Keynote & Plenary Speakers

(Speakers listed in name alphabet order)


Victor Bahl  (ACM/IEEE/AAAS Fellow, ACM Distinguished Speaker, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer)

Principal Researcher and Director, Microsoft, USA

Keynote Talk Title: Cloud 2020:  The Emergence of Micro Datacenter for Mobile Computing
Time: 8:30-9:30AM, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015


Resource poverty is a fundamental constraint that severely limits the types of applications that can be run on mobile devices. This constraint is not just a temporary limitation of current technology but is intrinsic to mobility. In this talk, I will put forth a vision that breaks free of this fundamental constraint. In this vision, mobile users seamlessly utilize nearby computers to obtain the resource benefits of cloud computing without incurring WAN delays and jitter. Rather than relying on a distant cloud the client connects and uses a nearby micro datacenter (mDC). Crisp interactive response for immersive applications that augment human cognition are then easier to achieve.  While much engineering and research remains, the concepts and ideas introduced in this talk open the door to a new world of disaggregated computing in which seamless cognitive assistance for users can be delivered at any time and any place.


Victor Bahl is a Principal Researcher and Director of the Mobility & Networking Research (MNR) Group in Microsoft Research. MNR's mission is "to invent & research technologies that make Microsoft's networks, services and devices indispensable to the world".  In addition to pursuing untethered research and shepherding brilliant researchers, Victor helps shape Microsoft's long-term vision related to networking technologies by advising Microsoft’s senior executive team and through associated policy engagement with governments and industries around the world.  He and his group have had far-reaching impact on the research community. Government policy, and Microsoft products through many significant technology transfers. His personal research spans a variety of topics in mobile computing, wireless systems, cloud services and datacenter networking & management. Over his career he has built many highly cited seminal systems, published prolifically in top conferences and journals, authored over 110 patents, given over 35 keynote talks, won numerous awards and honors including ACM SIGMOBILE’s Lifetime Achievement (Outstanding Contributions) Award and IEEE Outstanding Leadership and Professional Service Award, and has engaged in significant professional and company-wide leadership activities. Victor received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1997.  He is a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE and AAAS.


Michael I. Jordan  (NAS member, NAE member, AAAS member, ACM/IEEE/AAAS/AAAI/ASA/CSS/IMS/ISBA/SIAM Fellow)

Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Keynote Talk Title:  On the Computational and Statistical Interface and "Big Data" (PPT1, PPT2)
8:30-9:30AM, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015

The rapid growth in the size and scope of datasets in science and technology has created a need for novel foundational perspectives on data analysis that blend the statistical and computational sciences.  That classical perspectives from these fields are not adequate to address emerging problems in "Big Data" is apparent from their sharply divergent nature at an elementary level---in computer science, the growth of the number of data points is a source of "complexity" that must be tamed via algorithms or hardware, whereas in statistics, the growth of the number of data points is a source of "simplicity" in that inferences are generally stronger and asymptotic results can be invoked.  I present several research vignettes on topics at the computation/statistics interface, including work on parallel/distributed machine learning and on the interface between learning and privacy.  [Joint work with John Duchi, Xinghao Pan, Yuchen Zhang, Joseph Gonzalez, Stefanie Jegelka, Joseph Bradley and MartinWainwright.]



Michael I. Jordan is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests bridge the computational, statistical, cognitive and biological sciences, and have focused in recent years on Bayesian nonparametric analysis, probabilistic graphical models, spectral methods, kernel machines and applications to problems in distributed computing systems, natural language processing, signal processing and statistical genetics. Prof. Jordan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science., He has been named a Neyman Lecturer and a Medallion Lecturer by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and has received the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award. He is a Fellow of the AAAI, ACM, ASA, CSS, IEEE, IMS, ISBA and SIAM.


Larry Peterson  (NAE member, ACM/IEEE Fellow)

Robert E. Kahn Professor, Princeton University, USA

Keynote Talk Title: OpenCloud: A Value-Added Cloud for Network Operators
8:30-9:30AM, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015


The Cloud is rapidly changing the face of the Internet, building on two disruptive technologies: multi-tenant virtualized clusters and Software Defined Networks (SDN). Multi-tenant virtualized clusters enable scale-out designs with flexible resource use and good cost/performance. SDN makes it possible to both manage complexity and customize the network. These technologies are being deployed throughout the Internet; they are not limited to the data center. Network operators are migrating away from purpose-built hardware appliances and moving towards infrastructure that exploits virtualized commodity servers and SDN at the very edge of the Internet, a practice being called Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). This talk puts forward a vision for a Value-Added Cloud that demonstrates how network operators can take advantage of cloud technology. It also describes a prototype, called OpenCloud, that we are building with Internet2.


Larry Peterson is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus and Director of the Princeton-hosted PlanetLab Consortium. He served as Chair of the CS Department from 2003-2009. In 2007 Peterson co-founded CoBlitz LLC to commercialize CDN technology developed on PlanetLab. CoBlitz was acquired by Veriue Inc. in 2010, and subsequently by Akamai in 2012. Peterson is co-author of the best selling networking textbook Computer Networks: A Systems Approach (5e), and chaired the initial planning efforts that led to NSF's GENI Initiative. His research focuses on the design and implementation of networked systems. Some of his recent projects and papers can be found here.

Professor Peterson is a former Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, was on the Editorial Board for the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking and the IEEE Journal on Select Areas in Communication, and served as program chair for SOSP, NSDI, and HotNets. Peterson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE, the 2010 recipient of the IEEE Kobayashi Computer and Communication Award, and the 2013 recipient of the ACM SIGCOMM Award. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in 1985.


Ramesh Govindan  (ACM/IEEE Fellow)

Northrop Grumman Chair Professor, University of Southern California, USA

Plenary Talk Title: Every Millisecond Counts  (PPT)

Time: 13:30-14:30, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015


Over the last 5 years, the advent of mobile and cloud computing has radically altered the structure of the Internet. These advances, together with the increasing economic importance of the Internet, has prompted end-to-end extreme engineering of networks with the aim of improving tail performance. In this talk, I will review recent advances in engineering for low latency access to web services. Latency impacts revenue, so large service providers like Google have been taking extraordinary steps to engineer their infrastructures to achieve millisecond-level latency improvements, by improving alignment of routing and topology with geography, ensuring proximity to clients, and optimizing delivery. I will present some work that quantifies these improvements and will discuss what these advances portend for networking research.



Ramesh Govindan is the Northrop Grumman Chair in Engineering and Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He received his B. Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  His research interests include routing and measurements in large internets, networked sensing systems, and mobile computing systems. He is a Fellow of the ACM and of the IEEE, a former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and a Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Ramesh Jain  (ACM/IEEE/AAAI/IAPR/SPIE Fellow)

Donald Bren Professor in Information & Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine, USA

Plenary Talk Title: Building Smart Social Systems  (PPT)

13:30-14:30, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015


One of the most challenging problems in human society is to connect needs of people to appropriate resources efficiently, effectively, and promptly.  Availability of enormous volumes of heterogeneous Cyber-Physical-Social (CPS) data streams allows design and implementation of networks to connect various data sources to detect situations with little latency.  In fact, in many cases it may even be possible to predict situations well in advance.  This opens up new opportunities in designing smart social systems for specific tasks.  Such systems are very useful for many important problems at local as well as regional and even global level.  Such systems offer many novel challenges to researchers in big data, multimedia, networking, and social computing.  We will present our approach towards building social life network that are first step towards such smart social systems.  In particular, EventShop can be used to input and process heterogeneous data streams for we situation recognition and availability of resources; while Personal EventShop can be used to build Personicles and identify evolving personal situation and needs.  This can then be used for connecting needy people with appropriate resources.  This approach has been tested with several simple applications.  In addition to the technical approach, its implications for emerging societal applications will be discussed.


Ramesh Jain is an entrepreneur, researcher, and educator. He is a Donald Bren Professor in Information & Computer Sciences at University of California, Irvine where he is doing research in Event Web and experiential computing. Earlier he served on faculty of Georgia Tech, University of California at San Diego, The university of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Wayne State University, and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, AAAI, IAPR, and SPIE. His current research interests are in processing massive number of geo-spatial heterogeneous data streams for building Smart Social System. He is the recipient of several awards including the ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement Award 2010.

Ramesh co-founded several companies, managed them in initial stages, and then turned them over to professional management. These companies include PRAJA, Virage, and ImageWare. Currently he is involved in Stikco and SnapViz. He has also been advisor to several other companies including some of the largest companies in media and search space.


Monica Lam  (ACM Fellow)

Professor, Stanford University, USA

Plenary Talk Title: Omlet: A Foundation for a Paradigm Shift from Centralized to Distributed Computing

8:30-9:30AM, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015


While centralized big-data systems might be perfect for indexing the public web, they are inappropriate for recording the personal utterances and actions of the entire human kind.  Having so much knowledge and power be accumulated and owned by a single proprietary entity would not only be a huge invasion of privacy, but would also stifle open competition and innovation.   Mobile devices create both a need and an opportunity for distributed computing. 

Omlet, the result of 4 years of research at Stanford followed by 2 years of commercialization, is an attempt to create a new foundation to support user-friendly, distributed computing on mobile devices and the internet of things.  To the user, Omlet appears as a super chat app with many plug-ins and extensions; deep down, Omlet is actually a distributed social OS and network.   At the heart of Omlet is a universal messaging system where devices can communicate with each other via existing identities such as phone numbers or email addresses, without giving up ownership of the communication data.  Built upon this messaging layer is a distributed semantic file system that enables collaborative apps be written easily while allowing data be distributed in the cloud service of the users' choice. 

Launched in March 2014, Omlet, available on the iPhone and the Android devices, has already been distributed to millions of phones.  Because of its data protection policy, Omlet is a suitable foundation for social applications in education, commerce, finance, internet-of-things, and any other domains where intellectual property needs to be respected.



Monica S. Lam has been a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University since 1988; she is also the founding Director of the Stanford MobiSocial Computing Laboratory.  She received her BS in Computer Science from University of British Columbia and her PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.  Her research results, commercialized by startups she co-founded, disrupted the status quo in three different areas.  Omlet is the first messaging and social network that does not monetize users' data; MokaFive lets businesses manage desktops virtually, and Tensilica adds configurability to processors in SoCs (system-on-a-chip).  She is a co-author of the most popular compiler textbook, often called the Dragon book.  She is an ACM Fellow.


Anna Scaglione  (IEEE Fellow)

Professor, Arizona State University, USA

Plenary Talk Title: Signal Processing and Communication Challenges for the Internet of Energy  (PPT)

 14:30-15:30, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015


In this talk we will discuss signal processing models of the behavior of electric appliances that can support the smart electric power grid. An ecosystems of Electric Vehicles, Smart Thermostats and Smart Lighting will allow customers to interact with the market of electricity directly, optimizing the customer preferenceswhile better exploiting the variable production from renewable energy, from distributed ``prosumers” and centralized plants alike. The opportunities for good are immense but there are several challenges. Unlike the internet, which is managed in a decentralized fashion, power systems are large vertically integrated infrastructures and, thus, the interaction between market forces is hampered by the curse of dimensionality. We will discuss the issue of sifting through big data to decide the schedule and closing the loop on a large number of transactions. While the grid is already coping with significant vulnerabilities as is the Internet of Energy can significantly expand the reach of malicious cyber-attacks.  We will touch upon the issue of cyber-security and privacy that arise in general with the Internet of Things and with the Internet of Energy in particular.


Anna Scaglione (M.Sc.'95, Ph.D. '99) is currently a professor in electrical and computer engineering at Arizona State University. She was Professor of Electrical Engineering previously at the University of California at Davis (2008-2014), after a six-year term at Cornell (2001-2006). Prior to joining the engineering faculty at Cornell, Scaglione was an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico (2000-2001).

Dr. Scaglione’s expertise is in the broad area of statistical signal processing for communication, electric power systems and networks. Her current research focuses on studying and enabling decentralized learning and signal processing in networks of sensors. She also focuses on sensor systems and networking models for cyber security in critical infrastructure and for the demand side management and reliable energy delivery and in other aspects at the intersection between intelligent infrastructure, information systems and social networks.

Dr. Scaglione was elected an IEEE fellow in 2011. She received the 2000 IEEE Signal Processing Transactions Best Paper Award and more recently was honored for the 2013, IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award for the best review paper in that year in the IEEE publications, her work with her student earned  2013 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award (Lin Li).



Venugopal V. Veeravalli  (IEEE Fellow, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer)

Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Plenary Talk Title: Flexible Backhaul Design for Cellular Interference Management  (PPT)

14:30-15:30, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015


Enhancements in the backhaul infrastructure are anticipated in future generation cellular networks.  In this talk, we explore the potential benefits of having a more flexible backhaul. For the cellular downlink, we study assignments of messages to base station transmitters and Coordinated Multi-Point transmission based coding schemes that deliver the promise of interference alignment while meeting delay requirements. In particular, we highlight the importance of basing the decisions for cell associations as well as assignments of messages over the backhaul on the knowledge of the structure of dominant interfering links. We observe that the optimal designs differ dramatically based on the network topology. In practice, the topology can change because of deep fading conditions and network dynamics, and we therefore introduce a dynamic interference network model and consider backhaul designs for this model. In the last part of the talk, we discuss dual designs in a cellular uplink model where the base station receivers can share decoded messages through the backhaul. (This is joint work with Dr. Aly Elgamal and Dr. Sreekanth Annapureddy.)


Prof. Veeravalli received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992, the M.S. degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1987, and the B.Tech degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (Silver Medal Honors) in 1985. He is currently a Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL) and the Information Trust Institute (ITI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was on the faculty of the School of ECE at Cornell University before he joined Illinois in 2000. He served as a program director for communications research at the U.S. National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA during 2003-2005. His research interests include wireless communication, sensor networks, detection and estimation theory, statistical signal processing and information theory.  He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and a recipient of the 1996 IEEE Browder J. Thompson Best Paper Award and the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He served as a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Signal Processing Society during 2010-2011.