Abowd, Gregory D.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 51
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    Ignorance is Bliss: A Retrospective On My Career at Georgia Tech
    ( 2021-02-11) Abowd, Gregory D.
    On July 15, 1994, I began my career on the faculty in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. Throughout my career, I have cherished the over half a dozen opportunities I have had to give GVU Brown Bag talks on various research activities. My time as full-time faculty at Georgia Tech ends at the end of February 2021, and I will begin a new chapter of my career as the Dean of Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. I would like to reflect on the 26+ years I have spent at Georgia Tech, the College of Computing, and the GVU Center and try to explain why I think this place is so special. In thinking about a theme for this talk, I was reminded that my career has been a series of shifting research agendas, each one inspired by some life events. In all cases, I was buoyed by a bevy of talented and supportive colleagues and students who gave me the courage to jump into a research topic that I didn’t know much about. That “ignorance” has allowed me to be more fearless that I had the right to be. As I jump into my next career, for which I am also blissfully ignorant, I hope I am lucky enough to be surrounded by excellence that inspires success.
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    Using digital technologies to support pandemic response on campus: A case study in the opportunities and challenges of WiFi
    ( 2020-08-27) Abowd, Gregory D.
    Our campus operations were abruptly shut down on March 13, 2020 due to Covid-19, and the campus has not been the same ever since. This has impacted our educational and research mission at Georgia Tech. On the bright side, it has activated a number of collaborative efforts to help Georgia Tech prepare itself for re-opening safely. Whether or not we are successful this Fall 2020 semester, our efforts now will undoubtedly be useful for the future. Everyone has heard about the practice of contact tracing now, and the mad rush for digital solutions to fight against the spread of infectious disease. The CampusLife effort in the School of Interactive Computing (Profs. Abowd, Plötz and De Choudhury) found an opportunity to pivot our research in this direction We are exploring the opportunity to support manual practices of contact tracing with information from the campus wireless network infrastructure. I will give an overview of this effort and report on progress to date. This is very much a work in progress, but it demonstrates some important lessons for all of the GVU community. First, solutions to real problems involves lots of different skills sets and perspectives. Second, there is very interesting balance between public health and privacy, a conversation I hope to engage our community as a way of determining potential solutions.
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    Using In-Home Power Lines to Extend the Range of Low-Power Wireless Devices
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009) Stuntebeck, Erich P. ; Robertson, Thomas ; Abowd, Gregory D. ; Patel, Shwetak N.
    This work demonstrates the feasibility of using existing in-home electrical wiring to extend the operational range of certain wireless devices. Specifically, a wireless keyboard operating at 27 MHz, which has an operational range of 1.5 – 2 meters on its own, was extended to work throughout a 3-story 4,000 square foot / 371 square meter home by coupling the antenna port on its receiver to the power lines. Coupling between the keyboard and the power lines occurred over the air, and coupling at the receiver was accomplished capacitively by simply wrapping a wire connected to the receiver’s antenna port several times around a standard electrical device cord plugged into a wall socket. This phenomenon of the power line as a communications infrastructure for inexpensive and lowpower wireless devices has a variety of interesting potential avenues of research in the home.
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    Exploring Continuous Pressure Input for Mobile Phones
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006) Clarkson, Edward C. ; Patel, Shwetak Naran ; Pierce, Jeffrey S. ; Abowd, Gregory D.
    The input capabilities of mobile phones are limited by their physical form factor. Approaches to augmenting those capabilities that expand the input space without negatively impacting size or weight are particularly desirable. We propose adding simple pressure sensors under the keypad buttons to provide multiple channels of continuous pressure input. Pressure input supports a larger and more interesting interaction space without some of the unusual or unwanted qualities of some other approaches. We describe an implementation of our pressure-augmented system and show a number of interaction techniques, some old and some new, facilitated by continual pressure. We contrast these techniques with previous sensor-augmentation devices and highlight notable differences and advantages.
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    Navigating Recorded Meetings with Content-Based Indices
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006) Richter, Heather Anne ; Abowd, Gregory D.
    Researchers have created a number of meeting capture applications in the past decade, yet relatively little research has focused on the review and use of captured meeting information. In this paper, we describe a controlled study of a mature meeting capture and access application, in which we observed subjects finding information within their own group meetings. The results demonstrate the importance of indices into the meeting record, especially those related to meeting content, and reveal a number of navigational behaviors with implications on the design of meeting capture and access applications and interfaces.
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    A Token-based Access Control Mechanism for Automated Capture and Access Systems in Ubiquitous Computing
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005) Iachello, Giovanni ; Abowd, Gregory D.
    We discuss the problems related to access control in automated capture and access systems, which capture, store and retrieve information gathered through sensors in physical environments. We discuss several unique requirements that set capture and access apart from traditional information processing systems, and that make existing access control approaches such as role-based access control (RBAC) and digital rights management (DRM) unsuitable for this domain. Drawing from access control theory research, we devise an access control system that satisfies these requirements. Further, we describe its implementation within an existing capture and access system, and discuss emergent issues relating to retention time, rights management and information sharing. We argue that some traditional security requirements might not in fact be appropriate when applied to environmental captured information, due to the perceptual and social characteristics of such data. Finally, we provide an example of how this access control architecture might fit in a capture and access system composed of mobile devices.
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    Between Dinner and Children's Bedtime: Predicting and Justifying Routines in the Home
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005) Nagel, Kristine Susanne ; Hudson, James M. ; Abowd, Gregory D.
    Much previous research in availability, whether in the office or in the home, has developed linear regression models to help predict appropriate times for interruption. Although these models work well, they tend to be accurate only about 75% of the time. In this paper, we reconceptualize this problem as one of determining routines, rather than availability. We show that the same sensor measures, which predict availability accurately 75% of the time, can predict individual routines accurately 90% - 97% of the time. We argue that better identification of routines can help us to better identify individual availability, as we can develop more tailored models of individual availability in given household routines. In this paper, we also present findings from a day reconstruction method (DayRM) study, which provides more detailed descriptions of three routines in the home: mealtime, bedtime, and leisure.
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    An Evaluation Of The Comprehensibility and Usability Of a Design Method For Ubiquitous Computing Applications
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005) Iachello, Giovanni ; Abowd, Gregory D.
    We have recently proposed a design process framework that assists the practitioner in tackling the privacy and security issues of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) applications during their development. In this report, we discuss a design study to evaluate the comprehensibility and usability of the design method. The study was conducted with six graduate students at our institution. Students were given the option of using the design method for completing a semester-long design exercise of a ubiquitous computing application of their choice. Researchers analyzed their written deliverables using quantitative metrics and conducted follow-up interviews. Results suggest that the design method is comprehensible and usable by inexperienced designers. Participants commented that the method might help especially in the design of exploratory applications with diverging stakeholders, broadening the coverage of the design process and generating stronger rationales for design decisions.
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    Sound Source Localization in Domestic Environment
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004) Bian, Xuehai ; Rehg, James M. ; Abowd, Gregory D.
    Sound source localization strategies can be traced back to radar and sonar localization systems. In the report, we will review the main challenges of sound source, especially talker, localization problem and current major strategies. We proposed a practical peak-weighted PHAT TDOA method to find reliable source location in the Awarehome, which is a residential lab in Georgia Tech. Finally, we suggest the application scenarios in domestic environment and provide future direction of our work.
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    Using Sound Source Localization to Monitor and Infer Activities in the Home
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004) Bian, Xuehai ; Abowd, Gregory D. ; Rehg, James M.
    Recent research in ubiquitous computing has focused both on how to infer human activity from a variety of signals sensed in the environment as well as how to use that information to support interactions. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and usefulness of sound source localization (SSL) in a home environment, which is an implicit location system to support monitoring of a remote space as well as to infer key activities, such as face-to-face conversations. We present a microphone array system that covers a significant portion of the public space in a realistic home setting and discuss monitoring and automated inferring applications that are made possible with this technology in a domestic setting.