Anthony Poon

Software Development Engineer
Payments Platform, Amazon.com, 2009-present
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
University of Washington, Seattle, 2009
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
University of Washington, Seattle, 2009

I am interested in the areas of ubiquitous computing (UbiComp), information and communication technologies for development (ICTD), social computing, and human-computer interaction (HCI). I believe that a socially-aware approach to creating pervasive and intimate technology can result in a transformative contribution to society. My past research involves combining skills from multiple disciplines to investigate novel uses of information technology and their impacts in various social contexts.

~ Work ~

Download PDF - Experiences with a Transportation Information System that Uses Only GPS and SMS

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Abstract:

We present our experiences with an SMS-based system for providing transit information based solely on existing cellular and GPS networks. The aim is to permit the development of information services that do not rely on a central authority or complex web hosting. We developed and applied our system to the network of privately-run marshrutka buses in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. However, our goal is to more broadly address issues of ad-hoc shared transportation systems in the developing world.

A custom designed GPS-GSM unit is placed on a vehicle, and users can query our server over SMS with their own non-GPSenabled cell phones. We report on the accuracy of our location naming approach and estimates of bus arrival times. In addition, we summarize interviews with bus drivers and bus riders relating their views of the system and outline directions for future work. Our system is a grassroots solution to the persistent lack of transport information in developing countries.

My Contribution:

  • Server Design and Implementation
  • Route Choice
  • Data Gathering in the Field
Year:
2010
Author:
Ruth E. Anderson, Waylon Brunette, Erica Johnson, Caitlin Lustig, Anthony Poon, Cynthia Putnam, Odina Salihbaeva, Beth E. Kolko, Gaetano Borriello
Published In:
The International ACM/IEEE Conference on Information & Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), London, UK, December 2010.
Download:
pdf

Download PDF - Building a Transportation Information System Using Only GPS and Basic SMS Infrastructure

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Abstract:

This work consists of two main components: (a) a longitudinal ethnographic study in Kyrgyzstan that demonstrates the importance of transportation resources in the developing world and how to plan for an appropriate ICT solution, and (b) the results of a proof-of-concept system engineered to create a bottom-up, transportation information infrastructure using only GPS and SMS. Transportation is a very important shared resource; enabling efficient and effective use of such resources aids overall development goals.

The system, *bus, involved the development of a hardware device (a *box) containing a GSM modem and a GPS unit, that can be installed on a vehicle and used to track its location. The *box communicates via SMS with a server connected to a basic GSM phone. The server runs route a prediction algorithm and users can send SMS messages to the server to find when a bus will arrive at their location.

My Contribution:

  • Server Design and Implementation
  • Prediction Algorithm
  • Data Gathering in Local Conditions
Year:
2009
Author:
Ruth E. Anderson, Anthony Poon, Caitlin Lustig, Waylon Brunette, Gaetano Borriello, and Beth E. Kolko
Published In:
The International ACM/IEEE Conference on Information < Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), Doha, Qatar, April 2009.
Download:
pdf

Download PDF - Acculturation and the Educational Aspirations of the Children of Immigrants

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Abstract:

America has often been referred to as a melting pot, a nation comprised of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds whose differences are reduced over time, particularly across generations. Although the melting pot image has only modest empirical support, there was remarkable assimilation of the children and grandchildren of disadvantaged European immigrants who came to the United States in the early 20th Century. The descendants of these immigrants have adopted - and also changed - American culture as they gradually obtained economic success and become part of the mainstream middle-class. In recent decades, new sociological theories have risen to try to explain the much slower process of assimilation experienced by recent immigrants. A key issue is the relationship between cultural and socioeconomic assimilation. Classical Assimilation Theory argues that cultural assimilation, or acculturation, is generally a prerequisite for positive economic assimilation. The Immigrant Optimism Hypothesis suggests that immigrants usually have a stronger will to succeed than natives and that this advantage can be lost with too much cultural assimilation. Segmented Assimilation theorists take this argument further and argue that in the spatially-segregated nature of the American class structure, most immigrants have more contact with underclass than middle-class culture. Thus, acculturation can have a negative impact on socioeconomic assimilation, perhaps leading to joining the underclass. In my research, I draw upon these theories to examine the effects of acculturation on the higher educational aspirations and attainment of the children of immigrants relative to comparable youth of native born parents. Using data from the Beyond High School study, conducted by the University of Washington, Department of Sociology, I also examine the effects of peer and parent expectations on the development of college aspirations. The goal of this research is to gain is a clearer understanding of the role of community factors on immigrant assimilation.

My Contribution:

  • Hypothesis Design
  • Statistical Analysis
Year:
2009
Author:
Anthony Poon
Written As:
BA thesis, Dept. of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, April 2009.
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pdf

Download PDF - MySMS: Connecting Developing Regions Though SMS

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Abstract:

The limited access to information in developing regions hinders the growth and potential of developing regions. Limited infrastructure makes it difficult to resolve the limited access to information. By utilizing existing cell phone technology to bridge the gap between remote clients and database servers, the information gap can be lessened. Voice transport is not simple enough to be viable means of information exchange. However, another cell phone technology, SMS, provides a medium that is both simple and flexible enough to be viable. MySMS takes advantage of this medium by providing a framework using SMS as a transport layer to allow SQL queries, notifications, remote code execution and rapid application development.

My Contribution:

  • Server Design and Implementation
  • Proof of Concept Applications
  • Paper and Presentation
Year:
2008
Author:
Brad Campbell, Ruibo Li, Anthony Poon, and David St. Hilaire
Written As:
BS capstone paper, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, June 2008.
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pdf

Pinehurst Greenhouse

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Abstract:

This 352 square foot greenhouse and combination shed sits in the backyard of a larger home in the Pinehurst neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The main house was constructed in the 1980s in a Split-Level style common in the area during that time. The owners of the home wanted a greenhouse that would serve the dual purposes of storage and as a relaxing space for sitting and light gardening. To make full use of the sensation of open space afforded by extensive use of glass in a greenhouse, this home has an cathedral ceiling with minimal obstructing features. With exposed wood beams and an asymetrical plan, the greenhouse borrows elements of design from the Northwest Regional style while taking care to match the appearance of the main Split-Level home.

My Contribution:

  • Requirements and Concept Development
  • Architectural Design and Engineering
  • Construction Management
Year:
2016
Architect:
Anthony Poon
Location:
Pinehurst, Seattle, WA