portrait
Associate Professor Philip Levis
Office: 412 Gates Hall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305
Office hours, fall 2014: I am on paternity leave
Phone: +1 650 725 9046
email: pal at cs stanford edu, but I receive more email than I can handle. Please don't be offended if I don't reply.

Biography

I'm an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Departments of Stanford University. I head the Stanford Information Networking Group (SING), direct the Secure Internet of Things Project, and hold the Fletcher Jones Faculty Development Chair. I research operating systems, networks, and software design, especially wireless networks, sensor networks, and embedded systems. I like building stuff other people use and writing code. I'm drawn to excellent engineering and have a self-destructive aversion to low hanging fruit.

The results of my research are used by thousands of people, run on hundreds of thousands of devices, and are the basis for Internet standards I've co-authored. I'm an author of over 60 peer reviewed papers, several of which have received best paper or most influential paper awards. I've been awarded an NSF CAREER Award and a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship. Three of my advisees, Kannan, Mayank, and Jung Il, had the bold idea that it's possible to build a full duplex radio and founded Kumu Networks to commercialize it. I place all of my work funded industrially in the public domain.

Research Projects

Engineering Efforts

  • TinyOS: an operating system for mote-class networks
  • RPL: the sensornet routing protocol for the Internet

Current Courses

CS144: Introduction to Computer Networking
CS142: Web Applications
CS240E: Embedded Wireless Systems
CS344c: Cloud Simulation Research
CS244E/EE384E: Wireless Networking

Past Courses

CS303: Designing Computer Science Experiments
CS340V: Networked Systems for Virtual Worlds
EE108A: Digital Systems Design
CS344E: Wireless Networking Research
CS67N: The Computer of History, the Computer of Fiction

Advisees, Past and Present (Ph.D.)

Advisees, Past and Present (M.S.)

  • Bhupesh Chandra: virtual world scripting (CS)
  • Arjun Roy: mobile phone operating systems (CS)

Selected Publications (full list)

You can generally find more up-to-date and detailed information on the SING website.

  • Philip Levis.
    Experiences from a Decade of TinyOS Development. In Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI).
  • Maria Kazandjieva, Brandon Heller, Omprakash Gnawali, Philip Levis, and Christos Kozyrakis.
    Green Enterprise Computing Data: Assumptions and Realities. In Proceedings of the Third International Green Computing Conference (IGCC 2012).
  • Ewen Cheslack-Postava, Tahir Azim, Behram F. T. Mistree, Daniel Reiter Horn, Jeff Terrace, Philip Levis, and Michael J. Freedman.
    A Scalable Server for 3D Metaverses. In Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC '12).
  • Mayank Jain, Jung Il Choi, Taemin Kim, Dinesh Bharadia, Siddharth Seth, Kannan Srinivasan, Philip Levis, Sachin Katti and Prasun Sinha.
    Practical, Real-time, Full-Duplex Wireless. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (Mobicom 2011).
  • Omprakash Gnawali, Rodrigo Fonseca, Kyle Jamieson, David Moss, and Philip Levis.
    Collection Tree Protocol. In Proceedings of the 7th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys), 2009.
  • Yang Chen, Omprakash Gnawali, Maria Kazandjieva, Philip Levis, and John Regehr.
    Surviving Sensor Network Software Faults. In Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Symposium on Operating System Principles (SOSP), 2009.

TinyOS Programming Manual

I've recently written a short book on programming TinyOS. Unlike the tutorials, which are a brief introduction to get you started, or TEPs, which describe parts of TinyOS 2.0, Programming TinyOS digs into nesC and how you can use it to build TinyOS applications. Except for a few fictional components in the beginning, almost every concept has a TinyOS 2.0 implementation as an example. A second version of the text, co-written with David Gay, is available for purchase as of April 2009. We tried to keep the cost down by making it softcover and having very tiny royalties. Unfortunately, though, TinyOS programming is not a blockbuster topic, so the book is a bit pricier than I'd like. Oh well. You can download the first half of the published version for free. The first half covers the basics: this version does not include advanced topics like asynchronous code, writing generics, or the hardware abstraction architecture. There's a short errata page.

Some Talks

  • "Full Duplex Wireless."
    Princeton University CS Colloquium, October 12, 2012.
  • "Experiences from a Decade of TinyOS Development."
    OSDI, October 9, 2012.
  • "The Collateral Damage of Internet Censorship by DNS Injection."
    SIGCOMM, August 15, 2012.
  • "Sirikata."
    ISTC-VC Virtual Worlds Workshop, August 18, 2011.
  • "Evaluating Green Computing Techniques with Dense, Long-term Power Sensing."
    CS Faculty Lunch, November 30, 2010.
  • "Wireless Routing."
    CS Faculty Lunch, February 16, 2010.
    These are a variant that are intended to be standalone; the talk slides did not include explanatory text.
  • "IP and Low-Power Wireless: Madness, the Future, or Both?"
    HotNets V, Nov. 29, 2006.
  • "T2: What the Second Generation Holds"
    CS294-11, Berkeley, 6 October 2005.

Education and Job Opportunties in STEM, 2008

Program Committees and Editorial Boards

2015: HotNets (co-chair)
2014: SenSys
2013: NSDI, SOSP, HotMobile
2012: CCR, SenSys
2011: CCR, IP+SN, MobiSys, HotPower, SOSP, SenSys (co-chair)
2010: TOSN, CCR, NSDI, MobiSys, DMSN
2009: TOSN, IPSN (co-chair, IP track), SenSys, SOSP, HotPower (co-chair)
2008: TOSN, MODUS, IPSN, ICDCS, NSDR, SIGCOMM, OSDI
2007: IPSN, EmNets (co-chair), SIGCOMM, DMSN, SenSys, MidSens
2006: NetDB, IPSN, DCOSS, SenSys, RTSS

Quote

"Solving a problem simply means representing it so as to make the solution transparent."

- Herbert Simon, Sciences of the Artificial

Funding

My work has been supported by generous gifts from Intel Research, DoCoMo Capital, Foundation Capital, the National Science Foundation under grants #0832820, #0831163, #0846014, #0615308 and #0546630, the Department of Energy ARPA-E program under award number DE-AR0000018, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Microsoft Research, scholarships from the Samsung Scholarship Foundation and a Stanford Terman Fellowship. My scientific research was supported a National Science Foundation awards BCS-0947132, DE-AR-0000018, grants #0615308 and #0846014, a Branco Weiss fellowship, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Award 1K01HD051494, and National Institutes of Health Grant GM28016.