LASR Colloquia - Romit Roy Choudhury/Duke University: "Designing a Virtual Information Telescope Using Mobile Phones and Social Collaboration", ACES 2.402

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Oct 28, 2010 11:15am - 12:15pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found at


Type of Talk: LASR Colloquia

Speaker/Affiliation: Romit Roy
Choudhury/Duke University

Date/Time: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 1

1:15 a.m.

Location: ACES 2.402

Host: Lili Qiu

Talk Title: "D

esigning a Virtual Information Telescope Using Mobile Phones and Social Col


Talk Abstract:
Modern phones are being equipped with num

erous sensors such as cameras, microphones, GPS, accelerometers, and he

alth monitors. This project aims to design a "Virtual Information Telescope

", where the "lenses" of the telescope are metaphors for the sensors in pe

ople''s mobile phones. Using such a telescope, an Internet user will be ab

le to zoom into any part of the human-populated world, and observe events

of interest. Users will be able to direct queries to phones located in a gi

ven region, and receive real-time responses through automatic sensing or e

xplicit human participation. Example domains that may benefit from this pla

tform include education, healthcare, tourism, disaster management, envi

ronment conservation, and social collaborations. Perhaps more fundamentall

y, a virtual information telescope may change the way we browse, query,

learn, and process information.

This talk will expand on this vision

, and instantiate it through a live system called "Micro-Blog". We will di

scuss a suite of important research challenges underlying the translation o

f Micro-Blog into a deployable/usable system. Of particular interest are to

pics on energy-efficient localization, symbolic localization, information
distillation, location-privacy, and user interfaces. We will close not o

nly with challenges we are struggling with, but will also look forward to

what may lie ahead along the path of mobile, social, participatory comput


Speaker Bio:
Romit Roy Choudhury is an Assistant Professor of E

CE and CS at Duke University (he is spending the summer as a visiting resea

rcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond). He joined Duke in Fall 2006, after
completing his PhD from UIUC. His research interests are in wireless proto

col design mainly at the PHY/MAC layer, and in mobile social computing at

the application layer. He received the NSF CAREER Award in January 2008. Vi

sit Romit''s Systems Networking Research Group (SyNRG), at