Computing Frontiers 2010
Invited Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Ozalp Babaoglu (University of Bologna) : Nature-Inspired Techniques for Self-Organization in Dynamic Networks

We examine problems that arise in dynamic network structures such as Peer-to-Peer and mobile ad hoc networks that are characterized by their extreme dynamism and large scale. In such systems, traditional techniques often prove inadequate towards providing simple solutions for their deployment, configuration and management. What is desirable is that these systems be self-configuring, self-monitoring, self-adapting, self-tuning, self-healing, and in general, self-managing. In this talk, I will put forth self-organization as a fundamental abstraction for achieving self-* properties in a bottom-up fashion without having to program them explicitly. I will support this view by illustrating completely decentralized, extremely robust and scalable solutions for important problems that draw inspiration from nature and that are based on a gossiping interaction model.

About Ozalp Babaoglu:

Ozalp Babaoglu is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bologna, Italy. He received a Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of California at Berkeley where he was a principal architect of BSD Unix. He is the recipient of 1982 Sakrison Memorial Award, 1989 UNIX International Recognition Award and 1993 USENIX Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the UNIX system community and to Open Industry Standards. Before moving to Bologna in 1988, Babaoglu was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. He is an ACM Fellow, a resident fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna and serves on the editorial boards for ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems and Springer-Verlag Distributed Computing.

Daniela Rus (MIT) : Programmable Matter with Self-reconfiguring Robots

Programmable matter aims to bring machines and materials closer together. We wish to create smart materials whose properties can be programmed, or, alternatively, machines that look and feel more like materials. Programmable matter will be achieved when we will have the ability to create objects whose physical properties, for example shape, stiffness, optical characteristics, acoustic characteristics, and viscosity can be programmed. We are working toward creating materials with embedded sensing, actuation, communication, computation, and connection, which we call SAC^3 materials. We are developing two concepts: smart SAC^3 sheets that self-fold into origami shapes, and smart SAC^3 pebbles that self-sculpt into desired objects. This work is at the intersection of theory, algorithms, device design, and control.

This talk will survey the history of programmable matter. We start by discussing robotic self-reconfiguration whose aim is to create modular robots capable of changing shape: hundreds of small modules autonomously organize and reorganize as geometric structures to best fit the terrain on which the robot has to move, the shape of the object the robot has to manipulate, or the sensing needs of the given task. Self-reconfiguration leads to versatile robots that can support multiple modalities of locomotion, manipulation, and perception. We will discuss a spectrum of mechanical and computational capabilities for such systems and detail some recent self-reconfiguring robots. We then discuss programmable matter by smart sheets and smart pebbles. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and systems challenges for realizing the full potential of programmable matter.

About Daniela Rus:

Daniela Rus is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, where she is associate director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and co-directs the MIT Center for Robotics at CSAIL. Her research interests include distributed robotics and mobile computing and her application focus includes transportation, security, environmental modeling and monitoring, underwater exploration, and agriculture.

Rus is notable for spear-heading research in programmable matter by developing the several self-configuring robots. In addition, she worked with her students to has designed, control, and field autonomous underwater robots, agricultural robots that herd cattle, low-cost, early warning sensors for disaster prevention in developing countries, and teams of autonomour aerial vehicles that can monitor adaptively large environments.
Rus is the recipient of the NSF Career Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. She is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow and a fellow of AAAI and IEEE. Before receiving her appointment at MIT, Rus was a professor in the Computer Science Department at Dartmouth, where she founded and directed two laboratories in robotics and mobile computing.

Rus earned her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University.

last modified: 2010/02/24