John Canny's Home Page

529 Soda Hall
Tel: (510)642-9955
Fax: (510)642-5615


CS160: User interface design, prototyping and evaluation

Courses from previous semesters

Current Research:

HCClogo.gif (4268 bytes) HCC is a research consortium on Human-Centered Computing. It comprises faculty from computer science, sociology, psychology, SIMS, education, business, linguistics, electrical and mechanical engineering. HCC's goal is to design information systems into human contexts, and to better understand those contexts using computational tools.
props.jpg (6007 bytes)

PRoPs: A PRoP is a Personal, Roving Presence. Think of a physical (robot) avatar. The research challenge in social tele-robotics is understanding the physical cues exchanged by embodied actors during face-to-face communication. Our goals are better online communication, persuasion and trust-building in that order. The photo shows PRoP designer Eric Paulos and two remotely-embodied friends. 

Flexonics: Flexonics could be called macroscopic MEMS, or polymer mechatronics. Our goal is to design fully-functional appliances and human-interfaces from organic materials, and to build them without assembly using 3D printing techniques. Jeremy Risner is developing a vocabulary of passive and active mechanical components. We are working with Prof Vivek Subramanian in EE, who is designing the electronics. 
The Soda Hall Smart room (411 Soda). Tom Duan and others are building an intelligent, sensor-equipped space for meetings and design brainstorming. It will house a next-generation UPM table. 
Transparent control of gesturing avatars: Work by Francesca Barrientos.

Recent Projects

UPM_small.jpg (5523 bytes) UPM: A universal planar manipulator. It turns out that planar vibration of a rigid plate is enough to independently move many objects on the plate in any direction. Here's the gadget that does it. Principal architect is Dan Reznik, who graduated in 2000 and moved to Siemens TTB in Berkeley. 
twistCub.jpg (24484 bytes) Real-time FEM modeling with global deformation. This is a full non-linear FEM system that can simulate soft models with 1000s of nodes in real-time. The system was designed for surgical and creature simulation where deformations exceed the linear range. Includes collision response for sliding contacts. Work of Yan Zhuang, who graduated in May 2000 and moved to Qualcomm.
RainbowSmall.jpg (5297 bytes) 3DDI is a project on 3D vizualization and direct manipulation of virtual objects. It is a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project supported by BMDO and ONR. 3DDI involves 7 faculty from Berkeley, 2 from MIT, and 1 from UCSF. I work on modeling of deformable objects, on real-time laser depth scanning and the volumetric LCD displays. At quiet times I also direct the project.
ibs.gif (3400 bytes) IMPULSE is an impulse-based rigid body simulator. Impulse was developed by Brian Mirtich and extended by Francesca Barrientos to support control/behavior scripts in Java.

Authority in information management and referral systems. Work by Heyning Cheng. Here is his MS report

APU: APU is a set of Algebra Programming Utilities, developed by Ashu Rege. Target applications are computational geometry (especially non-linear geometry) and geometric modeling. Its available for free download.

Ioannis Emiris maintains a repository of geometry algorithms including his Berkeley implementations of any-dimensional convex hull, and efficient mixed volume. He also has code for sparse polynomial systems solving based on our sparse resultant work.


In reverse chronological order

Conferences and Workshops:

I was co-organizer of a workshop on future applications of robotics in January '99 in Toulouse France. The "Personal Robotics" web site is here. I ran two related workshops at the IEEE Robotics Conferences in 99 and 2000. 

I was program co-chair for the applied track of the ACM Symposium on Computational Geometry (SCOG99).


Academic Freedom: I served for 5 years on UC Academic Freedom committees. Two years on the Berkeley committee, two years as chair of that committee, and one year as chair of the UC system-wide AF committee.

I served on the recent UC Copyright Task Force. Here is the committee report.

Former Ph.D. Students

Paul Jacobs (Qualcomm)
Greg Heinzinger (Qualcomm)
Dinesh Manocha (UNC)
Ming Lin (UNC)
Ioannis Emiris (INRIA)
Aaron Wallack (Cognex)
Brian Mirtich (MERL)
Ashu Rege (Paraform Inc)

Last updated 6/24/01