Amir Chaudhry

thoughts, comments & general ramblings

Joining the Computer Lab Systems Group

This was the post I meant to write all the way back in January.

I’ve joined the Systems Research Group in the Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Much of the work here has a strong practical angle and people like to build useful things. Several of the profs here have been involved in creating some prominent companies (one recent example is XenSource, which powers much of the public cloud - bought by Citrix).

My work in the lab is related to Personal Containers, which aims to give users access and control over their lifelong digital footprint. It’s part of a wider research program funded by the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, which tackles topics ranging from energy efficiency to “Death 2.0” (that might sound odd but what does happens to your online identity/ies when you die? What should happen? How?).

One of the first things I worked on was a paper with several other folks in the lab, which is currently being presented at a conference. It’s about infrastructure to infer the carbon footprint of employees’ daily commute by analysing high resolution geolocation data from their smartphones. Obviously, this must be done in a privacy-sensitive manner, which is what the paper discusses. Once it’s published in the conference proceedings I’ll add a link to it here.

I’ve also been writing a bit on the Personal Conatainer’s blog about privacy and personal data. The posts there will be reposted here too, over the next few weeks.

Other than that, here are some random pics from the lab. The second pic will make more sense if you’ve seen the xkcd comic it’s based on.