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Speakers Series

Tech Talks are presentations from invited guests about issues related to Internet technology.

Advancing Internet Technologies in the Developing World

Event Description

This Verisign Labs Distinguished Speakers Series event will feature technologists both on the ground and in research labs who are tackling the challenges of Internet access and infrastructure faced by users in the developing world. In the keynote, Ellen Zegura will discuss innovations developed to handle computing over intermittently connected networks and will provide insights from her work in Liberia. Next, the recipients of the 2012 Verisign Infrastructure grants will share highlights of their research related to building Internet technologies for poorly-connected and under resourced environments.


Intermittent and Low-Resource Networks: Theory and Practice

Ellen Zegura, Professor in the School of Computer Science, Georgia Tech

This talk will have two parts. In the first, Ellen Zegura will provide an overview and highlights from 10 years of work at Georgia Tech in the area of communication and computing over intermittently connected networks. Alternatively referred to as disruption tolerant, opportunistic, or challenged networks, these settings arise in disasters, in military endeavors, and in under-resourced settings. The research community has developed a rich theory and a set of algorithms for routing and scheduling in such networks. In the second part of the talk, she will share first hand experiences with a particular under-resourced setting, namely the West African country of Liberia. Since fall of 2010, Ellen has traveled to Liberia six times to work with the Carter Center on technical support for a mental health program. She also collaborates with the iLab Liberia, a technology and innovation hub that supports the local ICT community. Ellen will share her experiences in Liberia and highlight needs where computing and communication may play a role.

Ellen Zegura presentation on Advancing Technologies

About Ellen W. Zegura

Ellen W. Zegura received the B.S. degree in Computer Science (1987), the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (1987), the M.S. degree in Computer Science (1990) and the D.Sc. in Computer Science (1993) all from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Since 1993, she has been on the faculty in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. She served as Chair of the School of Computer Science from 2005-2012. Her research interests are in computer networking spanning the Internet and mobile wireless networks. She was Editor-in-Chief for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking from 2002-2004. She served on the NSF CISE Advisory Board and currently serves on the Computing Research Association Board. In addition to networking, she pursues activities in Computing for Social Good, most notably through a project-based undergraduate and MS level course that pairs student teams with partners working in the field on pressing social problems. She has traveled to the West Africa country of Liberia six times to conduct project work with the Carter Center. Dr. Zegura is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Registry Systems without the Web

Philippe Cudre-Mauroux & Christophe Guéret

Linked Data applications often assume that connectivity to data repositories and entity resolution services are always available. This may not be a valid assumption in many cases. Indeed, there are about 4.5 billion people in the world who have no or limited Web access. Many data-driven applications may have a critical impact on the life of those people, but are inaccessible to such populations due to the architecture of today's data registries. In this talk, we describe how our new, open-source ERS system can be used as a general-purpose entity registry suitable for deployment in poorly-connected or ad-hoc environments.

Philippe Cudré-Mauroux

About Philippe Cudre-Mauroux

Philippe Cudre-Mauroux is a Swiss-NSF Professor and the director of the eXascale Infolab at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Previously, he was a postdoctoral associate working in the Database Systems group at MIT. He received his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL, where he won both the Doctorate Award and the EPFL Press Mention in 2007. Before joining the University of Fribourg, he worked on distributed information and media management for HP, IBM Watson Research (NY), and Microsoft Research Asia. He was Program Chair of the International Semantic Web Conference in 2012 and General Chair of the International Symposium on Data-Driven Process Discovery and Analysis in 2012 and 2013. He recently won the MICS Swiss National Center in Research 2001-2012 Award and a Google Faculty Award. His research interests are in next-generation, large-scale data management infrastructures. Webpage:

Philippe Cudré-Mauroux

About Christophe Guéret

Christophe Guéret graduated in 2006 from the University of Tours, France. His research focuses on the design of decentralised information systems and the study of their societal impact, in particular for less privileged parts of the world (see Between 2007 and 2012, while working at the VU Amsterdam, he has been actively working on the interplay between Computational Intelligence and the Semantic Web (project "SOKS"), and the publication of Linked Data (EU funded project "LATC" and several W3C activities). In 2012 he joined Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) from the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to work on the publication of historical data as Linked Data (project "CEDAR").

Supporting Mobile Network Communication in Adverse Environments

Z. Morley Mao, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan

Given the growing number of users accessing content through mobile devices, even in developing regions, it is highly critical to facilitate global communication across different network technologies (e.g., SMS users, ad-hoc wireless, and Internet users) and provide delay-tolerant and secure network access without heavily depending on fixed infrastructure support. Energy efficiency, low cost, and adaptability are key metrics we focus on to support mobile communication in such environment. We recognize the importance of providing disconnected operations, i.e., users communicating may not always be online and similarly users requesting data content may not be able to afford waiting for the content to arrive. In this talk, we describe our experience of designing and implementing several novel infrastructure network services to achieve these goals.

Z. Morley Mao

About Z. Morley Mao

Z. Morley Mao is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, having completed her Ph.D. study at UC Berkeley in 2003 on robust Internet routing protocol design and effective network measurement techniques to uncover network properties. She is a recipient of the Sloan Fellowship, the NSF CAREER Award, the ARMY YIP Award, and an IBM Faculty Award. Her other honors include the Morris Wellman Faculty Development Professor and EECS Achievement Award at University of Michigan. Her current research focus encompasses software-defined networking, Internet security, next-generation Internet protocols, and mobile systems.

View all of our past Verisign Labs Tech Talks presentations.