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Showing posts from August, 2009

Welcome to Stephen Chong and Krzysztof Gajos

Last year was a huge success for faculty hiring at Harvard CS -- we added three new faculty members to our ranks, two of whom are starting this fall. (Yiling Chen started last year -- she works at the intersection of Computer Science and Economics.) Fortunately, we managed to do the search before the present economic unpleasantness; so I'm pleased to welcome Stephen Chong and Krzysztof Gajos to Harvard.

Stephen got his Ph.D. from Cornell and works in the area of programming languages and security. His work on the Swift system (published in SOSP'07) allows one to build secure Web applications where the client- and server-side code are automatically partitioned from a single, unified program written using the Jif variant of Java, which incorporates support for information flow in the programming model. This is a very practical approach to providing information flow support in a real system.

Krzysztof got his Ph.D. from University of Washington and is the first HCI person that we&#…

WhiteFi: Wi-fi like networking in the UHF White Spaces

This week our paper, joint with Microsoft Research, on White Space Networking with Wi-Fi Like Connectivity was presented at SIGCOMM 2009, where it actually won the best paper award. This paper lays the foundations for the first Wi-Fi like network operating in the UHF white spaces (that is, the portions of the TV spectrum unoccupied by TV channels, wireless mics, and other devices). There's been some press on this work from Technology Review, Engadget, and other sites. My student, Rohan Murty, gave the talk. He is pictured to the right, apparently wearing the UHF antenna on his head -- I am not sure whether this improves his mental capacity or not. (Update 8/24/09: The slides are now available.)

By way of background, in 2008 the FCC issued a ruling allowing unlicensed devices to operate in the UHF white spaces, under certain restrictions. Opening up this spectrum for unlicensed wireless networks is a huge opportunity -- for example, UHF devices would achieve much longer range than n…

RoboBees - A Convergence of Body, Brain, and Colony

I'm part of a team that was recently awarded a $10M NSF "Expeditions in Computing" grant for a project to develop an autonomous colony of robotic bees. This is a big effort headed up by Prof. Rob Wood at Harvard and includes a team of 11 researchers in Computer Science, engineering, and biology. The project title is RoboBees: A Convergence of Body, Brain, and Colony, and you can check out the preliminary project website here. I'm very excited about this project as it will open up a lot of research directions for programming complex behaviors in a coordinated swarm of tiny aerial robots.

The press release from Harvard describes the project as follows:
A multidisciplinary team of computer scientists, engineers, and biologists at Harvard received a $10 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Expeditions in Computing grant to fund the development of small-scale mobile robotic devices. Inspired by the biology of a bee and the insect’s hive behavior, the researchers aim to…