Title: Blockchain Technology and its Applications to the Internet of Things
Speaker: Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari
Abstract: Blockchain technology is bringing fundamental new capabilities pertaining to decentralized trust and enabling micropayments for data. I will present results from research at USC touching on both the core technology and its application to the internet of things. These include a new mobile-oriented blockchain protocol, a middleware to decentralize publish-subscribe brokers, smart contracts to enable cheat-proof peer-to-peer trading of digital goods, a streaming data payment protocol, and a decentralized review mechanism suitable for data marketplaces.
Bio: Bhaskar Krishnamachari is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. His research spans the design and evaluation of algorithms and protocols for wireless networks, distributed systems, and the internet of things. He is the co-author of more than 300 technical papers, and 3 books, that have been collectively cited more than 30,000 times. He has received best paper awards at MSWiM (2004), IPSN (2004, 2010), Mobicom (2010), and VNC (2021). He is the recipient of the NSF Career Award, the ASEE Terman Award, and has been listed in MIT Technology Review’s TR-35 and Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10”.
Title: Passive Intelligent Surfaces for IoT Communication and Sensing
Speaker: Prof. Xinyu Zhang
Abstract: Embedding sensing and communication capabilities seamlessly into ambient environment is a long-term aspiration of the Internet of Things (IoT). Intelligent surfaces, with conformable shape, thin form factors, and ease of fabrication, can potentially materialize the vision of intelligent and connected things. In this talk, I will present the design of passive, batteryless, chipless surfaces that facilitate IoT communication and sensing. These surfaces can be fabricated through ordinary inkjet printing, PCB printing, or 3D printing. They can help sensing the interaction between human users and everyday objects, thus enabling challenging use cases such as experience sampling and mobile VR interaction. In addition, they can communicate with ordinary radio/radar devices, and boost the quality of existing wireless links. Realizing such capabilities involves non-trivial challenges, especially since the surfaces are fully passive and do not possess the computing/communication components in typical IoT devices. This talk will introduce a set of solutions that span the areas of electromagnetics, wireless communications, and application-specific signal processing.
Bio: Xinyu Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Prior to joining UC San Diego in 2017, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 2012. His research interest lies in wireless systems and ubiquitous computing, and more specifically in (i) designing next-generation wireless architectures and physical-layer informed protocols; (ii) designing ubiquitous wireless sensing systems to achieve near-vision precision. His research work has been regularly published in top conferences in these areas, especially ACM MobiCom, MobiSys, USENIX NSDI, and IEEE INFOCOM. He is the recipient of two ACM MobiCom Best Paper Awards (2011 and 2020), Communications of the ACM Research Highlight (2018), ACM SIGMOBILE Research Highlight (2018), NSF CAREER Award (2014), Google Research Award (2017, 2018, 2020), and Sony Research Award (2018, 2020). He served as the TPC chair for ACM MobiCom 2019, IEEE SECON 2017, co-chair of NSF millimeter-wave research coordination network, and Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing from 2017 to 2020.