Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

CICS Doctoral Candidate Binbin Xie Awarded 2022 Google PhD Fellowship

Binbin Xie
Binbin Xie

Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) doctoral candidate Binbin Xie has been announced as a 2022 Google PhD Fellowship recipient in recognition of her research in the field of mobile computing. 

Xie’s doctoral research focuses on long-range, wide-area wireless sensing technologies designed to capture rich information about human subjects, such as information about daily activities or fine-grained vital signs, in a contact-free manner. These technologies provide essential data for a large variety of disciplines, including elderly care, human computer interaction, disaster response, and robotics. 

However, as Xie explains in her proposal, there are several challenges that hinder wireless sensing from being widely used and deployed—in particular, limits to the sensing range of existing technologies and interference from other objects in the environment. To address the first issue, Xie proposes a new sensing modality using LoRa, a wireless technology designed for connections between Internet of Things devices, pushing the sensing range from several meters to hundreds of meters, achieving true wide-area sensing. To address the second issue, Xie develops a controllable virtual fence to mitigate interference and also make multi-target sensing possible. 

Additionally, Xie proposes to further increase the sensing range of LoRa by placing devices on robots or drones, making the technology more useful for disaster survivor detection. She hopes to expand current sensing capabilities beyond survivors’ large-scale movements, such as waving, to detect fine-grained details, such as respiration, in order to help find survivors who are unconscious or unable to respond visibly. 

The Google PhD Fellowship Program is awarded annually to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science and other promising research areas. The two-year fellowship covers tuition and provides a stipend for living expenses, travel, and computing equipment, as well as access to a Google Research Mentor.

“These awards have been presented to exemplary PhD students in computer science and related fields,” reads a statement released by Google PhD Fellowship program administrators. “We have given these students unique fellowships to acknowledge their contributions to their areas of specialty and provide funding for their education and research. We look forward to working closely with them as they continue to become leaders in their respective fields.”

Xie is currently a fifth-year doctoral student under the supervision of Associate Professor Jie Xiong, a leading researcher in long-range wireless sensing. She received her master’s degree in computer science from Northwest University, China.

See the full list of recipients.