2008-09 Distinguished Lecture Series

Each year the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in conjunction with the Information Infrastructure Institute (iCUBE), presents a Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings prominent researchers in the electrical, computer, and software engineering fields to campus. All lectures take place from 1:10 to 2 p.m. at the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall.

Videos from the 2008-09 Distinguished Lecture Series are available to ISU students, faculty, and staff for educational purposes only. To obtain access to the videos, e-mail the department’s Communications Specialist or stop by 2215 Coover Hall.

September 24


Jelena Kovacevic, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of the Center for Bioimage Informatics, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: The question I would like to help answer is: What is the role and what can imaging do for systems biology? In recent years, the focus in biological sciences has shifted from understanding single parts of larger systems, sort of vertical approach, to understanding complex systems at the cellular and molecular levels, horizontal approach. Thus the revolution of “omics” projects, genomics and now proteomics. Understanding complexity of biological systems is a task that requires acquisition, analysis and sharing of huge databases, and in particular, high-dimensional databases. Processing such huge amount of bioimages visually by biologists is inefficient, time-consuming and error-prone. Therefore, we would like to move towards automated, efficient and robust processing of such bioimage data sets. Moreover, some information hidden in the images may not be readily visually available. Thus, we do not only help humans by using sophisticated algorithms for faster and more efficient processing but also because new knowledge is generated through use of such algorithms.

The ultimate dream is to have distributed yet integrated large bioimage databases which would allow researchers to upload their data, have it processed, share the data, download data as well as platform-optimized code, etc, and all this in a common format. To achieve this goal, we must draw upon a whole host of sophisticated tools from signal processing, machine learning and scientific computing.

I will address some of these issues in this presentation, especially those where signal processing expertise can play a significant role.

Speaker biography: Jelena Kovacevic is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of the Center for Bioimage Informatics at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests include bioimaging as well as multiresolution techniques such as wavelets and

She received the Dipl. Electr. Eng. degree from the EE Department, Univ. of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1986, and the MS and PhD degrees from Columbia University, New York, NY, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. From 1991-2002, she was with Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ. She was a co-founder and Technical VP of xWaveforms, based in New York City, NY. She was also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Univ. In 2003, she joined Carnegie Mellon University.

She is a Fellow of the IEEE and a coauthor (with Martin Vetterli) of the book Wavelets and Subband Coding (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995).  She coauthored the paper for which Aleksandra Mojsilovic received the Young Author Best Paper Award. Her paper on multidimensional filter banks and wavelets (with Martin Vetterli) was selected as one of the Fundamental Papers in Wavelet Theory. She received the Belgrade October Prize in 1986 and the E.I. Jury Award at Columbia University in 1991.

She was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Trans. on Image Processing. She served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, as a Guest Co-Editor (with Ingrid Daubechies) of the Special Issue on Wavelets of the Proceedings of the IEEE, Guest Co-Editor (with Martin Vetterli) of the Special Issue on Transform Coding of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and Guest Co-Editor (with Robert F. Murphy) of the Special Issue on Molecular and Cellular Bioimaging of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine.  She is/was on the Editorial Boards of the Foundations and Trends in Signal Processing, SIAM book series on Computational Science and Engineering, Journ. of Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, Journ. of Fourier Analysis and Applications and the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine.

From 2000-2002, she served as a Member-at-Large of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Board of Governors. She is the Chair of the Bio Imaging and Signal Processing Technical Committee. She was the General Chair of ISBI 06, General Co-Chair (with Vivek Goyal) of the DIMACS Workshop on Source Coding and Harmonic Analysis and General Co-Chair (with Jan Allebach) of the Ninth IMDSP Workshop. She is/was a plenary/keynote speaker at  the Statistical Signal Processing Workshop 07, Wavelet Workshop 06, NORSIG 06, ICIAR 05, Fields Workshop 05, DCC 98 as well as SPIE 98.

Vincent Poor

Vincent Poor

October 20


Vincent Poor, University Professor of Electrical Engineering, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Princeton University

Abstract: A major contemporary issue in the design and deployment of wireless networks is the dramatic increase in demand for new capacity and higher performance. The development of these capabilities is limited severely by the scarcity of the two principal resources in wireless networks, namely energy and bandwidth. Much of the capacity growth of the past two decades has been enabled by major advances in the wireless physical layer. However, in recent years, attention has turned increasingly to the higher network layers to examine interactions among nodes that can lead to even greater efficiencies in the use of wireless resources. This talk examines two types of such interactions: competition among nodes in multiple-access communication networks, and collaboration among nodes in wireless sensor networks. In the first context, the network is viewed as an economic system, in which terminals behave as agents competing for radio resources to optimize the energy efficiency with which they transmit messages. A game theoretic formalism is used to analyze the effects of various design choices and quality-of-service constraints on energy efficiency. In the second context, collaborative techniques for optimizing the use of radio resources in sensor networks are considered. Here, the focus is primarily on distributed inference, in which distinctive features of wireless sensor networks can be exploited through collaboration among nodes to affect a tradeoff between inferential accuracy and energy consumption.

Speaker biography: H. Vincent Poor is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University. His primary research interests are in the area of wireless networks and related fields. Among his publications in these areas is the recent book, MIMO Wireless Communications (Cambridge University Press, 2007), coauthored with Ezio Biglieri, et al. Dr. Poor is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Optical Society of America, a nd other scientific and technical organizations. He is a former President of the IEEE Information Theory Society, and a former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. Recent recognition of his work includes the 2005 IEEE Education Medal, the 2007 IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award, and the 2007 Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society.

Douglas Comer

Douglas Comer

January 14


Douglas Comer, Vice President of Research Collaboration, Cisco Systems; Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Purdue University

Abstract: The Internet ranks among the greatest achievements of 20th century computer science. The basic technology was so well conceived that it has remained virtually unchanged despite completely new applications and dramatic growth in the number of connected computers and traffic. This eclectic talk presents a series of lessons drawn from the Internet experience that may help us better understand how to proceed with new research. It considers the design of protocols, general principles, technologies, the underlying architecture, the effect of economics on networking research, and ways that experimental research projects can be organized to ensure success.

Speaker biography: Douglas Comer is VP of Research Collaboration at Cisco Systems and a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, where he is currently on leave. Professor Comer is an internationally recognized expert on computer networking and the TCP/IP protocols. He has been working with TCP/IP and the Internet since the late 1970s. Comer established his reputation as a principal investigator on several early Internet research projects. He served as chairman of the CSNET technical committee, chairman of the DARPA Distributed Systems Architecture Board, and was a member of the Internet Activities Board (the group of researchers who built the Internet).

At Cisco Systems, Comer represents Cisco to the research community and to research universities. He works to establish research collaboration between engineers in Cisco and researchers in academia. He created and led the Technical Assessment Program, and founded and participating in the Cisco Research Board, and starting the Research and Innovation Exchange.

Comer has taught courses on TCP/IP and networking technologies for a variety of audiences, including graduate and undergraduate students, in-depth courses for engineers, and less technical courses for non-engineers.

Professor Comer is well-known for his series of groundbreaking textbooks on computer networks, the Internet, computer operating systems, and computer architecture, and network processors. His books have been translated into 16 languages, and are used widely in both industry and academia around the world.  Comer’s three-volume series, Internetworking With TCP/IP, is often cited as an authoritative reference for the Internet protocols. Comer’s texts are recognized widely in academia, and have been used by top computer science departments in the United States and other countries.

For more than 20 years, Comer served as editor-in-chief of the research journal Software-Practice and Experience, published by John Wiley & Sons. Comer is a fellow of the ACM and the recipient of numerous teaching awards.

Additional information can be found at: www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/comer

February 25


David Notkin, Bradley Chair and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Abstract: Software engineering is broadly discussed as falling far short of expectations. Data and examples are used to justify how software itself is often poor, how the engineering of software leaves much to be desired, and how research in software engineering has not made enough progress to help overcome these weaknesses. These data and examples, however, are presented and interpreted in ways that are arguably imbalanced. This imbalance, usually taken at face value, may be distracting the field from making significant progress towards improving the effective engineering of software, a goal the entire community shares. Research dichotomies, which tend to pit one approach against another, often subtly hint that there is a best way to engineer software or a best way to perform research on software. This, too, may be distracting the field from important classes of progress.

Speaker biography: David Notkin received his bachelor’s in computer science, cum laude with honors, from Brown University in 1977, and his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1984. He has been on the Computer Science & Engineering faculty at the University of Washington since 1984, serving as department chair (2001-06) and now holding the endowed Bradley Chair. Among his honors and awards are a 1988 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 2000 University of Washington Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, and being named an ACM Fellow in 1998 and IEEE Fellow in 2007.Since 2007, Notkin has been the editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology. He has served as a member of the Computing Research Association board of directors since 2005, and co-chair of the Academic Alliance of the National Center for Women in Information Technology until 2008. In 1993, he was the program chair for the 1st ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, and in 1995 was program co-chair for 17th International Conference on Software Engineering. He served as the chair of ACM SIGSOFT, the special interest group on software engineering, from 1997-2001. He has advised 19 PhD students and several dozen master’s students. He was a visiting faculty member at both Tokyo Institute of Technology and Osaka University in 1990-91. In 1997-98, he spent four months as a visiting researcher at the IBM Haifa Research Laboratory, and in 2006-07 he was a visiting researcher at Lund University in Sweden.