge Ortiz, Arsalan Tavakoli, Prabal Dutta, Jaein Jeong, David Culler, Philip Levis, and Scott Shenker. “An Architecture for Energy Management in Wireless Sensor Networks.” In the International Workshop on Wireless Sensor Network Architecture (WWSNA’07), April 2007.

  • Phoebus Chen, Songhwai Oh, Michael Manzo, Bruno Sinopoli, Cory Sharp, Kamin Whitehouse, Gilman Tolle, Jaein Jeong, Prabal Dutta, Jonathan Hui, Shawn Schaffert, Sukun Kim, Jay Taneja, Bonnie Zhu, Tanya Roosta, Michael Howard, David Culler, and Shankar Sastry. “Experiments in Instrumenting Wireless Sensor Networks for Real-Time Surveillance.” In the 2006 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA ’06). Video and Poster.

  • Prabal Dutta, Jonathan Hui, Jaein Jeong, Sukun Kim, Cory Sharp, Jay Taneja, Gilman Tolle, Kamin Whitehouse, and David Culler. “Trio: Enabling Sustainable and Scalable Outdoor Wireless Sensor Network Deployments.” In the Fifth International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks Special Track on Platform Tools and Design Methods for Network Embedded Sensors (IPSN SPOTS ’06), April 2006.

  • Kamin Whitehouse, Gilman Tolle, Jay Taneja, Cory Sharp, Sukun Kim, Jaein Jeong, Jonathan Hui, Prabal Dutta, and David Culler. “Marionette: Providing an Interactive Environment for Wireless Debugging and Development.” In the Fifth International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks Special Track on Platform Tools and Design Methods for Network Embedded Sensors (IPSN SPOTS ’06), April 2006.