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Prof. Fan Ye Wins Google Faculty Research Award

Febraury 28, 2017

Fan YeECE assistant professor Fan Ye has been awarded a Google Faculty Research Award. This is a competitive and prestigious award aimed to strengthen Google’s ties with researchers and to support cutting-edge work on “problems that will impact how future generations use technology.”

This award comes with a gift of $48,500 which will be used to support Prof. Ye’s research on “Accurate, Scalable, Low-Cost Floor Plan Construction Using Commodity Smartphones.”

The research will investigate a less explored sensing modality – sound – on commodity smartphones, to develop algorithms and system for low cost, accurate, scalable construction of indoor floor plans. Indoor floor plans are foundational data enabling LBS (location based services). Unfortunately obtaining such data at large scale incurs prohibitive operational and financial overheads. Common practices include effort-intensive business negotiations with various data owners, or specialized, possibly expensive gear for people to carry and walk inside buildings. Neither offers low cost, scalable solution to cover every building on the Earth. This research proposes to leverage smartphone speakers and microphones, develop acoustic ranging, signal processing algorithms to detect, measure distance/orientations of major surfaces (e.g., walls) inside complex buildings, and fuse such data to construct complete, accurate floor maps. The solution requires only commodity smartphones already carried by people inside buildings everyday, thus eliminating the logistic and financial costs of business negotiation or special hardware. It is lightweight, and complementary to vision based technology (e.g., Tango) which may face privacy concerns and operational restrictions.

Learn more about Prof. Ye’s recent work here.