Dr. Darren Carlson

Dr. Darren Carlson, PhD

Darren Carlson is an Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. He also serves as an Affiliated Professor in the UH Academy for Creative Media (ACM).

Dr. Carlson's pioneering research spans Cyber-physical Systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), Intelligent Edge Computing, and Augmented/Virtual Reality. He founded and currently directs the UH Ambient Computing Lab, which explores new approaches for building smart, cyber-physical computing systems that connect people with each other, with digital information and with the physical world around them.

In addition to his research work, Dr. Carlson is a passionate supporter of STEM education and a long-standing advocate of open-source projects and communities.

Projects Teaching

Research Areas

Dr. Carlson has published widely in the areas of ubiquitous computing, mobile computing and edge computing. He is the recipient of multiple research grant awards from institutions such as the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).


Summary of Education and Professional Experience.



PhD in Computer Science

University of Luebeck, Germany

Dissertation: "Ocean: Towards Web-scale Context-aware Computing"
Honors: Summa Cum Laude


MSc in Digital Media

University of Luebeck, Germany

Thesis: "Aladdin: An Extensible Ubiquitous Computing Infrastructure"
Honors: Summa Cum Laude


BSc in Electronics Engineering

Minnesota State University, USA

Specializations in Digital Systems and Wireless Communications
Honors: Summa Cum Laude


2016 - Present

Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering

University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

Department of Electrical Engineering & Academy for Creative Media
Founder and Director of the UH Ambient Lab

2013 - 2016

Senior Research Fellow

National University of Singapore

Department of Computer Science
Founder and Director of the NUS Ambient Lab

2009 - 2012

Research Fellow (PostDoc)

University of Luebeck, Germany

Department of Computer Science
Co-founder of the UL Ambient Lab

Dr. Carlson Founded and Directs the UH Ambient Lab

Visit Ambient Labs

Selected Projects

Project Details Coming Soon


Dr. Carlson Has Developed and Taught a Variety of Innovative Courses at the University of Hawaii, the National University of Singapore, the University of Lübeck, and Karlsruhe University.

For details on Dr. Carlson's other courses, curriculum development process, seminar work and STEM presentations, see the link below.

Student Testimonials

Recent Student Reviews from Official Course Evaluations

"I was nervous to sign up for this class because it was new and so was the professor. However, this was one of the most rewarding courses I've taken at UH. Dr. Carlson really does a great job of mixing the content that he is instructing with its relevance in the current industry."

Student Course: Cyber-physical Systems and the Internet of Things

"This class was very engaging and inspiring. I appreciated Dr. Carlson's initiative to integrate material that was new/cutting edge as well as relevant to students in our age group. Every class I take from Dr. Carlson, I leave feeling inspired and excited to join the computer engineering field."

Student Course: Video Game Design and Development

"Dr. Carlson is an excellent instructor. He has extensive knowledge of the course material and organized the class in a way to make it easier for beginner programmers. I enjoyed the multimedia and video game programming approach used in this class and I think that it works better than a traditional Intro to Computer Science class."

Student Course: Video Game Design and Development

"This is the most enjoyable and approachable course I've had taken here in UH Manoa. I almost wished I went for Computer Engineering major just because I am convinced that an effective professor produces a knowledgeable student. The homework and projects are not very easy, but the professor played big role in my capability to learn."

Student Course: Cyber-physical Systems and the Internet of Things