John F. Canny

Research Expertise and Interest

computer science, activity-based computing, livenotes, mechatronic devices, flexonics

Research Description

John Canny is a professor of computer science.  His current research includes: 

BID: The Berkeley Institute of Design. BID is a new research program about design in the era of pervasive technology. The BID lab is a 4000 sq ft space in the Hearst Memorial Mining Building with researchers from CS, ME, Education, Art Practice, SIMS and architecture. The program covers activity-oriented design of workspaces, products and information systems.

Livenotes is a practice and a technology for small-team collaborative learning in regular lecture classrooms. Livenotes uses wirelessly-networked PDAs or Tablet-PCs to allow students to take notes and annotate lectures collaboratively and in real-time. It leverages the power of small-group learning and integration of student, team-mate and lecturer perspectives (multi-vocality).

Flexonics is a new class of mechatronic devices that differ from their traditional counterparts in both fabrication and design. Our goal is to build fully functional mechatronic devices without assembly. These devices will integrate structural, mechanical, and electronic components during fabrication using an all inkjet printing process. Our focus is on high-performance dielectric actuators.

Multiview is a system for displaying multiple distinct views on a single screen. It can be used to provide spatially-faithful video-conferencing for natural eye contact and deixis. It can also be used to provide many views for walk-around inspection of architectural models or other 3D designs. Inter-image spacing ranges from many degrees to a fraction of a degree.

Ubicomp Privacy aims to develop new tools and techniques for privacy in a variety of situations including: collaborative work, smart spaces, and location-aware services. We are particularly interested in techniques that control how information is used, not just who has access to it. The goal is to develop provably strong (cryptographic and information-theoretic) protocols that are practically realizable.

Activity-Based Computing (ABC) explores the role of activities in shaping behavior. Activities are patterns of particular people, documents, tools, places, calendar times etc. Probabilistic models are used to build activity maps from low-level log data about email, document use, web browsing etc. Private computation is used so this log data is never exposed. ABC can be used for proactive document sharing, proactive retrieval, disambiguation, and other contextualization tasks.

Glaze is developing design methods for location-based services. The goal is to support rapid development and customization of location applications via technology probes, using a simple noun-verb programming interface. Our hypothesis is that LBSes should support small as well as large quanta of functionality, and design methods should support both. We also want to support a flexible "design hierarchy" from originating designer through other "customizers" through to the end user.

The Virtual Development Center (VDC) is a project sponsored by the Institute for Women in Technology and focused on design of technology by and for women.

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