Gregory D. Abowd is a Regents’ Professor and J.Z. Liang Chair in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, where he has been on the faculty since 1994. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Computing. An applied computer scientist, Dr. Abowd’s research interests concern how the advanced information technologies of mobile, wearable and ubiquitous computing impact our everyday lives when they are seamlessly integrated into our living spaces. Dr. Abowd’s work has involved applications as diverse as education (Classroom 2000), home life (The Aware Home) and health (technology and autism, CampusLife). He and his current and former students are active inventors of new sensing and interaction technologies. He has recently helped to co-create an interdisciplinary research effort, COSMOS, which investigates the collaboration of materials, manufacturing, electronics, computing and design to explore an alternative future computing industry. Dr. Abowd is an ACM Fellow and a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy.
Talk: “Computational Materials: putting computational functions into materials”
Revisiting Weiser’s 30-year old inspirational vision on ubiquitous computing, we see that there are three factors that today limit the kind of ubiquity that Weiser described: power, cost, and form factor. Using these factors to drive our efforts, we have created examples of computational materials at Georgia Tech that demonstrate self-sustaining computational devices that are manufactured with simple materials to perform interesting sensing and communication tasks. These computational materials can be more literally woven into the fabric of everyday life, inspiring many more applications of ubiquitous computing, as well as many avenues for research challenges. We will demonstrate some of these early examples, motivating an Internet of Materials vision. Is this a logical progression from the Internet of Things, or something fundamentally new? I will present examples of computational materials that have been created at Georgia Tech in collaboration with materials scientists, chemical engineers, and other disciplines. I will also discuss some of the exciting research challenges for this emerging field.