In this episode of ACM ByteCast, host Jessica Bell welcomes 2018 ACM Prize in Computing recipient and 2011 MacArthur Fellow Shwetak Patel. Patel is a professor of computer science at the University of Washington and a director of a health technologies group at Google. He recalls his beginnings as a computer engineer with an interest in both hardware and software, which narrowed to computing during grad school. They discuss how “smart house” technology and working in construction stimulated his interest in building sensors and how applied research enables his work to have a greater social impact. Patel also offers valuable insights on the benefits of academia as a starting point for innovation, the global implications of his work, and advice to people entering his field.