Impossibly Small Devices


July 24, 2014


Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, Kristofer Pister, Chris Harrison, and Brandon Lucia


Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Microsoft


Over the years, we have been successful making computing devices smaller, more efficient, and cheaper. Unfortunately, barriers such as constraints on power and energy mean we can no longer trivially shrink today’s devices any further. In this session, we will explore creative approaches to new challenges in user interaction, low-power system designs, novel form factors, and hardware innovations.


Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, Kristofer Pister, Chris Harrison, and Brandon Lucia

Hadi Esmaeilzadeh is the Catherine M. and James E. Allchin Early Career Professor of Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. His dissertation received the 2013 William Chan Memorial Dissertation Award from University of Washington. He founded the Alternative Computing Technologies (ACT) Lab, where he works with his students on developing new technologies and cross-stack solutions to develop the next generation computing systems for emerging applications. Hadi received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Washington in 2013. He has a master’s degree in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin (2010), and a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Tehran (2005). Hadi received the Google Research Faculty Award in 2013.

Hadi’s research is recognized by three Communications of the ACM Research Highlights and three IEEE Micro Top Picks. His work on dark silicon has been profiled in the New York Times.

Professor Pister developed Smart Dust, aimed at putting a complete sensing/communication platform inside a cubic millimeter. For this work, he was awarded the second annual Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize for Technological Innovation in. He has also focused his energies on synthetic insects, which he has characterized as “basically Smart Dust with legs.” Professor Pister was also awarded the Alfred F. Sperry Founder Award in 2009 for his “contributions to the science and technology of instrumentation, systems, and automation.”

Kris is a co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC) and a researcher with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).

Chris Harrison is an Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. He broadly investigates novel sensing technologies and interaction techniques, especially those that empower people to interact with small devices in big ways. Harrison was named as one of the top 30 scientists under 30 by Forbes, a top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review, and one of six innovators to watch in 2013 by Smithsonian. When not in the lab, Chris can be found welding sculptures, renovating his house, and visiting remote corners of the globe.

Brandon is currently looking at developing new programming and execution models—with hardware and software support—that help make intermittently-powered, systems correct, reliable, and programmable (despite their bad habit of rebooting all the time). Brandon is also doing work to bridge the gap between today’s largely homogenous system designs and the heterogeneous and application-specialized parallel architectures and systems.

Brandon’s prior (and ongoing) work aims to make concurrent and parallel systems correct and reliable. Brandon’s work defines new architecture and system support that helps programmers find and fix their bugs, as well as avoiding failures that stem from broken software.

Brandon received his PhD in 2013 from the University of Washington.