Desney is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, where he manages the Computational User Experiences group in Redmond, Washington, as well as the Human-Computer Interaction group in Beijing, China. He also holds an affiliate faculty appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington.
Desney's research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Mobile Computing, and Healthcare. He spends large chunks of his time applying signal processing and machine learning to recognizing noisy signals, specifically those in or on the human body, and using them in interesting ways. However, he is a schizophrenic researcher and has worked on projects in many other domains.
Desney received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1996, after which he spent a couple of years building bridges and blowing things up in the Singapore Armed Forces. He later returned to Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked with Randy Pausch and earned his PhD in Computer Science in 2004.
He was honored as one of MIT Technology Review's 2007 Young Innovators Under 35 for work on brain-computer interfaces and a 2012 Kavli Fellow by the US National Academy of Sciences. He was named one of SciFi Channel's Young Visionaries at TED 2009, as well as Forbes' Revolutionaries: Radical Thinkers and their World-Changing Ideas for his work on Whole Body Computing. Among other service roles, he has served as Technical Program Chair for CHI 2008 and well as General Chair for CHI 2011.
Desney's homepage is at: http://research.microsoft.com/~desney.