About me

I’m a Ph.D. Candidate at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science of Carnegie Mellon University . I’m advised by Scott Hudson in the Devlab . I work at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Computational Materials Manufacturing and Cyber-Physical Human Systems. My work has been published several papers at top-tier HCI venues, including ACM CHI, IMWUT (UbiComp), UIST, and CSCW, winning best honorable mention award and has also featured on news outlets like New Scientist, Makezine, etc.

I have also been a part of research teams at numerous institutions such as the Manufacturing Science group at Oakridge National Lab (ORNL) , Microsoft Research, HPI , INRIA , and Xerox Research. Prior to my Ph.D, I completed a dual degree master’s from Technical University of Berlin and Universite Paris-Sud XI.

Research Vision:
Interactive Computational Materials for the Networked Built Environment

The key idea of ubiquitous computing is that as computers get miniaturized and powerful, they can be applied cheaply to digitize the physical infrastructure such as rooms, buildings, bridges, structures, neighborhoods, and cities into cyberspace. Unfortunately, this vision is not entirely realized due to end of end of Moore’s law and Dennard scaling. As a result, our devices remain power-hungry, are not seamlessly integrated, and continue to be manufactured using yesterday’s design ideas and technology. To date, the focus of device manufacturing has been on miniaturization and packing the most functionality into the smallest form factors, even though our physical infrastructure is much larger in scale. Miniaturized devices need to be deployed in massive quantities to enable interactivity in the built environment (buildings, sidewalks, etc.), leading to unsustainable power consumption as the many devices require numerous batteries.

Further, to truly enable affordance, human interaction, and computing to be pervasive, we need to manufacture computational capabilities into “things” we interact with in our environment (e.g. furniture). Instead of power-hungry boxed form factors, we need to create battery-free devices with various form factors and materials. For example, we could integrate computing with extremely strong materials that make up our environments, such as concrete and wood and build interactive battery-free devices in structural forms like walls and tables.

There remain several challenges related to form factor, power, sensing, actuation, and device manufacturing in the built environment scale. My work introduces “computational material devices” (see fig below) to address these issues, wherein engineered materials enable low-power, integrated sensing, and actuation with the networked physical infrastructure (buildings, structures, bridges, etc.) in our built environment. This effort is a highly interdisciplinary endeavor spanning collaborators from ECE, CEE, ME across institutions. For a complete research statement, please read it here.

Recent Research Highlights:


Publications:




W4A 2017
The Crowd Work Accessibility Problem
Saiganesh Swaminathan, Raymond Fok, Fanglin Chen, Ting-Hao (Kenneth) Huang, Irene Lin, Rohan Jadvani, Walter S. Lasecki, Jeffrey P. Bigham
In Proceedings of the 14th Annual ACM International Web for All Conference (W4A ’17), Perth, Australia.
🏅 Best Paper Nomination
[Paper PDF] [ACM DL]