2018 Distinguished Lecture Series

Meet world-renowned researchers at lectures hosted by Computing Science. These are open to students, researchers and those working in industry and education to share the latest leading-edge research. Admission is free of charge. Contact is Andrei Bulatov (abulatov@sfu.ca).

2018 Distinguished Lecture Series speakers

October 11, 2018: Klara Nahrstedt, Director, Coordinated Science Laboratory, Fisher Professor, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

January 11, 2018: Moshe Y. Vardi, George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director oof the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology

Time and Location (Unless Otherwise Noted)

2:30-3:30 p.m.  KEY, Big Data Presentation Studio (formerly known as IRMACS)
Applied Sciences Building, Room 10900
SFU Burnaby campus, 8888 University Drive

2018 Distinguished Lecture Speakers

THURSDAY, October 11 , 2018
2:30-3:30 p.m.  KEY, Big Data Presentation Studio (formerly known as IRMACS)
Applied Sciences Building, Room 10900

Klara Nahrstedt, Director
Coordinated Science Laboratory
Fisher Professor, Computer Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Title: Real-Time and Trustworthy Micro-service Edge-Cloud Operating Infrastructure for Scientific Workflows


Studies suggest that it typically takes 20 years to go from the discovery of new materials to fabrication of new and next generation devices based on new materials.  Many other scientific domains show similar delays. These scientific cycles must be shortened, and it will require a major transformation in how we collect digital data about physical artifacts from scientific instruments, and how we make the digital data available to computational tools for developing new materials, fabricating new devices, and speeding up the discoveries in science. In this talk we present a real-time micro-service operating infrastructure for scientific workflows, named 4CeeD that focuses on the immense potential of capturing, curating, correlating and coordinating digital data in a real-time and trusted manner before fully archiving and publishing them for wide access and sharing.

We will discuss novel cloud-based services, and algorithms that are an integral part of 4CeeD for collecting and correlating data from microscopes and fabrication instruments, modeling of scientific workflows in clouds as micro-services, self-adaptive micro-service-based infrastructure for heterogeneous scientific workflows, and role of edge computing. Specifically, we will show that our micro-service based approach helps to improve flexibility of workflow composition and execution, and enable fine-grained scheduling at task level, considering task sharing across multiple workflows. Furthermore, the self-adaptive micro-service management employs integration of feedback control, deep learning and optimization frameworks to offer resource adaptation without any advanced knowledge of workflow structures. We will also discuss a unique usage of edge computing to enable integration of aging instruments to be integrated into the micro-service operating infrastructure. The evaluation of the 4CeeD system shows robust prediction of resource usage and adaptation under dynamic workloads, real-time service to users to offload, curate and analyze data, and access to diverse instruments.

Joint work with Phuong Ngyuen, Tarek Elgamal, Steve Konstanty, Todd Nicholson


Klara Nahrstedt is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor in the Computer Science Department, and Director of Coordinated Science Laboratory in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are directed toward tele-immersive systems, end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) and resource management in large scale distributed systems and networks, and real-time security and privacy in cyber-physical systems such as power grid. She is the co-author of multimedia books `Multimedia: Computing, Communications and Applications' published by Prentice Hall, and ‘Multimedia Systems’ published by Springer Verlag. She is the recipient of the IEEE Communication Society Leonard Abraham Award for Research Achievements, University Scholar, Humboldt Award, IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement Award, and the former chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Multimedia. She was the general co-chair and TPC co-chair of many international conferences including ACM Multimedia, IEEE Percom, IEEE IOTDI and others. Klara Nahrstedt received her Diploma in Mathematics from Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in 1985. In 1995 she received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Computer and Information Science. She is ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and Member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina Society).

THURSDAY, January 11 , 2018
2:30-3:30 p.m.  TASC 1 Building, Room T9204

Moshe Y. Vardi, George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Title: The Automated-Reasoning Revolution: From Theory to Practice and Back


For the past 40 years computer scientists generally believed that NP-complete problems are intractable. In particular, Boolean satisfiability (SAT), as a paradigmatic automated-reasoning problem, has been considered to be intractable. Over the past 20 years, however, there has been a quiet, but dramatic, revolution, and very large SAT instances are now being solved routinely as part of software and hardware design. In this talk I will review this amazing development and show how automated reasoning is now an industrial reality. 

I will then describe how we can leverage SAT solving to accomplish other automated-reasoning tasks. Counting the the number of satisfying truth assignments of a given Boolean formula or sampling such assignments uniformly at random are fundamental computational problems in computer science with applications in software testing, software synthesis, machine learning, personalized learning, and more. While the theory of these problems has been thoroughly investigated since the 1980s, approximation algorithms developed by theoreticians do not scale up to industrial-sized instances. Algorithms used by the industry offer better scalability, but give up certain correctness guarantees to achieve scalability. We describe a novel approach, based on universal hashing and Satisfiability Modulo Theory, that scales to formulas with hundreds of thousands of variables without giving up correctness guarantees.


Moshe Y. Vardi is the George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. He is the recipient of three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal, the IEEE Computer Society Goode Award, the EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award, and the Southeastern Universities Research Association's Distinguished Scientist Award. He is the author and co-author of over 500 papers, as well as two books: "Reasoning about Knowledge" and "Finite Model Theory and Its Applications". He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the European Academy of Science, and Academia Europaea. He holds honorary doctorates from the Saarland University in Germany, Orleans University in France, UFRGS in Brazil, and the University of Liege in Belgium. He is currently a Senior Editor of of the Communications of the ACM, after having served for a decade as Editor-in-Chief.