Short takes on a variety of topics

This page has a number of short pointers to some interesting projects or reports of mine. It is by no means complete; you can find lots more information by following other pointers off of my homepage.

Distributed, privacy-protected matchmaking and coalition formation

My main research: how to form clusters of people based on shared interests, and to do so in a distributed, privacy-protecting fashion that uses strong cryptography and good system design to protect people's civil liberties. For more information, check out this tree of stuff.

Sociology of agents

I'm interested in the sociology of people's use of agents, and used Julia, an agent that inhabits certain MUDs, as both an example of where agents might be headed, and as a sociological case study.

Judging from the statistics from our Web server, this paper is one of our group's most popular papers; it is requested quite a bit more than the next runner up. It's nice to see so many people interested in this question.

Artificial synesthesia

This is a small project I've been working on for the last few years, completely independently of my main research. In short, it is a wearable, headmounted spectrometer, which can image up to 256 wavelengths simultaneously and translate that information into sound. Exteneded wear can lead to a sort of artificial synesthesia and, given the difference between visual and acoustic perception, can be used as a superset of normal human color vision.

Power dynamics and civil liberties in cyberspace

If you're interested in more politics, you might like to check out a brief analysis of certain civil-liberties issues in cyberspace, which I put together as part of a project for a recent Media Lab course entitled The Political Economy of the Digital Infrastructure.

And if you like that sort of essay, you might like to check out some others.

Focus of attention in machine learning

For my master's thesis, also here at the Media Lab, I investigated how to make a particular kind of machine learning more efficient by using focus of attention. Check out this paper (in Postscript or PDF), or this thesis, with included code.)

Lenny Foner
Last modified: Fri Jan 22 02:58:08 EST 1999