Ph.D. Computer Science, Stanford U.
Research Scientist, Intel Corp.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. A: Well, I grew up in a suburb of Seattle, just down the street from a bunch
of big tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, etc. In fact, for a
significant amount of high school and college, I worked as an intern for
Microsoft, both in Redmond and at their research lab in Beijing. After
finishing college at the University of Washington, I moved to one of the other big tech hubs - Silicon
Valley - to start my graduate work at Stanford University. I'm currently finishing up my
Ph.D. under Ron Fedkiw, and am working as a Research Scientist in the
Throughput Computing Lab at Intel Corporation.
Q: How did you become interested in omniscient technology? A: Growing up, I loved playing video games, both on the computer and on
the consoles, and always followed advancements in the gaming industry very
closely. When the Nintendo Wii first
came out, the use of accelerometers in the nunchuck controllers and pressure sensors in
the balance board gave games a whole new dimension by allowing the player to
interact with the game in a completely different way. When this same sensor technology
became available in everyday mobile devices like cellphones and IPads, it became clear to me that
sensor input could be extremely useful for far more than games. Now, as more
complicated sensors are becoming cheaper and more commonplace, such as the motion capture devices
in the Xbox Kinect, I've become increasingly
interested in how technology can be used to process all this new sensor data and
provide useful information back to the user.
Q: How do you see this technology changing people's lives? A: The technology that is already available in people's phones, in their
cars, and around their home is already capable of gathering enormous amounts of
information about people's behavior and how they interactions with their
surrounding environment. However, what excites me the most is the potential I
see in the next few years in terms of the technology that is going to be
available. Both at Intel and at Stanford, I get a first hand look at some of
the technology coming down the line that really has the potential to change the
way people live life. Reduction in cost of
sensor technology will allow a person to gather all sorts of new information about
their surroundings. Improvements in storage technology will soon make it realistic to
store every detail of every minute of a person's life. Processor technology is
becoming increasingly more powerful as well as energy efficiency, meaning smaller devices like cellphones
will become general computing devices, having the compute power of modern
desktops. Faster wireless networks will allow for almost instantaneous
communication with other people from around the world. Technology such as
cellphones and laptops already make our lives immensely easier, imagine what the
improvements in sensors, storage, compute, and communications will enable.
Q: Given your background in technology, where does your interest in health and fitness come from? A: I've always been into playing a variety of sports, including tennis,
basketball, climbing, etc, and as such I've always been interested in improving
my fitness to be better at these activities. However, as I've become busier
with school and work, it's become increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy
diet and lifestyle. This made me wonder, if I can use technology to make me
more efficient at work and school, why can't I use it to improve my life in
general? This is where I hope Pivot can make a difference in people's lives.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add? A: I really believe that the pervasiveness of technology will be able to
radically change the way people live their lives, in more ways than the we can
imagine. I hope that Pivot will become a forum for others who share our
interest in technology and the way it can improve people's lives, to collaborate
and develop new ways of applying technology that no one has thought of before.