My name is Robert Brewer, and I’m in the ICS PhD program at UHM. I’ve been bouncing between academia and industry for 16 years in Hawaii: I took my first class at UH in Fall 1992, joined CSDL in the Spring of 1993, left to found LavaNet in the summer of 1994, came back to UH to finish my ICS MS in Spring 1998, graduated in Spring 2000 and went back to LavaNet until the Fall 2005. I worked as a sysadmin in the ICS department for 3 months in the winter of 2005, and came back as post-baccalaureate student in the Fall of 2006, and rejoined CSDL. I formally entered the ICS PhD program in the Fall of 2007, and at that time I left CSDL to join LILT to work as an RA on the HiMax grant (now known as the Ubiquitous Wireless Applications group). I’ve come back to work with Philip on my PhD dissertation in CSDL, but I’m still working as an RA in LILT so I’m a part of both research groups.
My current research area is working on using information technology to address issues of climate change and sustainability. I wrote this position paper (Carbon Metric Collection and Analysis with the Personal Environmental Tracker) for the Ubiquitous Sustainability: Citizen Science & Activism workshop that is happening before Ubicomp 2008 in Seoul in a few weeks. I also have a workshop paper based on my work in LILT (SocialSense: A System For Social Environment Awareness) for the Devices that Alter Perception workshop, also at Ubicomp.
Now I’m trying to carve a dissertation topic out of the vision for PET. My first attempt is looking at whether GPS data (from an off-the-shelf GPS logger) can be used to calculate one’s carbon emissions due to transportation. Hopefully the GPS data can be used both to determine what mode of transportation is being used (foot, car, bus, train, plane, etc) and the length of each trip. There is other research in this area, so I’ll be looking at that as part of my literature review.
By the end of the fall 2008 semester, I’m planning to have my research portfolio ready to submit to the ICS department by the end of the semester, and have a dissertation proposal either complete or well underway.