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Alum Vamsi Talla receives the ACM SIGCOMM dissertation award

August 8, 2017

Vamsi Talla (Ph.D. ’16)

Vamsi Talla (Ph.D. ’16) was awarded the ACM SIGCOMM 2016 Doctoral Dissertation Award for his Ph.D. thesis in Computer Networking and Data Communication.

His thesis, entitled “Power, Communication and Sensing Solutions for Energy Constrained Platforms,” introduces new techniques to build low-power sensors and devices that consume no energy beyond what is already in the air. In the work, he illustrates that ambient signals, such as television and Wi-Fi, can generate power to battery-free devices. This ambient backscatter technique has already gained significant milestones in the field. Recently, Talla and other researchers achieved battery-free phone calls through ambient backscatter. This research has the potential to fuel lower-power sensing for a variety of mobile devices.

Talla has received numerous awards for his work. Previously, he received the ACM SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award and the WAGS/UMI Outstanding Innovation in Technology Award. Talla and his colleagues also received several Best Paper Awards for their research related to backscatter, including SIGCOMM 2016, NSDI 2016 and SIGCOMM 2013.

While at the UW Department of Electrical Engineering (UW EE), Talla worked with UW EE and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Professor Joshua Smith. After graduation, Talla continued to work as a postdoc in Smith’s Sensor Systems Lab and UW EE Adjunct Professor and Allen School Professor Shyam Gollakota’s Networks & Mobile Systems Lab.  Talla is currently the CTO of Jeeva Wireless, the startup he co-founded while at the UW.