Computing That Serves

Designing Pervasive Computing


Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:00am


Scott Klemmer, Assistant Professor, Stanford University

In 1952, Grace Hopper's compiler opened the door to thousands of newsoftware developers. But until a few years ago, only experts couldcreate interactive media. Today, millions of high-school studentsmaintain custom Facebook pages. My research goal is to create the toolsand representations that will enable everyone, not just technologyexperts, to design interactive systems for pervasive computing. Whatkinds of systems can enable people to be able to design a personalhealth monitor or full-body game controller? There are three main thrusts to my research. The first is design toolsfor pervasive computing - enabling people to create interfaces thatsupport the richness of human bodily expression and more tightlyintegrate the physical and computational worlds. Second, our workintroduces programming by physical demonstration, enabling leveragetheir tacit knowledge about the physical world to specify sensor-basedinteractions through combined direct manipulation and patternrecognition. Letting users leverage their tacit knowledge to programsystem behaviors. Third, despite its drawbacks, many users today developsoftware by copying and modifying existing examples. Users find examplesmore effective than API documentation because they contain the completecontext of a working piece of code. Yet current software tools arelargely ignorant of design-by-modification. Our recent work addressesthis through techniques for creating interfaces analogically by samplingelements from existing designs and rapidly modifying extant interfaces.


Scott Klemmer is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he co-directs the Human-Computer Interaction Group. He received a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown University in 1999, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2001 and 2004 respectively. His primary research focus is interaction techniques and design tools that enable integrated interactions with physical and digital artifacts and environments. He is a recipient of the UIST 2006 and CHI 2007 Best Paper Awards and the 2006 Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship.