• Crowdsensing Under (Soft) Control accepted to INFOCOMM '15!
  • Behind the Curtain: The importance of replica selection in next generation cellular networks won the ACM Student Research Competition at SIGCOMM 2014!
  • Behind the Curtain: Cellular DNS and Replica Selection accepted to IMC '14!
  • Namehelp Mobile is released for Android! Download it now from the Play Store - find the best DNS option for your mobile device.
  • Posted a blog series on the current state of DNS performance and content delivery in cellular networks. Part 1 looks at mobile DNS performance, and Part 2 investigates how CDNs (poorly) deliver content to mobile devices.


I am a fifth-year Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science Aqualab under my advisor, Dr. Fabián Bustamante. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2009.

Here is my Curriculum Vitae.


My research interests include networking and distributed systems in the wired and wireless domain. My particular interests are in the Human Factors of mobile systems, how these affect system performance and how to best design systems around them.

My recent projects have explored different incentive mechanisms and how they affect human behavior patterns, with the goal being to improve mobile system performance and efficiency. In addition, I am working with end-user mobile devices for collaborative network diagnostics in enterprise environments.



Mobile Network Peformance - Namehelp Mobile

Measure the ability of your existing DNS to resolve domain names and select low latency servers, and compare its performance to public DNS options like OpenDNS and GoogleDNS. Select the fastest option for your mobile device with Namehelp Mobile - in the Play Store.


Mobile Crowdsourcing

Mobile crowdsourcing environments present new challenges for recruiting workers who achieve high levels of task compliance. We are exploring the ways in which different incentive structures affect these particpant characteristics.


Crowdsourcing - Designing Human Distributed Systems

Taking systems level design practices and principles and applying them to human computation services like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in an attempt to create high performance, reliable and robust Human Distributed Systems.



Improving content delivery through intelligent DNS selection. Download the Namehelp tool here.


TrailBlaze Chicago

Crowdsourcing common cycle routes for improved municiple planning. Download the app from the Android Marketplace here.


C3R - Mobile Urban Monitoring

Vehicular platform for participatory air pollution monitoring.




  • John P. Rula, Fabián Bustamante
    Crowdsensing Under (Soft) Control
    To appear in Proc. INFOCOMM 2015, April 2015.


  • John P. Rula, Fabián Bustamante
    Behind the Curtain: Cellular DNS and Content Replica Selection
    In Proc. IMC 2014, November 2014.
  • John P. Rula, Fabián Bustamante
    Behind the Curtain: The importance of replica selection in next generation cellular networks
    Poster in Proc. SIGCOMM, August 2014.
    Winner of SIGCOMM 2014 ACM Student Research Competition.
  • John P. Rula, Vishnu Navda, Fabián Bustamante, Ranjita Bhagwan, Saikat Guha
    "No One-Size Fits All": Towards a principled approach for incentives in mobile crowdsourcing
    In Proc. HotMobile, February 2014.


  • Zachary S. Bischof, Mario A. Sánchez, John S. Otto, John P. Rula, Fabián Bustamante
    Characterizing Broadband Services with Dasu
    Demonstration at USENIX NSDI, April 2013.




  • John S. Otto, John P. Rula, and Fabián E. Bustamante
    C3R -- Participatory Urban Monitoring from your Car
    Tech. Report NWU-EECS-09-10, EECS Dept., Northwestern Univ., 2009.

In the Press

  • A Faster Internet for your Smartphone.
    April 7, 2014 | McCormick By Design
  • In Virtual World, Phone Game Controls You!
    March 19, 2012 | Discovery News
  • Mobile games be used for `soft` crowd control
    March 19, 2012 | Wired News
  • Using Virtual Worlds to `Soft Control` People`s Movements in the Real One
    March 19, 2012 | Communications of the ACM News
  • Using Virtual Worlds to `Soft Control` People`s Movements in the Real One
    March 16, 2012 | McCormick by Design
  • Bike-Friendly App Takes Second Prize in 'Apps for Metro Chicago' Grand Challenge
    December 19, 2011 | McCormick By Design


Sailing -- I like sailing. I sailed intercollegiately for Northwestern during college.

Basketball -- I have much more desire to play than I have skill.