We are excited to announce the attendance of the following distinguished
speakers at the 14th annual Reflections | Projections Conference.
Our full speaker line-up, along with a complete set of abstracts and
biographies will be posted as the conference approaches.
|Speakers||Abstracts & Biographies|
Saturday, Oct. 4
They make computers out of software, now
Systems problems are traditionally solved in either hardware or the
operating system. Hardware is too expensive to experiment with, while
OS-based solutions suffer from the chicken-and-egg problem of moving the
world to your improved OS. The virtual machine monitor (VMM) presents a
sweet spot between these two extremes. VMM-based solutions can solve a
problem in software, once, and yet solve it for all popular operating
systems and applications.
I'll be using a new, VMM-based tool called VProbes both to demonstrate the
scope of what the VMM can intercept, and and as an example of a feature
that would be difficult to implement in other layers. VProbes provides a
globally coherent, safe, programmable, interactive window into a running
machine, from its CPUs to memory to peripherals.
About Keith Adams
Keith Adams has worked on VMware's virtual machine monitor (VMM) since
graduating from Brown University in 2000. At VMware, he's helped to bring
support for virtual multiprocessors, hardware CPU and MMU virtualization,
and dynamic instrumentation to the VMM. Keith has a blog, and likes road
cycling and playing guitar. He is NOT an official spokesperson for VMware,
or the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club.
Saturday, Oct. 4
Quantum Computer Compilers
Quantum information processing presents fascinating new areas of
research to computer science as well as other areas of science. This talk
will overview the state of the art in building quantum computers,
algorithms, languages, and compilers. This talk will also describe some of
the challenging problems compiler writers face in trying to create
compilers for quantum computers.
About Al Aho
Alfred Aho is the Lawrence Gussman Professor of Computer Science at
Columbia University. His research has focused on algorithms, programming
languages, compilers, software engineering, and quantum computing. He
created the first versions of the Unix utilities egrep and fgrep, and is the
"A" in AWK. His books on algorithms, data structures, programming languages
and compilers are widely used throughout the world for computer science
research and education.
Dr. Aho has won the IEEE John von Neumann Medal and is a member of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of
Engineering. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, Bell Labs, and IEEE. He has
been Vice President of the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs
where Unix, C, and C++ were invented. He has chaired the Computer Science
Department of Columbia University and the advisory committee for the
Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Directorate of the
National Science Foundation.
Saturday, Oct. 4
ZFS: The Last Word in File Systems
ZFS is an open-source file system that brings all the cool features
of high-end storage to your laptop. Snapshots, clones, compression,
encryption, RAID, remote replication, and end-to-end data integrity are
all integrated and trivial to use. This talk will explain how ZFS works
and what it can do for you.
About Jeff Bonwick
Jeff Bonwick is a Sun Fellow and Vice President at Sun Microsystems.
Jeff is the chief architect of ZFS, a new kind of file system that
provides simple, reliable, highly capable storage using cheap commodity
hardware. ZFS has spawned a new ecosystem of open storage products
that are bringing the economics of open source to the storage market.
Prior to ZFS Jeff invented the slab allocator, which has been adopted
by most modern operating systems, is featured in many OS textbooks,
and has become part of the curriculum at major universities worldwide.
Jeff created observability tools including kstat and lockstat, and
authored many core Solaris services, including mutexes and rwlocks,
priority inheritance, task queues, and the LZJB compression algorithm.
Jeff holds a BS in Mathematics from the University of Delaware and an MS
in Statistics from Stanford. He has over 50 patents granted or filed.
Saturday Oct. 4
Stranger in a Strange Land: Reflections on a Linux
Guy's First Year at Microsoft
Dr. Crispin Cowan, famous Linux security guy and vocal Microsoft critic,
now works at Microsoft. What? Has Hell opened a ski resort? This talk will
reflect on my first year at Microsoft as a Linux guy. Hell has not frozen
over, and I'm having a great time. I will talk about how the Linux and
Windows communities are more similar to each other than either community
cares to admit, for good and bad, as well as highlighting the differences
that I have found. I will also highlight the similarities and differences in
the security problems faced by Windows and Linux.
About Crispin Cowan
Crispin Cowan has been in the computer business for 25 years, and
security for 10 years. He was the CTO and founder of Immunix, Inc., acquired
by Novell in 2005. Dr. Cowan is now a security program manager in the
Microsoft Core Operating System Division, working on security features for
Windows. Dr. Cowan developed several host security technologies under DARPA
funding, including prominent technologies like the StackGuard compiler
defense against buffer overflows, and the LSM (Linux Security Modules)
interface in Linux 2.6. Dr. Cowan also co-invented the "time-to-patch"
method of assessing when it is safe to apply a security patch. Prior to
founding Immunix, he was a professor with the Oregon Graduate Institute. He
is the program co-chair for the 2007 and 2008 Network and Distributed System
Security conferences. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Western
Ontario and a Masters of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.
Saturday Oct. 4
Space Is the Place
While most of us are stuck asking "When will I finally get to go
on a moon-hotel vacation?" or wondering "Just what it is that NASA
does anyways?" a new approach to space travel is literally taking
flight. Space 2.0, the commercialization of space, promises to finally make
that hot zero-g dream of yours come true. This talk will discuss the current
state of the space industry and survey some of the most interesting
companies and projects in the Space 2.0 movement. As a do-it-yourself bonus,
we'll also go throw an introduction to building a rocket and shapeship
About Mike Dabrowski
Mike Dabrowski is head of software development at Space Exploration
Technologies (SpaceX). Prior to being a rocket scientist, Mike taught
Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego. He holds
Computer Engineering MS and BS degrees from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign where he was the program manager of the University of
Illinois Cubesat program and a founder of the Special Interest Group for
Military Applications (SIGMil).
Saturday, Oct. 4
The Electric Sheep and their Dreams in High Fidelity
Electric Sheep is a cyborg mind composed of 60,000 computers and people
connected by software and the internet. It's an open-source, distributed
screen-saver that harnesses idle computers into a render farm with the
purpose of animating and evolving artificial life-forms known as a
"sheep". Dreams in High Fidelity is a painting that evolves. This limited
edition fine art was made by Draves picking personal favorites from the
screen-saver, and rerendering them in much higher quality. The
presentation will include a demo of the artwork and an explanation of the
About Scott Draves
Scott Draves a.k.a. Spot is a visual and software artist living in New
York City and San Francisco. His most recent work is Dreams in High
Fidelity a limited edition infinite animation. Draves is best known as the
creator of the Electric Sheep, a continually evolving abstract animation
with over 60,000 daily participants.
He created the original Flame algorithm in 1991, the Bomb visual-musical
instrument in 1995, and the Electric Sheep in 1999. Draves' software
artworks are released as open source and distributed via the internet.
Draves' award-winning work is permanently hosted on MoMA.org, and has
appeared in Wired and Discover magazines, the Prix Ars Electronica, the
O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and on the main dance-floor at the
Sonar festival in Barcelona.
Sunday, Oct. 5
Secure Browsing with the OP Browser
The modern web browser has evolved from a relatively simple client
application designed to display static data into a complex networked
operating system tasked with managing many facets of online experience.
Support for dynamic content, multimedia data, and third-party plug-ins
greatly enriches the browsing experience at the cost of increased
complexity of the browser itself, resulting in a plague of security
vulnerabilities that provide hackers with easy access to systems. To
address the root of this problem, we designed and implemented the OP web
browser. We have partitioned the browser into smaller subsystems, isolated
each subsystem, and made all communication between subsystems simple and
explicit. Finally, we have used formal methods to prove the correctness of
the communications between subsystems and the ability to limit the effects
of compromised subsystems.
About Sam King
Dr. Samuel T. King is an assistant professor in the Computer Science
department at the University of Illinois. His research interests include
security, experimental software systems, operating systems, and computer
architecture. His current research focuses include defending against
malicious hardware, designing and implementing secure web browsers, and
applying machine learning to systems problems. Sam received his PhD in
Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2006.
Friday, Oct. 3
Sprinkled amongst both Generation X and Generation Y is a curious, new
population. The Nerd. The Geek. A group which has spent the last two decades
moving from the dark technological fringe to a mainstream demographic.
In this presentation, Rands will first explore the traits of the nerd. How
is it that we're able to rampantly consume information? How many people do
we really know? Why is it that we must solve puzzles? How is it that we're
so good at context switching and so bad at relating to people? And is all
this nerdery going to help or hinder my career? It's going to help.
In the second part of this presentation, Rands will explain the role of the
nerd in high tech and discuss entry strategies into your favorite company.
We're going to talk about simple ways to leverage your nerd tendencies to
get you in the right door talking to the right people.
Rands is a denizen of Northern California where he's learned the tricks
of the trade and earned a living working at a variety of innovative
companies including Apple, Netscape Communications, Symantec Corporation,
Borland International, and a start-up that blew through a pile of cash
before it faded into nothingness.
Late at night, Rands is the author of the technology, management, and nerd
weblog where he wonders why managers are so bad at the one thing they should
do well, whether nerd traits are a hindrance to a healthy career, and
wonders about the best damned gel pen on the Planet Earth. Rands wrote
and published a book called "Managing Humans". He's been spotted at
various conferences around the world, but mostly he'd like to be holed up
in his Cave with an occasional early morning escape to the sweet, sweet
surf in Santa Cruz.
Sunday, Oct. 5
Haskell, static typing, type witnesses and
Roundy will introduce the strongly, statically typed language Haskell,
and discuss some of the advantages of static typing, particularly in
combination with type inference. He will introduce the concept of "type
witnesses", a programming trick to enable the compiler to enforce
correctness constraints far beyond what is gained from ordinary static
typing. Along the way, Roundy will explain how darcs differs from its
"competitors", and provide a brief introduction to the patch formalism it
About David Roundy
David is an assistant professor in the Physics Department at Oregon State
University, working in the field of Computational Condensed Matter Theory.
He created darcs in 2002 after becoming interested in the problem of how to
describe and manipulate changes. Around the same time, David learned the
Haskell language, and hasn't been the same since. While not working on darcs
or physics, David enjoys reading, knitting, crocheting and playing
harmonica, but not all at the same time.
Sunday, Oct. 5
Introducing the Q Programming Language
Q is a high-performance vector programming language developed by KX
systems and is the language used to program the Kdb+ database. The Kdb+
database is designed to work with massive amounts of intraday data in
memory and immutable historical data on disk. Its main use case has been
to process real time tick feeds and provide fast analysis against years of
historical tick data.
This talk will introduce the Q programming language and discuss some of
the features that are making it increasingly popular at Morgan Stanley.
I'll also talk about some of the challenges of introducing a new language
into an enterprise environment.
About Brian Runk
Brian Runk has been a software developer at Morgan Stanley in New York
City since 1999, where he presently works on the KDB+ infrastrucure team.
Prior to working with KDB+, he worked on Java infrastructure and
applications. Brian holds a bachelors degree in computer science from
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing a
wide range of investment banking, securities, and investment management
services to clients worldwide.
Saturday, Oct. 4
Engineering the Illusion of Life
Since the invention of the transparent animation "cel" in the
early 1900's, animation has been a technology driven art form. In the
1990's, the transition from handdrawn 2D to computer generated 3D films
brought with it a raft of complicated technical challenges.
Travel with us down the production pipeline and explore some of the
engineering problems encountered producing feature-length films at
DreamWorks Animation. We'll discuss the data structures, algorithms,
numerical methods, testing, configuration management and systems design
required to create the "illusion of life".
About Don Schmidt
Don Schmidt is a Software Engineer at DreamWorks Animation, where he's
responsible for supporting and extending the studio's proprietary
animation production pipeline. Before DreamWorks, Don studied computer
science at the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served
as chair of local chapters of both SIGGRAPH and ACM.
Saturday, Oct. 4
A language for the social web: why and how Facebook
developed the Facebook Markup Language (FBML)
The Facebook development Platform launched its first API over two
years ago, in August 2006. Since its launch it has grown to support
over 400,000 external developers developing thousands of social
applications and has become the most popular social platform on the
This is the story of the technical evolution of Platform, from data
assessors to a simple REST API to the full-fledged development
platform that it is today. We will discuss the interesting challenges
we faced in regards to user privacy, the development of the Facebook
Mark-up Language (FBML) as well as the inherent performance issues
involved in safeguarding the privacy of over +100 million users and
how developers can assist us solving them. We'll also talk about the
future of Platform and FBML with Facebook Connect and the rest of the
About Luke Shepard
Luke Shepard spends his days coding, ripsticking, and building
software to connect the world. He has engineered a number of teams at
Facebook, including front end performance, advertising, and platform.
Prior to Facebook, he chased bugs in the supply chain at Amazon.com.
Luke earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the
University of Chicago. He is originally from Chicago.
Saturday, Oct. 4
Computational Linguistics: What is it and what (if
any) are its unifying themes?
In a well-known cartoon, Randall Munroe characterizes computational
linguistics as a field "so ill-defined that" practitioners "can subscribe
to any of dozens of contradictory models and still be taken seriously." As
with any humor, there is a serious point here. Indeed, it is often quite
hard to see what the substantive claims of computational linguistics are,
and how one's model could be falsified (other than by presenting another
model that has a lower error rate).
Part of the problem is that a large amount of what counts as computational
linguistics is essentially natural language engineering, where the point
is simply to find something that works. And part of the problem is a
widespread view that has computational linguistics as little more than
applied machine learning. Nonetheless, there are models and problems that
serve as unifying themes in the field. Among these are the widespread use
of finite-state methods, recent work on grammar induction and the growing
field of computational modeling of evolutionary language change. Each of
these is interesting not only as a computational problem, but also because
of the light it may shed on human language.
About Richard Sproat
Richard Sproat is Professor of Linguistics and Electrical & Computer
Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a
fulltime faculty member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and
Technology. He is also a Visiting Scientist at Google Labs. Prior to
coming to UIUC in 2003, Sproat worked for 18 years at AT&T Bell Labs (and
its offshoots Lucent Bell Labs and AT&T Labs) on computational linguistics
and speech technology. He has authored a number of books, including
Morphology and Computation (1992, MIT Press), the 1997 volume (as editor)
Multilingual Text-to-Speech Synthesis: The Bell Labs Approach (Springer),
A Computational Theory of Writing Systems (2000, Cambridge University
Press), and (with Brian Roark) Computational Approaches to Morphology and
Syntax (2007, Oxford). His newest book Language, Technology and Society
(forthcoming, Oxford), traces the history of language technology, starting
with the first such technology, writing, up through modern computer speech
and language systems, explains how these systems work, and discusses their
social and cultural impact.
Saturday, Oct. 4
Keep Your Shoes On
We are all being terrorized on a daily basis. We make bad decisions in
the face of poorly defined but vigorously promulgated fears. And, as
developers, we end up creating worse code as a result.
Let's stop being reactive. And let's stop being afraid. And let's create
some wonderful, liberated, code.
About Dave Thomas
Straight from the man himself: Dave Thomas is a programmer. He also writes and publishes books.
Saturday, Oct. 4
Latest Developments in Robotic Hardware
Robots have been around for about half a century. Until about a decade
ago, robotic arms were strictly confined to caged robotic work cells to
protect the safety of people who might otherwise be harmed by high robotic
joint torques/forces. The past decade has seen a couple of trends where a
cage for safety is no longer practical. The first trend is robotic mobility.
It's not practical to build a fixed cage around a mobile robot, considering,
for example, Vecna's BEAR robot, designed to rescue wounded soldiers from an
active battlefield, or the iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.
The second trend is a growing reliance on robots that are necessarily in
direct contact with people, such as medical patients during
robotically-assisted surgery or rehabilitation. For example, Barrett's
robotic WAM arm reduces the invasiveness of knee-implant surgery to
improve outcome and shorten hospital recovery time. But robot surgery
requires direct physical contact between robot and patient, again
challenging the role of a cage. The talk will cover these examples and
others that show the recent trends away from traditional fixed robotic
work cells in cages. It will also show innovative ways to improve safety
as these trends continue.
About William Townsend
Bill Townsend founded Barrett Technology in 1988, credited as maker of
the world's "most advanced robotic arm" in the special Millennium Edition of
the Guinness Book of World Records. Barrett's WAM arm and BarrettHand
products operate in 15 countries around the globe today; and the WAM is the
only arm approved by the FDA for force-controlled (haptic) surgery, having
performed 100s of successful knee-implant surgeries across the US.
Bill holds engineering PhD and MS degrees from MIT and a BS from
Northeastern. He has been awarded 8 US patents and won several professional
awards including The Robotic Industries Association's Joseph Engelberger
Award in 2003 for pioneering the first haptic robot in the 1980s and
best-paper-of-the-year award from UK-journal, Industrial Robot, in 2005.
Friday, Oct. 3
Studies in the Ballistic Arts
It has been said that close only counts in horseshoes and hand
grenades--as long as you count nukes as a kind of hand grenade. But what
exactly are you aiming at, and how close is close enough? This talk will be
about the past, present, and future of Perl, with a few pointers on how to
launch your project, how to steer it while you still can, and when to let it
fly off on its own trajectory.
About Larry Wall
Though trained primarily as a linguist, Larry Wall has been working with
computers for the last 35 years or so. He is most famous for writing the
"patch" program and inventing the Perl programming language, but he prefers
to think of himself as a cultural hacker whose vocation in life is to bring
a bit of joy into the dreary existence of programmers. Larry is currently
employed by Netlogic Microsystems in Mountain View, California.