I work in the areas of technology and international
development, human-computer interaction
and computer systems.
I'm a research scientist by trade, currently on a self-funded sabbatical
to study the mathematics underlying statistical learning.
Briefly, the facts of my life as are follows:
Technology and International Development
As a software engineer at Google,
I worked with the Access Strategy & Operations team
(originally part of Google.org)
on sustainable solutions to access problems in developing regions.
Examples of the team's projects (in collaboration with many other teams
at Google) included
pilots of mobile data tools
TVWS (in South Africa).
The StratOps team developed plans for network deployments
(access strategy) and helped execute those that move forward (operations).
These ranged from the fairly conventional
(metro fiber backhaul
in Uganda and Ghana,
urban Wi-Fi networks
in Southeast Asia) to the
had to model everything from orbital patterns, wireless link budgets
and network traffic up to local consumer economics.
As a research scientist at Intel, I worked on
project in which Intel collaborated with U.C. Berkeley on the design of
appropriate technology for emerging regions. Various TIER
sub-projects had connections with Intel's former Emerging Markets Platforms
Group (EMPG). My published
research was based on fieldwork in Ghana and Kenya
and a field visit to Chile.
Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
My work in HCI has been highly interdisciplinary, mostly sitting in
the intersection of mobile computing and
I still participate in a project on mobile participatory
sensing called Common Sense. The
team at Intel Research
explored some technical issues in sensing environmental
air quality using mobile phones, but the key problem of interest for
us as HCI researchers has been to work with partners such as the
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) to understand
how and why people become
engaged in citizen science and environmental activism. (Note that
environmental degradation is a key concern in emerging regions.)
I collaborated for many years with PARC researchers in the sociological
discipline of conversation analysis; their detailed understanding of
human conversational structure have helped us understand how
(technologically) minor differences in a system can have dramatic
effects on interaction.
|...||An example of this work
is a system we nicknamed Mad Hatter, a mobile audio space designed for use by small gelled social groups. This work
applied machine learning techniques to produce a conferencing system
that adapts to human conversation.|
|...|| As part of this work, Allison Woodruff and I
fieldwork on young
adults using push-to-talk cellular radios, drawing on several
perspectives in computer-mediated
|...||Another example is Sotto Voce, a
networked electronic guidebook system that delivers audio information
in a way that facilitates face-to-face human interaction instead of
All of this work on interaction has also lead to a renewed interest in
wide-area collaborative systems. I spent a lot of my
sea sitting in front of networked tactical command-and-control
Finally, I have some background in visualization:
information display technology, information visualization techniques
and visualization system architectures. This came through
working with members of the
Tioga DataSplash database visualization project at Berkeley.