About Richard Allen

Richard Allen is the Director of the Berkeley Seismology Lab, the Class of 1954 Endowed Professor in the Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley, and is a member of the Earthquake Team at Google. He is an expert in earthquake alerting systems and deep Earth imaging.

He has led development of methodologies to detect earthquakes and issue warnings prior to shaking using seismic and GPS sensing networks and now also smartphone networks. His group developed the earthquake early warning algorithms that generate alerts in the U.S. (the ShakeAlert system), Israel and South Korea, and also built the MyShake smartphone seismic network that delivers alerts in the U.S., and detects earthquakes throughout the globe.

Allen’s lab also uses geophysical sensing networks to image the internal 3D structure of the Earth and constrain the driving forces responsible for earthquakes, volcanoes and other deformation of the Earth’s surface.

His research has been featured in Science, Nature, Scientific American, the New York Times and dozens of other media outlets around the world. His original early warning algorithm was named in Discover Magazine’s top 100 science stories for 2003, and became the backbone for ShakeAlert, the U.S. earthquake early warning system. MyShake was an inspiration for Google's global Android Earthquake Alerts system, which was named one of the greatest innovations in 2020 by Popular Science.

He has a BA from the University of Cambridge, a PhD from Princeton University, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech.



View Richard Allen's CV