Kyle Benson,
PhD Candidate
University of California, Irvine

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I am a Computer Science PhD candidate (expected graduation: June 2018) at the University of California, Irvine. I study Networks and Distributed Systems under my advisor Nalini Venkatasubramanian, who heads the Distributed Systems Middleware group.  My research focuses on resilient Internet of Things (IoT) data exchange, especially during disaster scenarios that stress or damage infrastructure-based networks.

Previously, I led development on the Safe Community Awareness and Alerting Network (SCALE) project that leverages IoT devices to extend a safe home to everyone, especially vulnerable populations, at a low incremental cost.  As part of this project, I explored the use of geo-aware resilient overlay networks to improve IoT-based seismic sensor data collection.  My research leverages Software-Defined Networking (SDN) to enhance resilient IoT data exchange in a network and application-aware manner.  RIDE explores reliable data collection and alert dissemination in a smart campus environment.  It exploits both cloud and edge resources to maintain network awareness and intelligently choose data exchange paths to facilitate time-critical IoT applications such as the example seismic alerting scenario.

My latest project, partly inspired by the Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting that I co-authored, explores resilient IoT data exchange in a smart fire-fighting scenario.  It leverages our IoT-enabled computer science building on the UCI campus to study appropriate mechanisms and algorithms for ensuring reliable communications over multiple networks between buildings' infrastructure (e.g. sensors, alarms, occupancy assessment) and first responders.  The use of prioritization ensures these responders receive pertinent data in a timely manner despite resource constraints, hostile environments, and heterogeneous protocols and data models.  

Outside of my research and interest in technology, I enjoy outdoor adventures, cooking, and music.  My favorites activities include snowboarding, surfing, running, hiking, and throwing frisbee with friends.  While I frequently experiment with new dishes, I particularly enjoy refining some of my favorite American comfort food recipes.  These days I mostly follow more modern electronic music including Lotus, Beats Antique, Opiuo, and Big Gigantic.