Confirmed Invited Technical Speakers
Josephine Cheng IBM Fellow and Vice President, IBM Almaden Research Center
Talk Title: Building a Smarter Planet
Session Time: Thursday, October 1st, 10:00-11:00am
Abstract: We are at an extraordinary moment in history: a major political transition in the United States, the global economy in flux, our financial markets restructuring themselves – and an acutely felt need for leadership. Our political leaders aren’t the only ones who’ve been handed a mandate for change. Leaders of businesses and institutions everywhere confront a unique opportunity to transform the way the world works.
• In the last few years, our eyes have been opened to global climate change, and to the environmental and geopolitical issues surrounding energy.
• We have been made aware of global supply chains for food and medicine.
• And, of course, we entered the new century with the shock to our sense of security delivered by the attacks on 9/11.
These collective realization has reminded us that we are all now connected – economically, technically and socially. Free trade agreements, the Internet and the arrival of globalization are making the world simultaneously smaller and flatter. In this presentation, I shall discuss the research activities at IBM Almaden Research to support a smarter planet by providing: smart energy and water, smart healthcare, smart business and smart workforce.
Biography: Josephine M. Cheng, Vice President of IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, oversees more than 400 scientists and engineers doing exploratory and applied research in various hardware, software and service areas, including nanotechnology, materials science, storage systems, data management, web technologies, workplace practices and user interfaces.
Prior to that, Josephine was a vice president, China Development Laboratory (CDL) , responsible for the software development for IBM Software Group. She led the development team of over 3000 employees located in 3 sites, Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei.
Josephine has been at the forefront of relational database technology for more than 20 years. She is currently holding about 28 patents. Josephine is appointed to IBM Fellow in 2000. She received Asian American Engineer of the Year in 2003. She is inducted to United States National Academy of Engineering in 2006. Received 2006 Top 10 Software Leaders in China, and Professional Achievement Award from UCLA in 2007. Currently, she is a guest professor at Tsinghua University and Shanghai University; advisory board committee to the School of Software and Microelectronics, Peking University, and chair to the advisory board committee of the Department of Computing of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
M. Bernardine Dias, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon
Talk Title: TechBridgeWorld and Computing Technology for Developing Communities
Session Time: Friday, October 2nd, 3:00-4:00pm
Abstract: Most developing communities have not benefited from technological advancements to date. In cases where technology has benefited these communities, the benefits are often highly asymmetric. While many organizations continue to focus on enabling sustainable development, few organizations have studied the role of technology in this process. TechBridgeWorld at Carnegie Mellon University is spearheading the innovation of computing technology solutions relevant and accessible to developing communities.
Designing and implementing technology that can enhance suitable and sustainable development presents unique challenges in creativity and resourcefulness. TechBridgeWorld capitalizes on the collective experience and talent of faculty, staff, and students at Carnegie Mellon University, and joins forces with partners from around the world to extend the benefits of computing technology to developing communities.
Central to our vision is encouraging locally suitable and locally sustainable technology solutions by adhering to each community’s vision of progress, thus preserving their ownership of the benefits and consequences of the realized development. As with any bridge, the technology “bridges” we create will benefit participants on both sides of each bridge, enhancing technology skills and increasing awareness about sustainable development and global cultures. By increasing meaningful access to computing technology in developing communities, TechBridgeWorld envisions enhancing not only the development process, but also the creativity and diversity of technological innovations accessible to all.
In this talk I will share some of our experiences, stories, and lessons learned in five years of TechBridgeWorld work in partnership with several communities around the world.
Biography: M. Bernardine Dias is an assistant research professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, primarily affiliated with the Field Robotics Center (www.frc.ri.cmu.edu ) at the Pittsburgh campus and with the Computer Science department at the Doha campus. She earned her B.A. from Hamilton College, Clinton NY, with a dual concentration in Physics and Computer Science and a minor in Women’s Studies in 1998, followed by a M.S. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Dias’ principal research objective is to create culturally appropriate computing technology accessible and relevant to developing communities, for which she founded and directs the TechBridgeWorld group (www.techbridgeworld.org ). She is also a leading researcher in autonomous team coordination, and co-founded and co-directs the rCommerce research group. Dr. Dias also actively encourages women in technology, and is a founding member of, and graduate faculty advisor to the women@SCS group (www.women.cs.cmu.edu ).
Susan Landau Distinguished Engineer, Sun Microsystems
Talk Title: Bits and Bites: Explaining Communications Security (and Insecurity) in Washington and Brussels
Session Time: Friday, October 2nd, 1:45-2:45pm
Abstract: Communications security is hard enough to explain for computer scientists: Why is it easy to wiretap cellphone calls and hard to wiretap VoIP? What is location difficult to determine in an IP network —- after all, packets get to where they’re going, don’t they? If the military can manage secure communications, why can’t the public? Providing answers to these questions becomes significantly harder if the audience is non technical — but no less important. In a world of both terrorism and natural disasters, understanding the what begets communications security — and communications insecurity — is critical for people making public policy decisions. In this talk I will discuss the technical concerns behind communications surveillance and communications security, as well as what its is like to bring these issues to people in Washington, Brussels, and points in between.
Biography: Susan Landau is a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, where she concentrates on the interplay between security and public policy. She is currently focusing on surveillance issues, but she has also worked on digital rights management, privacy, security and identity management, and cryptography and export control. Before joining Sun, Landau was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts and at Wesleyan University. She and Whitfield Diffie have written Privacy on the Line:The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption. She served for six years on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board. She is an associate editor for IEEE Security and Privacy and a section board member of Communications of the ACM. She maintains researcHers, a mailing list for women computer science researchers. Landau is the recipient of the 2008 Women of Vision Social Impact Award, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an ACM Distinguished Engineer.
Brenda Laurel Professor and Chair Graduate Program in Design California College of the Arts
Talk Title: Tools for Change: Human-Centered Design Research
Session Time: Friday, October 2nd 11:15-12:15
Abstract:Human-centered design research methods serve two vital purposes in the world of design. The first has to do with the ethos of the designer. The notion of the designer as a Great Man (or Woman) still haunts the design field, even though we have largely passed into an era of collaboration – primarily because of the increasingly transdisciplinary nature of design work. A degree of humility and a great deal of curiosity are required of today’s designers. Who are these people for and with whom we design?
The second vital purpose of human-centered design research lies in our ability to change human attitudes and behaviors by understanding people well enough to “meet them where they are” with design interventions. Whether direct or indirect, such design interventions are unapologetically aimed at changing values, actions, or social norms in areas of concern to us as citizen designers today.
Designers bear responsibility for the effects of their work, from the social, environmental, and economic effects of its life cycle to the changes in the world it may produce. An open, inquisitive mind and the methodologies of human-centered design research empower designers to step up to a critical, ethical, and active engagement with the world.
Biography: Brenda Laurel has worked in interactive media since 1976. She serves as professor and chair of the Graduate Program in Design at California College of Arts. She chaired the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (2002-2006) and was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs (2005-2006). Based on her research in gender and technology at Interval Research (1992-1996), she co-founded Purple Moon in 1996 to create interactive media for girls. Her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990), Computers as Theatre (1991), Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), and Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004). She earned her BA (1972) from DePauw University and her MFA (1975) and PhD in Theatre (1986) from the Ohio State University.
Jen Mankoff Associate Professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon
Talk Title: Lessons Learned in the Course of Addressing Real World Problems Through Research
Session Time: Thursday, October 1st, 11:15-12:15pm
Abstract: Over the course of my career, I have always felt the need to let real world problems drive my selection of research problems. Some examples include making computers more accessible to individuals who have difficulty typing, engaging individuals in energy-saving behaviors, and exploring how individuals with chronic illness select online content that is trustworthy.
I will discuss some of this work, describing how the application area was selected, what research problems arose from the application area, and how I balanced between competing needs such as real-world meaning and research-worthiness. I will conclude with some lessons learned about how application-driven research can mesh with long term and short term research career goals.
Biography: Dr. Jennifer Mankoff is an Associate Professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her B.A. at Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology advised by Gregory Abowd and Scott Hudson. Her research focuses on addressing critical social problems through interactive technologies that empower people.
Dr. Mankoff’s work leverages mobile, desktop and social web technologies to help individuals and effect positive social change. She uses empirical methods to uncover problems, innovates new technologies and methods to address those problems, and constructs enabling tools and processes. Application areas of her work include persuasive techniques for encouraging energy saving behavior, web accessibility for the blind and mobile transcription services for the deaf. Her research has been supported by the Sloan Foundation, IBM, Google Inc., the Intel Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Corporation, and the National Science Foundation.
Martha Pollack Dean and Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
Talk Title: Assistive Technology for People with Cognitive Impairment: The Present and the Future
Session Time: Thursday, October 1st, 3:15-4:15pm
Abstract: We are in the midst of a profound demographic shift, moving from a world in which the majority of people are relatively young, to one in which a significant proportion are over the age of 65. This change poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the design of intelligent technology: while many older adults will remain healthy and productive, overall older adults have higher rates of physical and cognitive impairment. Advances in two areas of computer science—wireless sensor networks and AI inference strategies—have made it possible to envision a wide range of technologies that can improve the lives of people with disabilities.
This talk will focus on assistive technology for people with cognitive impairment. Such technology can provide information that helps a person navigate through her environment, when she might otherwise be disoriented; can issue personalized reminders for daily tasks that might be forgotten; and can perform in-home assessment of a person’s performance of routine activities, alerting her and her caregivers to changes that may indicate a need for professional evaluation. I will describe a range of projects on assistive technology for cognition, stressing in particular the need for such systems of being highly individualized and responsive to the changing capabilities and demands of their users.
Biography: Martha E. Pollack is Dean of the School of Information, and Professor of Information and of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. She has conducted research in many areas of Artificial Intelligence, including adaptive interfaces, temporal reasoning, automated plan generation, and natural-language processing. She is a pioneer in the application of AI approaches to the design of technology for people with cognitive impairment, a topic about which she testified before the United State Senate Subcommittee on Aging.
Pollack is the President-Elect of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and is on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association and the Advisory Committee for NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate. She is a fellow of the AAAI, and previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. She has been active in programs to increase the representation of women and minorities in STEM fields, for which she was recognized with a Sarah Goddard Power Award.
Chat Garcia Ramilo Global Coordinator of the Association for Progressive Communications’ Women’s Networking Support Program
Talk Title: TakeBacktheTech: Reclaiming Technology to End Violence Against Women
Session Time: Friday, October 2nd, 10:00-11:00am
Abstract: Women all over the world are discovering the potency of technologies and using them in advancing their rights especially in the campaign to end violence against women. Advocacy to stop violence against women is a powerful force that has freed women from harm and abuse. To this day however, violence continues to be a reality for many women.
This presentation is about how technology is changing the ways women experience and confront violence. To some extent, technologies have aided perpetrators in harassing, exerting control and even inflicting harm through mobile devices, spy software, email tampering, tiny surveillance cameras, GPS technologies, cyber stalking and misogyny in virtual reality environments. On the other hand, the internet has been creatively used by women in poorly resourced countries with limited access to technology. Girls in South Africa are using their cell phones to stop teen pornography. Filipina migrant workers can rely on an SOS SMS Helpline to report abuse while they work overseas. Village women trained in digital storytelling share experiences of healing and survival from the armed conflict in Uganda.
As tech-savvy women, we have a role to play in shaping technologies to keep women safe. Technology practice is as much part of creating technology as is engineering and design. How can we demand more of technology and use it to protect, exercise and advance women’s rights?
Biography: Chat Garcia Ramilo is a specialist in gender and information and communication technology (ICT) with extensive experience in developing and managing multi-country projects. She currently manages the Association for Progressive Communications’ Women’s Networking Support Program (APC WNSP), a network with over 200 women and organizations from 36 countries, and is a member of the management team of APC. Ramilo is an experienced gender evaluator of ICT for development programs and a recognized authority on gender policy and ICT. She has worked as a gender and ICT consultant for the International Development Research Center (IDRC), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women and the World Bank. She has also been a speaker and resource person in international workshops and conferences in many countries. Ramilo is the Chair of the the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice based in The Hague, an international women’s human rights organization advocating for gender-inclusive justice and working towards an effective and independent International Criminal Court.