Research Diaries


Research Diaries is a collection of interviews with faculties and researchers in computer science to learn about their approach to various aspects of computer science research such as planning, execution, and publicity.

Tips for Technical Presentation

Prof. Philip Levis, Stanford University, shares his approach to making clear and impactful conference presentations. From his experience seeing many presentations over many years, he distills some practical tips on how to craft the visual and non-visual aspects of a presentation on a technical topic. He also alerts us about some common mistakes we make in our presentations and simple fixes to remove them.

Safety First in Computer Science Experiments

Prof. Akos Ledeczi, Vanderbilt University, shares his experiences managing the safety of his research work that involved the use of firearms. He offers insights about how logistics, good planning, and good friends can make these experiments surprisingly efficient even though they may appear daunting at first.

Successes and Failures in Research

Prof. Kamin Whitehouse, University of Virginia, shares the successes and failures he experienced in research projects when he was a Ph.D. student. He offers insights about how to be an effective researcher despite failures we may encounter once in a while. He also describes how he approaches projects that seem certain to fail.

Research Software and Hardware Deployment Lessons

Prof. Timothy Hnat, University of Memphis, shares his experiences deploying research software and hardware systems at users homes or user studies. He discusses the type of planning his research group does to make deployments and user studies robust against expected and unexpected obstacles.

Life of Research Ideas and the Importance of Failing Fast

Prof. Rodrigo Fonseca, Brown University, tells us how he has come across research ideas and made them into successful projects, when he was a Ph.D. student and now as a faculty. He also shares some tips on how to move quickly from an idea to experiments, to lots of data, to analysis, and insights.

Making Research Meetings Effective

Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari, University of Southern California, shares his experiences from research group meetings he used to attend when he was a Ph.D. student and how those experiences have shaped the way he conducts group meetings now as a faculty. He also tells us how he keeps his research meetings fun and active even though sometimes they run for three hours!

Application of Machine Learning in Systems Research

Dr. Abhishek Sharma, NEC Labs America, tells us how data mining and machine learning is changing the way we analyze the performance of computing systems. He shares the lessons he has learnt doing research and building products that use data mining and machine learning for server log analysis. The video also includes pointers to must-read papers and techniques for researchers interested in this area.

Reducing Barrier to Smartphone Research

Prof. Geoffrey Challen, SUNY Buffalo, tells us about PhoneLab and how it will reduce the barrier to smartphone research. He also shares things he has learnt designing and maintaining hardware and software for large-scale testbeds such as PhoneLab.

Indoor Localization Future Directions

Dr. Vlado Handziski, TU Berlin, speaks to us about the hardware and software platform TU Berlin has developed for research in indoor localization. He tells us how we can use the platform to perform head-to-head comparison of reasearch indoor localization systems against the commercial ones. He also describes how the team uses Google cloud services to manage and process data and how using the human brain as outlier detector has served him well in his research.

Aerial Sensor Networks and Lessons Learnt

Dr. Brano Kusy, CSIRO ICT Centre Australia, speaks to us about wireless sensor network deployed to study fruit bats in Australia. He tells us about the hardware and software platform used in the research and plans for handling the vast amount of data collected in the project.