People - Faculty

Kristin Williams

Assistant Professor

Office: W302-K
Phone: NA
Personal Website:

Office Hours:
  • Monday: 5:15PM - 6:15PM (in person)
  • Wednesday: 5:15PM - 6:15PM (in person)

  • Kristin's research studies, designs, and creates approachable ways to program cutting-edge technologies so that anyone could imbue them with their own meanings and ways of life. She is currently focusing on creating a lightweight Internet of Things appropriate for the home. Today’s families use household objects to organize and manage daily life in idiosyncratic ways that resist generalization and differ from family to family. If the Internet of Things (IoT) is to fit with these idiosyncratic arrangements, it will need to be customizable, lightweight, and substantially cheaper (perhaps even <$0.10). To enable this kind of IoT, Kristin uses emerging techniques in backscatter communication to create a battery-free and wireless user interface that incorporates existing possessions into an IoT ecosystem through interactive stickers. Instead of replacing everyday objects in favor of internet-enabled equivalents (e.g., a smart bulb for a lightbulb), Kristin's work allows existing possessions to be upcycled with IoT: like giving an old, favorite teddy bear a friendly, voice interface. As a human computer interaction (HCI) researcher, she enables an Upcycled IoT by both studying how households use everyday objects and building lightweight, customizable technology to integrate with these possessions.

  • PhD in Human Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University
  • MS in Human Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University
  • MS in Human Computer Interaction, University of Maryland, College Park
  • BA in Philosophy, Reed College