My current research focuses on:
- evaluation methods and measurement,
- human factors issues in ultra-low-power, embedded systems,
- quality of service in intermittently-powered devices,
- developer reasoning in non-linear programming models,
- and assistive tools for intermittently-powered devices.
The Internet of Things – where trillions of computing devices cover our world, sensing human movement, monitoring infrastructure health, and creating smart, connected cities – is on the horizon.
But, powering trillions of devices is difficult. Using tethered wires, like those in most personal computers, prevents retrofitting existing structures, and limits mobility. Powering this many devices by batteries would be expensive, and environmentally harmful. Even the best rechargeable batteries wear out in a few years, generating large amounts of chemical waste.
Energy-harvesting devices provide an alternative solution to using traditional forms of power. By harvesting ambient energy, freely available in the environment, these devices operate without batteries or wires, making them inexpensive, mobile, and environmentally sustainable.
However, these devices can only operate when energy is available. So, they are prone to frequent power failures, foreign to traditional computers. Working with energy-harvesting, intermittently-powered devices requires developers to carefully budget energy, recognize that their programs will be frequently interrupted, and account for these scenarios accordingly.
Working with inherently flaky devices is not a core component of most Computer Science degree programs. But, programming each of the trillions of devices envisioned by the Internet of Things requires the engagement of many capable programmers.
To that end, my research focuses broadly on understanding how to assist computing students and professionals in reasoning and learning about the unique challenges these systems present, broadening the participation of all demographic groups in this field, and equipping developers with the tools and knowledge they need to create user-centric, low-power technologies, and a more intelligent, sustainable world.
You can find more about my projects and publications here.