Platform Engineering to Measure the World


Pat Pannuto

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD


Monday, December 2 
11:00am - 12:00pm

Room 1202, EBU-3B


Researchers, policy makers, citizen scientists, and curious individuals have an innumerable array of questions about the world around them. How does physical proximity affect disease transmission? What changes would have the greatest impact on the carbon footprint of an urban environment? What is the historical air quality like for asthmatics in the neighborhoods where I am shopping for houses? While computer engineers may imagine systems to measure any one of these, a bespoke sensing system for every question about the world simply does not scale.

If instead, however, we can build adaptable platforms and composable building blocks, we can enable large classes of applications and our engineering efforts can result in multiplicative impact. The crux of this talk is exploring some examples of such research-enabling-research: platforms, technologies, and services that empower more people to answer richer questions about the world. In particular, we will look at (1) how off-the-shelf smartphone cameras can be turned into indoor GPS units [Luxapose], (2) how new operating system design can bring multiprocessing to microcontrollers [Tock], and (3) how real-world deployments can both identify new research challenges and impact multi-billion dollar investments [TotTernary, GridWatch].



Pat Pannuto is a new Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. Pat's research is in the broad area of networked embedded systems, with contributions to computer architecture, wireless communications, mobile computing, operating systems, and development engineering. Pat's work has been recognized as a Top Pick in Computer Architecture and selected as a Best Paper Finalist at IPSN, and has been awarded NSF, NDSEG, and Qualcomm Innovation fellowships. Pat has also received teaching awards from the Computer Science Department, the College of Engineering, and the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan.