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Keynote Speakers


Speaker: Dr. Pierre Dillenbourg, EPFL, Switzerland
Opening Title: Less is More: Minimalism is in human-computer interaction
Title: Augmented Reality and Ambient Computing in Everyday Classrooms: The Third Circle of Usability

A former teacher in elementary school, Pierre Dillenbourg graduated in educational science (University of Mons, Belgium). He started his research on learning technologies in 1984. He obtained a PhD in computer science from the University of Lancaster (UK, in the domain of artificial intelligence applications for educational software. He has been professor assistant at TECFA, University of Geneva. He joined EPFL in November 2002. His current interests concern computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL): the design and experimentation of interactive furniture; the effects of awareness tools on group performance and mutual modeling; the authoring of CSCL scripts; the use of eye tracking method for predicting interaction patterns. P. Dillenbourg has been consultant for companies in Switzerland and Europe. He is the editor of the Kluwer Series "Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning" and former president of the International Society for Learning Sciences. As director of CRAFT, the teacher service unit, Pierre Dillenbourg is very much involved in the training policy of EPFL, within the Vice-Presidency for Academic Affairs.

Speaker: Prof. Mary Wheeler, University of Texas
Title: Mathematical and Numerical Coupling of Compositional Flow, Transport, and Mechanics in Porous Media

Prof. Mary F. Wheeler received her bachelor's and master's degrees in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin, and, in 1971, she received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Rice University. She has served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin since 1995 and is presently director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. Her research interests include the numerical solution of partial differential systems with applications to the modeling of subsurface and surface flows and parallel computation. Her numerical work includes the formulation, analysis and implementation of finite-difference/finite-element discretization schemes for nonlinear, coupled PDE’s as well as domain decomposition iterative solution methods. Her applications include multiphase flow and geomechanics in reservoir engineering, contaminant transport in groundwater and bays and estuaries, and angiogenesis in biomedical engineering. Her current work has emphasized multiscale mixed finite element and discontinuous Galerkin methods for modeling reactive multi-phase flow and transport in a heterogeneous porous media, with the goal of simulating these systems on parallel computing platforms.Dr. Wheeler has published more than 200 technical reports and refereed journal publications, made over 400 oral presentations and edited eight books. She has served on ten editorial boards, is a founding member of the SIAM Activity Group in Geosciences and is currently managing editor of Computational Geosciences. In 1998 she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2006 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven, was named to the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory by the University of Chicago, and received an IBM Faculty Award. In 2007 she received a Joe J. King Professional Engineering Achievement Award, became a member of the DOE Review and SIAM Prize committees, and joined the Ohio State Bioinformatics Advisory Council. In 2008 Dr. Wheeler received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Speaker:  Prof. Amr El Abbadi, University of California, Santa Barbara
Title:  An Expedition in Computing: Cloudy and Social

Amr El Abbadi is currently a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his B. Eng. in Computer Science from Alexandria University, Egypt, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in August 1987. Prof. El Abbadi is an ACM Fellow and in 2007, he received the UCSB Senate Outstanding Mentorship Award for his excellence in mentoring graduate students. He served as a board member of the Very Large Data Base (VLDB) Endowment from 2002—2008. He was also department chair for the Computer Science Department at UC Santa Barbara from 2007 to 2011.

Prof. El Abbadi has served as area editor for Information Systems: An International Journal, an editor of Information Processing Letters (IPL) and Associate editor of the Bulletin of the Technical Committee on Data Engineering, and is currently an editor for The VLDB Journal. He was Vice Chair of the 1999 International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, Vice Chair for the International Conference on Data Engineering 2002, and the Americas Program Chair for the 2000 International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB). Most recently he was PC Co-Chair for SIGSPATIAL GIS 2010 and ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC) 2011.

In 1990 he was a visiting professor at the University of Campinas in Brazil, and in 1994 a visiting scientist at IBM Almaden Research Center, in August 1998 a visiting lecturer at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science in Stockholm, Sweden and in July 1999 a visiting researcher at IRISA at the University of of Rennes in France. Prof. El Abbadi's main research interests and accomplishments have been in understanding and developing basic mechanisms for supporting distributed information management systems, including databases, digital libraries, data management of moving objects and geographic information systems. His earlier work concentrated on the development of protocols and algorithms that ensure high availability and fault tolerance in such systems. This body of work mainly focused on the development of concurrency control protocols and replication techniques for managing database systems. More recently, he has extended his domain of research from the traditional database context to more general information management systems in such contexts as in the cloud and in on-line social networks. He has published over 250 articles on databases and distributed systems.

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