Computing in the Physical World Task Force

Chairs: Ben Zorn and Shwetak Patel

Ben ZornBen Zorn

Microsoft Research


Ben Zorn   Website

Ben Zorn is a Research Manager and Principal Researcher, co-managing the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group, a group of over 30 researchers and developers working on programming languages and software engineering in Microsoft Research, Redmond. After receiving a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, he served eight years in the Computer Science faculty at the University of Colorado in Boulder, receiving tenure and being promoted to Associate Professor in 1996. Dr. Zorn left the University of Colorado in 1998 to join Microsoft Research, where he currently works. His research interests include programming language design and implementation for reliability, security, and performance. Dr. Zorn has served as both Program and General Chair of the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) Conference, as an Associate Editor of the ACM journals Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems and Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization. Dr. Zorn as also served seven years as a Member-at-Large of the SIGPLAN Executive Committee and currently serves on the ACM Software Systems Award Committee.

Shwetak PatelShwetak Patel

University of Washington


Shwetak Patel   Website

Shwetak N. Patel is the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, where he directs his research group, the Ubicomp Lab. His research interests are in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Sensor-enabled Embedded Systems, and User Interface Software and Technology. He is particularly interested in developing new sensing technologies with a particular emphasis on energy monitoring and health applications for the home. Dr. Patel was a founder of Zensi, Inc., a residential energy monitoring company, which was acquired by Belkin, Inc in 2010. He is also a co-founder of SNUPI Technologies, a low-power wireless sensor company. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and B.S. in Computer Science in 2003. Dr. Patel is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (2011), Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship (2011), Sloan Fellowship (2012), TR-35 Award (2009), World Economic Forum Young Global Scientist Award (2013), and an NSF Career Award (2013). He was also was named top innovator of the year by Seattle Business Magazine and Newsmaker of the year by Seattle Business Journal in 2011. His past work was also honored by the New York Times as a top technology of the year in 2005.

Current Members:

Kevin FuKevin Fu
University of Michigan


Kevin Fu Website

Kevin Fu is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan where he directs the Archimedes Center for Medical Device Security and the Security and Privacy Research Group. His research investigates how to achieve trustworthy computing on embedded devices with application to health care, commerce, and communication. His participation in the provocative 2008 research paper analyzing the security of a pacemaker/defibrillator led to a watershed moment in cybersecurity for medical device manufacturing and regulatory science. Prof. Fu received his Ph.D. in EECS from MIT where his doctoral research pertained to secure storage and web authentication. Fu received a Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, Fed100 Award, and best paper awards from various academic silos of computing. The research is featured in critical articles by the NYT, WSJ, and NPR. Kevin was named MIT Technology Review TR35 Innovator of the Year for work on medical device security. Kevin has testified in Congress on health matters and has written commissioned work for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He served as a visiting scientist at the Food & Drug Administration, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Harvard Medical School, Microsoft Research, and MIT CSAIL. Previous employers include Bellcore, Cisco Systems, HP Labs, and Holland Community Hospital. He is a member of the ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy and the NIST Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board. He is a principal investigator of Trustworthy Health & Wellness. Prior to joining Michigan, he served on the faculty at UMass Amherst. Kevin also holds a certificate of achievement in artisanal bread making from the French Culinary Institute.

Daniel LoprestiDaniel Lopresti
Lehigh University


Daniel Lopresti Website

Daniel Lopresti received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 1982 and his Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton in 1987. After completing his doctorate, he joined the Department of Computer Science at Brown and taught courses ranging from VLSI design to computational aspects of molecular biology and conducted research in parallel computing and VLSI CAD. He went on to help found the Matsushita Information Technology Laboratory in Princeton, and later also served on the research staff at Bell Labs where his work turned to document analysis, handwriting recognition, and biometric security.

In 2003, Dr. Lopresti joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Lehigh where his research examines fundamental algorithmic and systems-related questions in pattern recognition, bioinformatics, and security. Dr. Lopresti is director of the Lehigh Pattern Recognition Research (PatRec) Lab. On July 1, 2009, he became Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Effective July 1, 2014, he assumed the role of Interim Dean of the P. C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh.

Greg MorrisettGreg Morrisett
Cornell University


Greg Morrisett Website

Greg Morrisett is the Dean of Computing and Information Sciences (CIS) at Cornell University, which houses the departments of Computer Science, Information Science, and Statistical Sciences. Previously, he held the Allen B. Cutting Chair in Computer Science at Harvard University from 2004-2015. At Harvard, he also served as the Associate Dean for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and as the Director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society. Before Harvard, Morrisett spent eight years on the faculty of Cornell’s Computer Science Department. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and both his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Morrisett’s research focuses on the application of programming language technology for building secure, reliable, and high-performance software systems. A common theme is the focus on systems-level languages and tools that can help detect or prevent common vulnerabilities in software. Past examples include typed assembly language, proof-carrying code, software fault isolation, and control-flow isolation. Recently, his research focuses on building provably correct and secure software, including a focus on cryptographic schemes, machine learning, and compilers.

Morrisett is a Fellow of the ACM and has received a number of awards for his research on programming languages, type systems, and software security, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an IBM Faculty Fellowship, an NSF Career Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.

He served as Chief Editor for the Journal of Functional Programming and as an associate editor for ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, Information Processing Letters, and The Journal of the ACM. He currently serves as co-editor-in-chief for the Research Highlights column of Communications of the ACM. In addition, Morrisett has served on the DARPA Information Science and Technology Study (ISAT) Group, the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Advisory Council, The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems Advisory Board, the Computing Research Association Board, Microsoft Research’s Technical Advisory Board, Microsoft’s Trusthworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board, and the Fortify Technical Advisory Board.

Beth MynattBeth Mynatt
CCC Chair
Georgia Institute of Technology


Beth Mynatt Website

Elizabeth Mynatt is a professor of Interactive Computing and the executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology. The Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) serves as a catalyst for research activities that pursue transformations in healthcare, media, education, and humanitarian systems by integrating advances in human-centered design, system science and engineering, policy, and management. Dr. Mynatt is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of ubiquitous computing, personal health informatics, computer-supported collaborative work and human-computer interface design. Named Top Woman Innovator in Technology by Atlanta Woman Magazine in 2005, Dr. Mynatt has created new technologies that support the independence and quality of life of older adults “aging in place,” that help people manage diabetes, and that increase creative collaboration in workplaces. Dr. Mynatt is a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy, a Sloan and Kavli research fellow, and serves on Microsoft Research’s Technical Advisory Board. She is also the Vice Chair of the Computing Community Consortium, an NSF-sponsored effort to engage the computing research community in envisioning more audacious research challenges. Dr. Mynatt earned her Bachelor of Science summa cum laude in computer science from North Carolina State University and her Master of Science and Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Tech.

Klara NahrstedtKlara Nahrstedt
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign


Klara Nahrstedt Website

Klara Nahrstedt is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor in the Computer Science Department, and Acting Director of Coordinated Science Laboratory in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are directed towards 3D teleimmersive systems, mobile systems, Quality of Service (QoS) and resource management, Quality of Experience in multimedia systems, and real-time security in mission-critical systems. She is the co-author of widely used multimedia books `Multimedia: Computing, Communications and Applications’ published by Prentice Hall, and ‘Multimedia Systems’ published by Springer Verlag. She is the recipient of the IEEE Communication Society Leonard Abraham Award for Research Achievements, University Scholar, Humboldt Award, IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, and the former chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Multimedia. She was the general chair of ACM Multimedia 2006, general chair of ACM NOSSDAV 2007 and the general chair of IEEE Percom 2009.

Klara Nahrstedt received her Diploma in Mathematics from Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in numerical analysis in 1985. In 1995 she received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Computer and Information Science. She is an ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and Member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences.

Debra RichardsonJennifer Rexford
Princeton University


Jennifer Rexford Website

Jennifer Rexford is the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering in the Computer Science department at Princeton University. Before joining Princeton in 2005, she worked for eight years at AT&T Labs–Research. Jennifer received her BSE degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1991, and her PhD degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan in 1996. She is co-author of the book “Web Protocols and Practice” (Addison-Wesley, May 2001). She served as the chair of ACM SIGCOMM from 2003 to 2007. Jennifer was the 2004 winner of ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professional. She is an ACM Fellow (2008), and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013) and the National Academy of Engineering (2014).

Debra RichardsonDebra Richardson
University of California–Irvine


Debra Richardson Website

Debra J. Richardson is founding Ted and Janice Smith Dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California—Irvine. She joined the UCI faculty in 1987, and became chair of the ICS department in July 2000. Under her leadership, the department was promoted to the first computing-focused school in the UC system in December 2002, and she was appointed the founding dean. She was instrumental in securing a transformational six-figure endowment for the school, resulting in naming the school after philanthropist Donald Bren. She served as dean through June 2010.

Richardson is a Professor of Informatics. She pioneered research in “specification-based testing” and recently shifted her attention to adapting software engineering techniques to socially relevant domains, specifically focusing on sustainability. Her research has been recognized by designation as a Fellow of Automated Software Engineering, and also with two retrospective impact awards from ACM SIGSoft.

A long-time advocate of increasing the participation of women and other underrepresented minorities in computing, she has served on the leadership team of the National Center for Women and Information Technology since its inception and leads UCI’s NCWIT PaceSetter team. She chairs the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools, focusing on equitable access to K-16 computing education. She chairs the Advisory Council for ACM’s Computer Science Teachers Association, chaired CSEdWeek during its second and third years, and serves on the ACM Education Board.

Richardson received her B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California—San Diego, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst.

There is a lot of activity going on in the Internet of Things area.  The goal of this task force is to focus on the core research challenges, highlight what they are and that new research is needed, and communicate the value of leveraging the research community to solve them.

Internet of Things White Papers

Intelligent Infrastructure White Papers

Toward a Science of Autonomy for Physical Systems White Papers

Other Links

From Kevin Fu’s presentation at the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board Meeting, October 22, 2015

AAAS 2017 Meeting panels:

CCC Response to NITRD “Smart Cities and Communities Federal Strategic Plan: Exploring Innovation Together”

Related Resources

Below is a list of initiatives, documents, and web sites related to the topics in the Internet of Things white paper.

Robust and Secure Systems

Smart Cities

Related announcements/papers/videos:

Related Activities