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About me

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD, with a research focus on sustainable computing. I am co-advised by Professors Ryan Kastner and Pat Pannuto.

I’m very grateful to be supported by a Google PhD Fellowship.

I received an MEng and BS in computer science from MIT.

Current Research

Junkyard Computing: Manufacturing electronic devices is an energy-intensive process that dominates the lifetime carbon footprint of consumer electronics like smartphones. Options for dealing with end-of-life phones are limited, leading to a stockpile of environmentally costly, miniature computers. This is particularly unfortunate given that smartphones contain many components that could be useful for other applications—CPUs, GPUs, microphones, etc. Junkyard computing studies the repurposing of unwanted smartphones for a wide range of non-consumer applications. We are exploring two pathways: Datacenters and IoT. In the first, old phones are repurposed as general-purpose cloud compute nodes. In the second, they are redeployed as remote sensors.

Publications, etc

Junkyard Computing: Repurposing Discarded Smartphones to Minimize Carbon**
Jennifer Switzer, Gabriel Marcano, Ryan Kastner, Pat Pannuto
International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS 2023).
**This paper won a Distinguished Paper Award.

Renée: New Life for Old Phones
J. Switzer, E. Siu, S. Ramesh, R. Hu, E. Zadorian and R. Kastner
IEEE Embedded Systems Letters. 2022.

Information Batteries: Storing Opportunity Power with Speculative Execution
Jennifer Switzer and Barath Raghavan
SIGENERGY Energy Informatics Review 1, 1 (November 2021), 1–11.

Matt Simon at Wired wrote a very nice article about this work.

Flexible Computing for Intermittent Energy
Jennifer Switzer
XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students. Volume 27, Issue 4. Summer 2021.

TerraWatt: Sustaining Sustainable Computing of Containers in Containers
Jennifer Switzer, Rob McGuinness, Pat Pannuto, George Porter, Aaron Schulman, and Barath Raghavan
arXiv:2102.06614, February 2021.

NILM dashboard: A power system monitor for electromechanical equipment diagnostics
Andre Aboulian, Daisy H Green, Jennifer F Switzer, Thomas J Kane, Gregory V Bredariol, Peter Lindahl, John S Donnal, Steven B Leeb
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. Volume 15, Issue 3. June 2018.


Beyond operational efficiency: Nontraditional efforts for carbon-efficient computing
Invited Talk for the Green G Working Group. 5-6-22.

Junkyard datacenters: Carbon-efficient computing systems from old phones (short version)
UCSD CNS Research Review. 4-29-22.

Junkyard datacenters: Carbon-efficient computing systems from old phones (long version)
Guest Lecture for CSE 291: The Environmental Impact of Modern Computing. 4-25-22.


Google Scholar
CV as of Sept 2022

Last updated 10-18-2023.