Pat Pannuto

PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. | 248.990.4548 | 545W Cory

I am on the job market this year!

CV | Research | Teaching | Diversity | Full Appkit

Interview Schedule

As of February 22, 2019

Selected Honors & Awards

Michigan Micro Mote & MBus

The Michigan Micro Mote, or M3 project, aims to bring general-purpose computing and sensing to millimeter-scale devices. As part of this effort, we identified the system interconnect as a key impediment to further scaling the energy and area of embedded computing. To address this, I led the design of MBus, a new chip-to-chip interconnect optimized for energy-conscious designs.

Cubeworks is commercializing the M3 technology.

{ JSTS'16 | Micro Top Picks '16 | ISCA'15 | WARP'15 | CICC'14 | VLSI'14 | VLSI'14 | JSSC'13 }

The Tock Operating System

Low-power microcontrollers lack some of the hardware features and memory resources that traditionally enable multiprogrammable systems. Accordingly, microcontroller-based operating systems have not provided important features like fault isolation, dynamic memory allocation, and flexible concurrency. However, an emerging class of embedded applications are software platforms, rather than single purpose devices, and need these multiprogramming features. Tock, a new operating system for low-power platforms, takes advantage of limited hardware-protection mechanisms as well as the type-safety features of the Rust programming language to provide a multiprogramming environment for microcontrollers.

Tock isolates software faults, provides memory protection, and efficiently manages memory for dynamic application workloads written in any language. It achieves this while retaining the dependability requirements of long-running applications.

{ SOSP'17 | APSys'17 | PLOS'15 }


Location information is a key aspect of context-aware computing. Making location a first-class computational resource, like time synchronization or networking today, is critical to realizing visions of intelligent and reactive environments.

I have worked on several localization efforts, tackling different applications:

  • Slocalization. For most of modern history, massive effort has gone into the careful organization, sorting, and filing of information for later retrieval. With the rise of the Information Age, we have transitioned from filing information to simply searching for it on demand, expecting our computing infrastructure to automatically find exactly what we are searching for. The same is not yet true for the physical world. While there are exceptions, the vast majority of things in the physical world remain invisible to the computational domain. Slocalization takes one small step towards enabling "search not file" for the physical world, demonstrating a sub-microwatt tag that can be localized with decimeter accuracy in complex, indoor environments using ultra wideband backscatter.
    { IPSN'18 }
  • SurePoint. In late 2013, DecaWave released the first (and as of 2018 still only) commercially available ultra wideband transceiver. While ultra wideband provides the potential for extremely accurate range estimates, in practice single range estimates can exhibit variation well over a meter. SurePoint explores what's required to build a scalable, high-fidelity, and high-reliability (29 cm 50th percentile, 77 cm 99th percentile accuracy of raw range estimates) system atop a UWB ranging primitive.
    { SenSys'16 | HotWireless'15 }
  • Harmonium. Ultra wideband tracking (order 1-10 cm) with only narrowband components of lightweight (3 g), low power (75 mW or 3.9 mJ/fix), low cost (< $5 USD), fast-moving (up to 2.4 m/s) tags.
    { TOSN'18 | IPSN'16 | MC2R'15 | HotWireless'14 }
  • Luxapose. An exploration in using lighting infrastructure for astral navigation indoors. Luxapose spawned considerable follow-on work (with which I have no affiliation) that is really cool and looks at how to do this without requiring intelligent LED lighting infrastructure, in particular check out LiTell and some of Xinyu's other light-based localization work.
    { MobiCom'14 }
  • Opo. An exploration in relative location, a low-power (126 J/day) wearable badge that provides high fidelity (centimeter-accurate, second-level granularity) human interaction information.
    { SenSys'14 }

GridWatch and The Open INcentive Kit

The power grid is one of humanity's most significant engineering undertakings, and it is essential in developed and developing nations alike. Yet, most grids have remarkably little introspection into their operation. GridWatch is inspired by a simple observation, a smartphone stops charging for one of two reasons: (1) The user unplugged it, (2) The power went out. Given that we can filter the first case with the phone's accelerometer, can a critical mass of smartphones act as low-fidelity, high-coverage, fine-granularity grid monitor that runs independent of local utilities? Following the promise shown by this initial inspiration, GridWatch has grown to include a rich suite of power sensing technologies, which includes custom hardware for high-fidelity measurements and ground truth and most recently ideas for non-contact voltage monitoring from project collaborators.

Today, GridWatch has micro deployments in the United States, Venezuela, Nigeria, and India. The primary deployment, branded DumsorWatch, in Accra, Ghana serves as one of the principle measurement and evaluation arms for the $498 million Ghana Power Compact and has several hundred sensors deployed and several thousand app-based participants.

Born out of the complex, wide-area study demanded by DumsorWatch, the Open INcentive Kit (OINK) is a new platform for running and managing incentive-based studies. With OINK, experimenters set up a series of rules that express when and how study participants should be incentivized. OINK monitors a study, automatically triggers incentives, and handles disbursements.

{ ICTD'19 | MobiCom'18 | HotMobile'14 }

The Signpost City-Scale Sensing Project

City-scale sensing holds the promise of enabling deeper understanding of our urban environments. However, a city-scale deployment requires physical installation, power management, and communications—all challenging tasks standing between a good idea and a realized one. The Signpost project aims to provide a platform that enables easy deployment and experimentation for city-scale applications.


{ IPSN'18 }


These are the conferences I generally follow, courtesy of ConfSearch.

I am happy to share slides from any presentation I give. I generally try to post slides from major talks, but if something is missing that you are interested in, please reach out and I will add it.

I have been fortunate to be successful in many fellowship applications. This is due in no small part to excellent guidance from my colleagues and mentors. I am happy to share some of that advice and my application materials here.

One of my favorite parts of grad school is the opportunity it has afforded me to travel the world. Here's all the countries I've made it to thus far (also US states I've spent any appreciable time in).