mprime Seminar Series: Biographies

Biographies of Speakers for the MITACS Seminar Series on Camera Networks and Decentralized Processing

Erik Blasch

Biography: For the last 8 years Erik Blasch was the Information Fusion Evaluation Tech Lead for the United States Air Force Research Laboratory - COMprehensive Performance Assessment of Sensor Exploitation (COMPASE) Center (AFRL/RYAA), Adjunct Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Professor in at Wright State University (WSU) and Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), and a reserve Maj with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFRL/AFOSR). He was a founding member of the International Society of Information Fusion (ISIF) in 1998 and the 2007 ISIF President ( ). Dr. Blasch has many civilian career awards; but engineering highlights include team member of the winning ‘91 American Tour del Sol solar car competition, ’94 AIAA mobile robotics contest, and the ’93 Aerial Unmanned Vehicle competition where they were first in the world to autonomously control a helicopter – mostly with a focus on image and signals fusion for vehicle control. Since that time, Dr. Blasch has focused on Automatic Target Recognition, Simultaneous Target Tracking and Identification, and Information Fusion solutions to augment user’s needs compiling 300+ scientific papers and book chapters. He is active in ISIF, IEEE (AES and SMC) and SPIE including regional activities, conference boards, journal reviews, and scholarship committees; and participates in various Information Fusion Working Groups. Dr. Blasch received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering/Economics (92) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Masters Degrees in Mechanical (94), Health Science(94), and Industrial Engineering(95) from Georgia Tech and attended University of Wisconsin for an MD/PHD in Mech. Eng/Neurosciences until being called to Active Duty in the United States Air Force. He completed an MSEE(97), MBA (98), MS Econ(99), MS/PhD Psychology (ABD), PhD in Electrical Engineering (99) from Wright State University and Air War College (08). He has numerous military honors, winner of the IEEE Russ Bioengineering Award, and is a Fellow of SPIE.


Nigel Boston

Biography: Nigel Boston grew up in England and attended Cambridge and Harvard. His postdoctoral work in Paris and Berkeley was followed by 12 years at the University of Illinois, except for six months as Rosenbaum Fellow at the Newton Institute in Cambridge, UK, when he witnessed Wiles's announcement of a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. In recent years he moved towards engineering, becoming founding director of the Illinois Center for Cryptography and Information Protection. In 2002, he was hired by the University of Wisconsin - Madison as part of the computational sciences cluster, with joint appointments in Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Since August 2006, he has been on leave from UW as Williams-Hedberg-Hedberg Chair at the University of South Carolina.


Alexandre Cervinka

Biography: Alexandre Cervinka graduated with a B. Eng in Electrical Engineering from McGill in 2001. After graduation, he founded and became CEO of Newtrax Technologies, Inc. Newtrax Technologies Inc. is a Montreal based company specializing in self-contained wireless electronic systems designed to last years on batteries in harsh industrial environments.


John Fisher III

Biography: John Fisher is Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research focuses on information?theoretic approaches to machine learning, computer vision, and signal processing. Application areas include signal?level approaches to multi?modal data fusion, signal and image processing in sensor networks, distributed inference under resource constraints, resource management in sensor networks, and analysis of seismic and radar images. In collaboration with the Surgical Planning Lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital, he is developing nonparametric approaches to image registration and functional imaging.

He received a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida in 1987 and 1989, respectively. He earned a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1997.


Alex Ihler

Biography: Alex Ihler received his BS degree in electrical engineering and mathematics from Caltech, and MS and PhD degrees from MIT in the Stochastic Systems Group of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Donald Brin School of Information and Computer Science at U.C. Irvine. His interests include statistical estimation and modeling, machine learning, communications and information theory, and embedded, distributed systems.


George Kesidis

Biography: George Kesidis received his M.S. and Ph.D. in EECS from U.C. Berkeley in 1990 and 1992 respectively. He was a professor in the ECE Dept of the University of Waterloo, Canada, from 1992 to 2000. Since 2000, he has taught in both the CSE and EE Depts of the Pennsylvania State University. His research experience spans several areas of computer/communication networking (including security, incentive engineering, traffic engineering, and efficient simulation) and, more recently, areas of machine learning and associated optimization problems. He served as the TPC co-chair of IEEE INFOCOM 2007 and is now serving on the editorial board of IEEE Journal on Communications Surveys and Tutorials. Currently, he a senior member of the IEEE.


Patrick Kreidl

Biography: Pat Kreidl received the S.B. degree in Electrical Engineering (1994, with highest distinction and a physics minor) from George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, VA, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1996 and 2008, respectively) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA.

Currently a research affiliate in the MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, Pat has held teaching assistantships in MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department (1994- 1997, 2002) and an adjunct faculty appointment within GMU's Electrical & Computer Engineering Department (1998-2001). He has also held research and consulting positions at Alphatech, Inc., Burlington, MA (since 1996), the Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, VA (1997), and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC (1992-1994).

His technical interests include statistical signal processing, stochastic systems & control, numerical optimization, statistical machine learning, distributed sensor networks and computer network security.


Zoya Popovic

Biography: Zoya Popovic is the Hudson Moore Jr. Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado. She obtained her Dipl.Ing. degree at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and her Ph.D. at Caltech in 1990. She has graduated 24 PhD students at the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently advises 16 students in areas of highefficiency and low-noise microwave circuits, microfabricated millimeter-wave components and circuits, THz imaging, rf optical techniques, wireless powering of lowpower sensors and active antenna arrays. She has received two IEEE MTT Microwave Prizes for best journal papers, and she is also proud of the White House NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow award, the URSI Issac Koga Gold Medal, the ASEE/HP Terman Medal and the German Alexander von Humboldt Research Award.


Faisal Qureshi

Biography: Faisal Qureshi is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Science at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). He obtained his Ph.D. from University of Toronto in 2007. In his thesis he developed the virtual vision paradigm for camera network research, and this work was recognized with a best paper award at the 2005 ACM Workshop on Video Surveillance and Sensor Networks. In 2007/2008 he worked with Autodesk as part of the modeling team for AliasStudio, a leading automotive and industrial design application. His research interests include behavior?based computer animation, autonomous characters for computer animation and games, autonomous agent architectures, and cognitive vision.


Ali Rahimi

Biography: Ali Rahimi recently joined the Intel Lablet in Seattle, after receiving a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He develops machine learning techniques for large scale vision and sensing problems. Most recently, he has been working on realtime object instance recognition, and on training kernel machines on very large datasets.


Dr. Ioannis Rekleitis

Biography: Ioannis Rekleitis is currently at the Canadian Space Agency. During 2004 he was at McGill University as a Research Associate in the Centre for Intelligent Machines with Professor Gregory Dudek in the Mobile Robotics Lab (MRL). Between 2002 and 2003, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Mellon University in the Sensor Based Planning Lab with Professor Howie Choset. He was granted the Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science, McGill University in 2002 under the supervision of Professors Gregory Dudek and Evangelos Milios. Thesis title: "Cooperative Localization and Multi-Robot Exploration". He obtained the M.Sc. from McGill University in the field of Computer Vision in 1995 and the B.Sc. in 1991 from the Department of Informatics, University of Athens, Greece. His research has focused on mobile robotics and in particular in the area of cooperating intelligent agents with application to multi-robot cooperative localization, mapping, exploration and coverage. Dr. Rekleitis' interests extend to computer vision and sensor networks.


Konstantinos Tsianos

Biography: Konstantinos Tsianos has a M.Sc. in Computer Science from Rice University and a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. His research interests lie in the areas of machine learning, distributed systems, robotics, and algorithms. More specifically, he has focused on multi-agent coordination, sampling-based search algorithms, real-time motion planners for autonomous robots with differential constraints, and most recently on properties of Bezier curves and B-splines. He received the Best Student Paper award at ROBOCOMM 2007.


Augustin Chaintreau

Bio: A. Chaintreau joined the Thomson Paris Research Lab soon after graduating in 2006 from Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris, working at INRIA under the supervision of Francois Baccelli. During his PhD he worked in collaboration with Alcatel Bell, as well as the IBM Watson T. J. Research Center in New York. He spent the last year visiting Intel Research Cambridge to work on opportunistic mobile networking and wireless networks.


Dmitry Malioutov

Bio: Dmitry Malioutov obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2008. After a postdoc position in the Machine Learning and Perception group in Microsoft Research, UK, he is now conducting research in algorithmic trading in DRW, Chicago. His research is focused on statistical signal processing, machine learning and convex optimization, with special interest in sparse signal representation, graphical models and message passing algorithms.


Gene Cooperman

Bio: Gene Cooperman received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1978. He spent two years as a post‐doc, followed by six years at GTE Laboratories. He has been a professor at Northeastern University since 1986, and a full professor since 1992. His interests lie in high performance computation and symbolic algebra. The combination of these two subjects has also led to his joint work with his students on a second theme: disk‐based parallel computation. He leads the High Performance Computing Laboratory at Northeastern University, where he currently advises five PhD students. He has over 80 refereed publications.


Ali Tizghadam

Bio: Ali Tizghadam is currently a Post Doctoral research fellow at the University of Toronto. He is also managing the Network Architecture Lab (NAL) in the Communications group. He received his M.A. Sc in 1994 for University of Tehran in Electrical Engineering. After graduation he went to the industry for about 10 years where he gained experience in telecommunications especially local exchange switches and access networks. He then came back to the university to pursue his PhD studies in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, at the University of Toronto. His research interests span the areas of Network Control, Virtualization, Green Communications, Network Resource Management, Optimization Theory, Autonomic Networking, and their applications in different networking areas.


Anastasios Giovanidis

Bio: Anastasios Giovanidis received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2005. From Sept. 2005 to Feb. 2010 he has been with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany, working as a Research Associate, while pursuing his Dr.‐Ing. degree from the Technical University of Berlin (defence to take place in April 2010). His research interests include stochastic control, optimization and probability theory applied to telecommunication systems with emphasis on queuing networks.


Maciej Ciesielski

Bio: Maciej Ciesielski is Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He received M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Warsaw Technical University, Poland, in 1974 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester, N.Y. in 1983. From 1983 to 1986 he worked at GTE Laboratories on a silicon compilation project. He joined the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1987, where he teaches and conducts research in the area of electronic design automation (EDA), and specifically in synthesis, optimization and verification of digital systems. He is recipient of Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Université de Bretagne Sud, Lorient, France.


John MacLaren Walsh

Bio: John MacLaren Walsh was born in Carbondale, IL in 1981. He received the B.S. (magna cum laude), M.S., and Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 2002, 2004, and 2006 respectively. His M.S. and Ph.D. work at Cornell, under the supervision of C. Richard Johnson, Jr. focused on the performance and convergence of blind adaptive channel shorteners and the optimality of the turbo/belief propagation decoder. In September, 2006 he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA where he is currently an assistant professor. He is a member of HKN and TBP. His current research interests include: (a) delay mitigating codes and rate delay tradeoffs in multipath routed and network coded networks, (b) joint source separation and identification, and (c) the performance and convergence of distributed collaborative estimation in wireless sensor networks via expectation propagation.


Vijay Subramanian

Bio: Vijay G. Subramanian received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999. From 1999 to 2006, he was with the Networks Business, Motorola, Arlington Heights, IL developing scheduling algorithms for Motorola's product offerings. Since May 2006 he is a Research Fellow at the Hamilton Institute, NUIM, Ireland. His research interests include information theory, communication networks, queueing theory, theoretical immunology and applied probability.


Jure Leskovec

Bio: Dr. Jure Leskovec is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Stanford University where he is a member of the InfoLab and the AI lab. He joined the department in September 2009. He completed his Ph.D. in Machine Learning Department, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University under the supervision of Christos Faloutsos in September 2008, and in 2008/09 was a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University working with Jon Kleinberg and Dan Huttenlocher. Dr. Leskovec completed his undergraduate in computer science at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He also collaborates with the Department of Knowledge Technologies, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Martin Wainwright

Bio: Martin Wainwright is currently an associate professor at University of California at Berkeley, with a joint appointment between the Department of Statistics and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from University of Waterloo, Canada, and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) from MIT. His research interests include machine learning, mathematical statistics, distributed optimization, and information theory. He has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, the George M. Sprowls Prize for his dissertation research, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada 1967 Fellowship, an IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award in 2008, and several outstanding conference paper awards.


Dan Rubenstein

Bio: Dan Rubenstein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University. He received a B.S. degree in mathematics from M.I.T., an M.A. in math from UCLA, and a PhD in computer science from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research interests are in network technologies, applications, and performance analysis. He is an editor for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, was program chair of IFIP Networking 2010 and ACM Sigmetrics 2011, and has received an NSF CAREER Award, IBM Faculty Award, the Best Student Paper award from the ACM SIGMETRICS 2000 conference, and Paper awards from the IEEE ICNP 2003 Conference, ACM CoNext 2008 Conference, and IEEE Communications 2011.