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Smart Home Devices: Why They Don’t Always Work Correctly

Thu, April 1st, 2021
4:15 pm
- 5:30 pm

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Smart Home Devices: Why They Don’t Always Work Correctly

Kelly Shaw is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Williams College.  She earned her B.S. in Computer Science from Duke University and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University.  Her work explores ways to improve the interaction between computer hardware and software in order to make applications run faster while functioning correctly.  Ensuring correctness can be challenging in many modern systems because these systems are comprised of different types of processors that work collectively on a shared problem.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing domain of computing where applications can be constructed out of a variety of internet-enabled devices that interact with their physical environment.  For example, an individual can create a home monitoring system that is comprised of smart locks, motion detectors, and smoke alarms that can send alerts to smart phones when activity is sensed.  As many smart home enthusiasts have discovered, these systems do not always function as correctly as hoped.  Shaw’s recent work examines ways to verify the correctness of these IoT systems and designs approaches for enabling correct operation.

In this talk, Shaw will introduce Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, explaining how internet-enabled devices can interact with one another and with users by using computing and data storage resources in the cloud.  She will describe multiple ways that unexpected and incorrect behavior can occur in these systems, including examples from work with commercial smart home platforms.  Finally, she will share approaches she and her collaborators have explored for detecting and correcting these issues in IoT systems.

This talk is presented as part of the spring 2021 Faculty Lecture Series. The series was founded in 1911 by Catherine Mariotti Pratt, the spouse of a faculty member who wanted to “relieve the tedium of long New England winters with an opportunity to hear Williams professors talk about issues that really mattered to them.” From these humble and lighthearted beginnings, the Faculty Lecture Series has grown to become an important forum for tenured professors to share their latest research with the larger intellectual community of the college.

The Faculty Lecture Series is organized by the faculty members of the Lecture Committee. The aim of the series is to present big ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries. The lectures will be offered on February 25, March 4, 11, 25 and April 1, all beginning at 4:15 p.m.  The lectures are free and open to the public.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
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Webinar ID: 963 3542 8169
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