Kurtis Heimerl

Contact info:

440 Sutardja Dai Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1760

kheimerl@cs.berkeley.edu
twitter: @kheimerl

I'm Kurtis Heimerl. I work on technology for developing regions with Professor Eric Brewer in the TIER group, as well as with Professor Tapan Parikh in the Represent group.

My thesis topic is the The Village Base Station (VBTS), a low-cost, low-power cellular system (based off OpenBTS). Our goal is to provide community cellular: local, community-owned cellular networks in areas without existing cellular coverage. Write-ups of our progress are here.

I've worked on a wide variety of projects. Some examples include Umati, the crowdsourcing vending machine; PANTS/NetAPI, a modern sockets implementation; mPhone, a message-oriented phone system; and the Python implementation of the DTN bundle protocol.

My Master's thesis was a project called Metamouse (not to be confused with this), which allows for more equitable sharing of existing educational content. You can see a video demonstration here. I also gave a CITRIS talk on this research which you can see here.

Publications

Also see my profiles on: Google Scholar or ACM DL.

2014

GSM Whitespaces: An Opportunity for Rural Cellular Service
Shaddi Hasan, Kurtis Heimerl, Kate Harrison, Kashif Ali, Sean Roberts, Anant Sahai, Eric Brewer
IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Access Networks 2014 (DySPAN)
Implemented and evaluated GSM Whitespace, a system for shared spectrum access of the GSM cellular bands.
Conference Paper, Best Paper Award

2013

An Experiment in Reducing Cellular Base Station Power Draw With Virtual Coverage
Kurtis Heimerl, Shaddi Hasan, Kashif Ali, Tapan Parikh, Eric Brewer
4th Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (DEV)
Evaluated virtual coverage in the context of a real-world deployment in rural Papua, Indonesia
Conference Paper

Local, Sustainable, Small-Scale Cellular Networks
Kurtis Heimerl, Shaddi Hasan, Kashif Ali, Eric Brewer, Tapan Parikh
International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) '13
Developed and deployed a small-scale rural cellular network in Papua, Indonesia, showing that it is economically sustainable and benefits the local population
Conference Paper

Expanding Rural Cellular Networks with Virtual Coverage
Kurtis Heimerl, Kashif Ali, Joshua Blumenstock, Brian Gawalt, Eric Brewer.
10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI)
Demonstrated and implemented a novel technique for saving power in rural cellular networks, called "Virtual Coverage"
Conference Paper, Community Award

Poster and Demonstration of Expanding Rural Cellular Networks with Virtual Coverage
Kurtis Heimerl, Kashif Ali, Joshua Blumenstock, Brian Gawalt, Eric Brewer
10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation Demonstrations(NSDI)
Demonstration of Virtual Coverage
Demonstration

Convergence of Position Auctions under Myopic Best-Response Dynamics
Matthew Cary, Aparna Das, Benjamin Edelman, Ioannis Goitis, Kurtis Heimerl, Anna Karlin, Scott Kominers, Claire Mathieu, Michael Schwarz
ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation '13
Journal Paper

2012

Communitysourcing: Engaging Local Crowds to Perform Expert Work Via Physical Kiosks
Kurtis Heimerl, Brian Gawalt, Kuang Chen, Tapan Parikh, Björn Hartmann
ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) '12
Developed and evaluated CommunitySourcing; the use of physical kiosks to engage local crowds of users to perform high-value work for localized rewards
Conference Paper, Best Paper Award

Communitysourcing: Engaging Local Crowds to Perform Expert Work Via Physical Kiosks
Kurtis Heimerl, Brian Gawalt, Kuang Chen, Tapan Parikh, Björn Hartmann
Interactivity at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) '12
Demonstration of CommunitySourcing
Demonstration

How Users Understand Cellular Infrastructure
Kurtis Heimerl, Tapan Parikh
Interviewed people from both developed, developing, urban and rural areas about their understanding of cellular infrastructure
Technical Report

2010

A Case Study on Designing Interfaces for Multiple Users in Developing Regions
Kurtis Heimerl, Janani Vasudev, Kelly G. Buchanan, Tapan Parikh, Eric Brewer
1st Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (DEV)
Developed and deployed a single display groupware solution in a low-income school in Bangalore, India
Conference Paper

Metamouse: Improving Multi-user Sharing of Existing Educational Applications
Kurtis Heimerl, Janani Vasudev, Kelly G. Buchanan, Tapan Parikh, Eric Brewer
International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) '10
Developed, deployed, and evaluated a novel single-display groupware technology supporting existing educational games in developing regions
Conference Paper

The Village Base Station
Kurtis Heimerl, Eric Brewer
ACM Workshop on Networked Systems for Developing Regions (NSDR) '10
Proposed the use of OpenBTS for bringing cellular coverage to rural areas
Workshop Paper

2009

Message Phone: A User Study and Analysis of Asynchronous Messaging in Rural Uganda
Kurtis Heimerl, RJ Honicky, Eric Brewer, Tapan Parikh
ACM Workshop on Networked Systems for Developing Regions (NSDR) '09
Conducted field study of mPhone asynchronous voice system
Workshop Paper

Metamouse: Multiple Mice for Legacy Applications
Kurtis Heimerl, Divya Ramachandran, Joyojeet Pal, Eric Brewer, Tapan Parikh
Demo at International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD)
Demonstration of basic Metamouse features and technology
Demonstration

Metamouse: Multiple Mice for Legacy Applications
Kurtis Heimerl, Divya Ramachandran, Joyojeet Pal, Eric Brewer, Tapan Parikh
Work In Progress at Computer-Human Interaction (CHI)
Conducted user study on Metamouse in Bangalore, India
Work in Progress

Transforming Community-based Healthcare with CommScape
Kuang Chen, Kurtis Heimerl, Tapan Parikh, Christine Robson, Beth Trushkowsky
Technical Report

Enabling Innovation Below the Communication API
Ganesh Ananthanarayanan, Kurtis Heimerl, Matei Zaharia, Michael Demmer, Teemu Koponen, Arsalan Tavakoli, Scott Shenker, Ion Stoica
Technical Report

2007

Greedy Bidding Strategies for Keyword Auctions
Matthew Cary, Aparna Das, Benjamin Edelman, Ioannis Giotis, Kurtis Heimerl, Anna R. Karlin, Claire Mathieu, Michael Schwarz
ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce 2007
Conference Paper

Press