2011-2012 Distinguished Lecture Abstracts


Dr. Steven R. Swanson
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

4:10 p.m., Friday, October 28, 2011
The Preston M. Geren Auditorium,
Langford Architecture Center Building B


Dr. Swanson will talk about his last mission (STS-119) to the ISS aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. On this mission, he helped install the final solar array of the ISS enabling NASA to increase the crew from 3 to 6 people and providing more power for science.


Please see http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/swanson.html to read Dr. Swanson's biography.

CSCE 681 Contact: Tony Okonski

Taming Heterogeneous Parallelism with Domain Specific Languages

Dr. Kunle Olukotun
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory
Stanford University

4:10 p.m., Monday, November 21, 2011
Room 124, Bright Building


Computing systems are becoming increasingly parallel and heterogeneous; however, exploiting the full capability of these architectures is complicated because it requires application code to be developed with multiple programming models. A much more productive single programming model approach to heterogeneous parallelism uses domain specific languages (DSLs). DSLs provide high-level abstractions which improve programmer productivity and enable transformations to high performance parallel code. In this talk, I will motivate the DSL approach to heterogeneous parallelism, show example DSLs that provide both high productivity and performance, and describe Delite, a framework that simplifies the development of DSLs embedded in Scala.


Kunle Olukotun is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. Olukotun is best know as a pioneer in chip multiprocessor (CMP) design and the leader of the Stanford Hydra research project which developed one of the first chip multiprocessors (CMP) with support for thread-level speculation (TLS). Olukotun founded Afara Websystems to develop high-throughput, low-power server systems with CMP technology. The Afara microprocessor, called Niagara, was acquired by Sun Microsystems. Niagara derived processors now power all Oracle SPARC-based servers. Olukotun currently directs the Stanford Pervasive Parallelism Lab (PPL) which seeks to proliferate the use of heterogeneous parallelism in all application areas using Domain Specific Languages (DSLs). Olukotun is an ACM Fellow and IEEE Fellow.

CSCE 681 Faculty Contact: Dr. Lawrence Rauchwerger

Protecting Information Systems from Insider Threats - Concepts and Issues

Dr. Elisa Bertino
Department of Computer Sciences
Purdue University

4:10 p.m., Monday, January 23, 2012
Room 124, Bright Building


Past research on information security has focused on protecting valuable resources from attacks by outsiders. However, statistics show that a large amount of security and privacy breaches are due to insider attacks.

Protection from insider threats is challenging because insiders may have access to many sensitive resources and high-privileged system accounts. Suitable approaches need to combine several security techniques, like fine-grained access control, stronger authentication protocols, integrated digital identity management, intrusion detection, with techniques from areas like information integration, machine learning, and risk assessment. In this talk, after an introduction to the problem of insider threats, we will present recent work addressing the problem of anomaly detection and response policies for database management systems and then discuss open research issues, by emphasizing the role of techniques from the area of information integration.


Elisa Bertino is professor of Computer Science at Purdue University and serves as Research Director of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) and as interim director of CyberCenter. Previously she was a faculty member at Department of Computer Science and Communication of the University of Milan where she directed the DB&SEC laboratory. She has been a visiting researcher at the IBM Research Laboratory (now Almaden) in San Jose, at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, at Rutgers University, at Telcordia Technologies. Her main research interests include security, privacy, digital identity management systems, database systems. She serves (has served) on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including IEEE Internet Computing, IEEE Security & Privacy, ACM Transactions on Information and System Security, ACM Transactions on Web.

Elisa Bertino is a Fellow member of IEEE and a Fellow member of ACM. She received the 2002 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award for "For outstanding contributions to database systems and database security and advanced data management systems" and the 2005 IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award "For pioneering and innovative research contributions to secure distributed systems."

CSCE 681 Faculty Contact: Dr. James Caverlee

Bounding Rationality by Computational Complexity

Dr. Lance Fortnow
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Northwestern University

4:10 p.m., Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Room 124, Bright Building


Traditional micro-economic theory typically assumes that individuals and institutions can completely understand the consequences of their decisions given the information they have available. These assumptions may not be valid as we might have to solve hard computational problems to optimize our choices. What happens if we restrict the computational power of economic agents?

There has been some work in economics treating computation as a fixed cost or simply considering the size of a program. This talk will explore a new direction bringing the rich tools of computational complexity into economic models, a tricky prospect where even basic concepts like "input size" are not well defined.

We show how to incorporate computational complexity into a number of economic models including game theory, prediction markets, forecast testing, preference revelation and contract theory.

This talk will not assume any background in either economics or computational complexity.


Lance Fortnow is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University specializing in computational complexity and its applications to economic theory. He also hold a courtesy appointment at the Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences department in the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and an adjoint professorship at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

Fortnow received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at MIT in 1989 under the supervision of Michael Sipser. Before he joined Northwestern in 2008, Fortnow was a professor at the University of Chicago, a senior research scientist at the NEC Research Institute and a one-year visitor at CWI and the University of Amsterdam.

Fortnow's research spans computational complexity and its applications, most recently to micro-economic theory. His work on interactive proof systems and time-space lower bounds for satsifability have led to his election as a 2007 ACM Fellow. In addition he was an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow from 1992-1998 and a Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands in 1996-97.

Among his many activities, Fortnow served as the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transaction on Computation Theory, serves as chair of ACM SIGACT and sits on the council of the Computing Community Consortium. He served as chair of the IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity from 2000-2006. Fortnow originated and co-authors the Computational Complexity weblog since 2002, the first major theoretical computer science blog. He has over 1200 followers on Twitter.

Fortnow's survey The Status of the P versus NP Problem is CACM's most downloaded article. Fortnow is currently working on a book expanding on that article.

Faculty Contact: Dr. Evdokia Nikolova

Cyber-Physical Systems: A Convergence of Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Ragunathan "Raj" Rajkumar
George Westinghouse Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University

4:10 p.m., Friday, March 2, 2012
Room 124, Bright Building


Cyber-physical systems (CPS) tightly couple the cyber-aspects of computing and communications with the dynamics and engineering of physical systems. Many grand CPS challenges with great promise lie in the domains of transportation, energy generation, buildings, healthcare, manufacturing, physical infrastructure and agriculture among others. The emerging CPS community comprises engineers of all stripes and computer scientists. This talk will present technical challenges that CPS pose, and offers glimpses of what systems can be built. Specifically, autonomous vehicles that drive themselves, large-scale sensor-actuator networks and smart video surveillance systems will be highlighted.


Prof. Raj Rajkumar is the George Westinghouse Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, he directs the Real-Time and Multimedia Systems Laboratory (RTML), and co-directs the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Vehicular Information Technology Collaborative Research Laboratory (VIT-CRL) as well as the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Laboratory (AD-CRL). He will also serve as the Director of the newly established University Transportation Center on Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation. He has served as the Program Chair and General Chair of six international ACM/IEEE conferences on real-time systems, wireless sensor networks, cyber-physical systems and multimedia computing/networking. He has authored one book, edited another book, holds one US patent, and has more than 150 publications in peer-reviewed forums. Six of these publications have received Best Paper Awards. He has given several keynotes and distinguished lectures at several conferences and universities. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, was selected as a Distinguished Engineer by the Association for Computing Machinery in 2007, and was given an Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership Award by the IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems. Prof Rajkumar's work has influenced many commercial operating systems. He is the primary founder of Pittsburgh-based TimeSys Corporation, a vendor of embedded real-time Linux products and services. His research interests include all aspects of cyber-physical systems.

Faculty Contact: Dr. Radu Stoleru