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Stony Brook University

University Libraries STEM Speaker Series

First Lecture: Dr. Aruna Balasubramanian, Department of Computer Science

Title: Is the Mobile Web Experience Improving?

There is no question that mobile browsers are critical to how users access Internet content today. The question is, is mobile Web performance improving? If so, is the improvement equitable?  Our study find that lower-end phones that are popular in emerging countries see considerably worse Web performance compared to its higher end counterpart. In effect, users who do not wish (or cannot afford) to constantly upgrade their devices are experiencing a slower web. Among the higher-end phones, the overall performance appears to be improving in terms of traditional Web metrics. However, these metrics do not take into account user experience. I will discuss the work in our lab to address both of these issues.


Aruna Balasubramanian is an Associate Professor at Stony Brook University. She works in the area of networked systems. Her current work consists of two threads: (1) significantly improving Quality of Experience of Internet applications, and (2) improving the usability, accessibility, and privacy of mobile systems. She is the recipient of the SIGMobile Rockstar award, a Ubicomp best paper award, a VMWare Early Career award, several Google research awards, and the Applied Networking Research Prize. She is passionate about improving the diversity in Computer Science and broadening participation. She leads the diversity committee at Stony Brook and is the faculty advisor of the Women in Computer Science (WiCS) and the WPhD group at Stony Brook.


Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Time: 1pm-2pm

Location: Online; Zoom registration here.

Second Lecture: Dr. Marine Frouin, Department of Geosciences

Title: Luminescence dating: how grains of sand can shed new light on human prehistory

Measuring time in the geological record is fundamental to studying the evolution of life and the geomorphic processes occurring on the Earth’s surface. Past advances in radiometric and relative dating techniques have fundamentally changed our capacity to piece together our evolutionary past over millions of years.

My research is focused on the development and application of luminescence dating techniques which are almost universally applicable to any sediment that has been exposed to daylight during transport. It is a major chronometric tool for late Quaternary studies, with a wide age range from a few years up to about 0.5 Ma, with some indication that this limit can be further extended.

In this presentation, we will go over the principles, advantages, and enduring challenges in geochronology and luminescence dating. I will also give you an overview of the latest developments and applications, focusing on archaeological studies.


Dr. Frouin received her PhD in Geochronology from the University of Bordeaux (France) in 2014. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Research Laboratory of Archaeology and the History of Art (Oxford University, UK) from 2014 to 2019. She then joined the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark in 2019. In January 2020, she joined the faculty in the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University. She is also a faculty in the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropological Sciences and an affiliated faculty with the Turkana Basin Institute. She runs the luminescence dating research laboratory on campus and has >14 years of experience working in the field in Eurasia, Africa, and America.


Date: Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Time: 1pm-2pm

Location: Online; Zoom registration here