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Booz Allen Hamilton Colloquium Series to Feature Mike McConnell

Booz Allen Hamilton Colloquium Series to Feature Mike McConnell


The University of Maryland's Booz Allen Hamilton Distinguished Colloquium Series in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) will feature ten speakers this fall, giving talks on a wide range of subjects, from molecular robots to cybersecurity.

The Fall 2010 Booz Allen Colloquium series will kick off with a talk by Prof. Kelly Benoit-Bird of Oregon State University, who will speak on the use of cutting edge sonar techniques to gather data on underwater life in the coastal ocean, and end with a talk by Former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, currently Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, who will speak about the threat of "cyberwarfare."

The Booz Allen Hamilton Distinguished Colloquium Series in ECE features distinguished speakers from across the nation and around the globe, and also provides venues in which ECE faculty at the University of Maryland can showcase their research to a broad audience of their colleagues and students, as well as friends of the university. The Distinguished Colloquium Series is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton.

The following offers a brief overview of each of the ten speakers' and their talks this fall:


Prof. Kelly Benoit-Bird, Oregon State UniversitySeptember 10, 2010
Using Sound to Reveal Patchiness in the Coastal Ocean and Its Ecological Consequences
Prof. Kelly J. Benoit-Bird, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. Kelly Benoit-Bird of Oregon State University will talk about a combination of innovative acoustical techniques that she and her fellow researchers have used to reveal new facts about underwater life in a variety of habitats including Hawaii, Monterey Bay, and the Oregon coast. Prof. Benoit-Bird, a faculty member in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, is the author of more than 30 journal publications applying acoustics to study the ecology of pelagic ocean ecosystems. Dr. Benoit-Bird’s work was recently recognized by the Acoustical Society of America with the 2009 R. Bruce Lindsay Award for “contributions to marine ecological acoustics” and the American Geophysical Union which awarded her the 2008 Ocean Sciences Early Career Award for “innovative application of acoustical techniques.” She is also the recipient of a United States Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a Young Investigator Award from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, and a U.S. National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers Fellowship.



Prof. Erik WinfreeSeptember 17 , 2010
Molecular Robotics with DNA Nanotechnology
Prof. Erik Winfree, Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering
California Institute of Technology
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. Erik Winfree of the California Institute of Technology will examine the question: How small can a robot be? He will review recent progress in DNA nanotechnology and discuss efforts to design more complex molecular machinery and systems, despite the limitations of information and energy inherent at the molecular scale. Prof. Winfree is a faculty member in Computer Science, Computation & Neural Systems and Bioengineering at Caltech.



Prof. Sachin SapatnekarSeptember 24, 2010
Changing Times and Power Struggles: Dealing with On-Chip Variability
Prof. Sachin Sapatnekar, Robert and Marjorie Henle Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. Sachin Sapatnekar of the University of Minnesota will discuss the problem of randomness in computer chip manufacturing as well as the struggle of designers in their quest to define the power dissipation of their chips. He will conclude by exploring methods for mitigating the effects of variations that cannot be reduced. Prof. Sapatnekar holds the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship and the Henle Professorship in ECE. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award, six conference Best Paper awards, and the SRC Technical Excellence award, and is a fellow of the IEEE.


Prof. Sanjit Mitra, USCOctober 4, 2010
Digital Signal Processing: Road to the Future
Prof. Sanjit Mitra, Stephen and Etta Varra Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:30 p.m.

Prof. Sanjit Mitra of the University of Southern California will discuss the broad development of the field of digital signal processing (DSP), which has has paralleled in time the rapid development of high-speed electronic digital computers, microelectronics, and integrated circuit fabrication technologies. He will conclude with a speculative look at future trends and directions for DSP technology. Prof. Mitra is the Stephen and Etta Varra Professor of Engineering in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at USC. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the IEEE, AAAS, and SPIE, as well as the recipient of numerous honors and awards.



Prof. Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland
October 8, 2010
Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery
Prof. Ben Shneiderman, Department of Computer Science and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Ben Shneiderman, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, will speak on recent research progress for visual exploration of large time series data applied to financial, medical, and genomic data. These strategies of unifying statistics with visualization are applied to electronic health records and social network data. Demonstrations will be shown. Prof. Shneiderman is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.



Prof. William Sanders, University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignOctober 15, 2010
Making Sound Cyber Security Decisions through a Quantitative Metrics Approach
Prof. William Sanders, Director, Information Trust Institute, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. William Sanders,Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will discuss making sound cybersecurity decisions when designing, operating, and maintaining a complex system. He will also show that quantitative assessments of system security are valuable for risk management trade-off decisions. Prof. Sanders is Director of the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Fellow of the IEEE and the ACM.


Prof. Naomi Leonard, Princeton UniversityOctober 22, 2010
Social Feedback and Decision Dynamics in Natural and Engineered Groups
Prof. Naomi Leonard, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. Naomi Leonard of Princeton University, a University of Maryland ECE alumna, will discuss the influence of social feedback in animal and human decision-making dynamics, as well as multi-agent robotic systems and mixed teams of humans and robots. Prof. Leonard received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004 and the Mohammed Dahleh Award from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2005. She became an IEEE Fellow in 2007.



Prof. Sheila Hemami, Cornell University

October 29, 2010
From Single Media to Multimedia - Perception, Coding, and Quality
Prof. Sheila Hemami, Electrical Engineering, Cornell University
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. Sheila Hemami of Cornell University will describe how humans perceive single-media information, as well as the current state of understanding of multimedia perception as it has been applied to coding and quality measurement problems. Prof. Hemami is an IEEE Fellow and has held various visiting positions, most recently at the University of Nantes, France and at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She has received numerous college and national teaching awards, including Eta Kappa Nu's C. Holmes MacDonald Award.



Prof. Henry PetroskiNovember 19, 2010
The Importance of Engineering: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Global Problems
Prof. Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History, Duke University
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
3:00 p.m.

Prof. Henry Petroski of Duke University will discuss the difference between engineers and scientists. He will also explore the interrelationship between scientists and engineers in responding to the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Prof. Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. He has written broadly on the topics of design, success and failure, and the history of engineering and technology. His latest book, titled The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems, is about the difference between scientists and engineers and how science and engineering approach global problems. Prof. Petroski is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He is also an honorary member of the Moles and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.



Mike McConnell, Booz Allen Hamilton
December 9, 2010
Has the Cyberwar Threat Been Grossly Exaggerated?
Mike McConnell, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rotunda
2:00 p.m.

Former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, currently Executive Vice President and leader of the National Security Business at Booz Allen Hamilton, will discuss cyberwarfare, and assess the seriousness of this emerging threat to national security. Mr. McConnell previously served from 2007-2009 as U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI), a position of Cabinet rank under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. As DNI, Mr. McConnell served as the principal intelligence advisor to the President and as a member of the U.S. National Security Council. Mr. McConnell’s career has spanned over 40 years focusing on international developments and foreign intelligence issues, first as a career intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, as the Senior Intelligence Officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as Director of the National Security Agency, and later as Senior Vice President with Booz Allen Hamilton after retiring from the U.S. Navy as Vice Admiral after 29 years of service. Over the past few years, Mr. McConnell’s area of focus has been counter-terrorism, cyber security, counter-proliferation, and foreign intelligence. In addition to many of the nation's highest military awards for meritorious service, Mr. McConnell has been twice awarded the nation's highest award for service in the Intelligence Community; once by President Clinton and once by President George W. Bush. He also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA).


Learn more about the Fall 2010 Booz Allen Colloquium Series here

Video footage of the Booz Allen Colloquium talks can be seen here

September 9, 2010


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