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December 4–5, 2014
San Francisco, California



 

agenda


WedneSDAY, DECEMBER 3
6:00 PM
First Timers Reception - Belvedere, 2nd Floor
6:30 PM
Welcome Reception: Bayview, 36th Floor
7:00 PM
Welcome Dinner - 36th Floor (Skyline, Sunset, Union Square Rooms)

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4
7:30 AM

Buffet Breakfast: Cypress, Sequoia (Ballroom Foyer)

8:30 AM
Conference Welcome
Len Kleinrock, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
8:45 AM
Big Data, New Physics, and Geospatial Super-Food
Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist, Entity Analytics Group, IBM
As large collections of data come together some very exciting, and somewhat unexpected things happen. As data grows the quality of predictions improve (fewer false positives, fewer false negatives), poor quality data starts to become helpful, and computation can actually get faster as the number of records grows. Now, add to this, the "space-time-travel" data about how people move that are being created by billions of mobile devices and what becomes computable is outright amazing. As it turns out geospatial data is analytic super-food. Why is all this so important? The most competitive organizations are going to make sense of what they are observing fast enough to do something about it while they are observing it.
9:25 AM
SCiO: Handheld NIR Spectroscopy
Dror Sharon, President, Consumer Physics, Inc.
Smartphones make it easy to research facts, capture images, and navigate street maps, but they haven't brought us closer to the physical environment in which we live—until now. SCiO is a tiny spectrometer that can scan materials or physical objects—food, medicine, plants, and more. As the world's first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand, SCiO allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of just about anything around you, sent directly to your smartphone. 
10:00 AM
Coffee Break: Ballroom Foyer
10:30 AM
Google Glass and the Future of Photography
Marc Levoy, VMware Founders Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Emeritus
Although head-mounted cameras (and displays) are not new, Google Glass has the potential to make these devices commonplace. This has implications for the practice, art, and uses of photography. So what's different about doing photography with Glass? First, Glass doesn't work like a conventional camera; it's hands-free, point-of-view, always available, and instantly triggerable. Second, Glass facilitates different uses than a conventional camera: recording documents, making visual to-do lists, logging your life, and swapping eyes with other Glass users. Third, Glass will be an open platform, unlike most cameras. This means that developers can write apps for it, like a cell phone. Want to take pictures that blur waterfalls into silk? There's an app for that! How about an app that shoots a picture every 40 seconds, so you can compress your two-hour weekend bike ride into a 1-minute video? Finally, devices like Glass that are head-mounted and perform computational photography in real time have the potential to give wearers "superhero vision," like seeing in the dark, or magnifying subtle motion or changes. If such devices can also perform computer vision in real time and are connected to the cloud, then they can do face recognition, live language translation, and information recall. The hard part is not imagining these capabilities, but deciding which ones are feasible, useful, and socially acceptable.
11:05 AM
Regenerative Air Energy Storage
Danielle Fong, Cofounder and Chief Scientist, LightSail Energy
Imagine: Renewable energy available 24/7, dramatically cheaper than fossil energy today; energy storage so efficient it reduces total energy demand almost anywhere it is installed; installation so inexpensive that adding storage and solar is cheaper than upgrading the grid. Impossible? LightSail Energy is working to make this a reality.
11:40 AM
Digital Fingerprints Instead of Cookies
Will Scully-Power, Managing Director, Datarati
Web cookies serve several useful purposes—not having to log in every time you visit a site, for example—and a few nefarious ones. So many web surfers reject cookies or frequently delete them. We marketers are furiously developing ways to track users without cookies. We've gotten so good at it we can re-identify individuals across different browser software, different computers, and even when they switch to tablets and smartphones.
12:15 PM
Members' Working Plated Lunch - Cypress, Sequoia (Ballroom Foyer)
1:30 PM
Computing Beyond Processors
Jason Cong, Chancellor's Professor and Director, Center for Domain-Specific Computing, UCLA
Cost and energy are the biggest issues facing microprocessor designers today. If we stay on the design path we're on, our watts-to-chip area ratio will soon approach that of a nuclear reactor. Human intelligence has advanced by greater and greater specialization—for the human brain, Moore's Law scaling has stopped long ago. Progress in computing can similarly be made through general, customizable platforms for individual domains. Such platforms can be cost effective and can be programmed with novel compilation and runtime systems. How will we know we've succeeded? When we've created a "supercomputer-in-a-box" with 100x performance/power improvement via customization.
2:05 PM
Can Bees With Backpacks Bring Scientists Together and Save the Food Supply?
Paulo de Souza, OCE Science Leader, CSIRO Computational Informatics
Bees are essential to our food crops, and hive collapse and other recent problems are well known. We can now outfit thousands of bees fitted with small sensors, informing us on how much they are stressed by pesticides, climate change, poor diet, pathogens, parasites, mismanagement of hives, and so on—too many stressor and too many variables for a single research group to tackle. How, then, could such a technology bring scientists together to collaborate, share data and advance knowledge on bee health before is too late for action and our food security is compromised?  Can we identify the role of an individual bees in a hive? Can we identify causality in data of bee movement, or just correlations?
2:40 PM
Aerial Imaging: A Conversation and Demo
Eric Cheng, Director of Aerial Imaging, DJI, and Mike Hawley, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
Until recently, RF-controlled fliers were limited to hobbyists and the military. Two years, DJI introduced its first easy-to-fly, stable, yet agile quadcopters with GoPro mounts. Last month, the company announced its Inspire-1, with a modular design that comes initially with a 4K-video, 12-megapixel camera. The lens consists of 9 separate elements, including an aspherical element, for extreme clarity. Applications range from Hollywood films to farming.
3:15 PM
Coffee Break: Ballroom Foyer
3:45 PM
A Blueprint for Building a Quantum Computer
Rodney Van Meter, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University
The architecture of such a computer will be key to its performance. Structurally, when built, a "quantum computer" will in fact be a hybrid device, with quantum computing units serving as coprocessors to classical systems. The program, much control circuitry, and substantial pre- and post-processing functions will reside on the classical side of the system. The organization of the quantum system itself, the algorithmic work- loads for which it is designed, its speed and capabilities in meeting those goals, its interfaces to the classical control logic, and the design of the classical control systems are all the responsibility of quantum computer architects.
4:20 PM
Cloud Robotics and Automation
Ken Goldberg, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
What if robots and automation systems were not limited by onboard computation, memory, or software? Advances in wireless networking and rapidly expanding Internet resources can reduce these limitations. In 2010, James Kuffner at Google introduced the term "Cloud Robotics" to describe a new approach to robotics that takes advantage of the Internet as a resource for massively parallel computation and real time sharing of vast data resources. The Google autonomous driving project exemplifies this approach. Another example is Kiva Systems' approach to warehouse automation and logistics using large numbers of mobile platforms to move pallets using a local network to coordinate platforms and update tracking data. Cloud Robotics has potential to improve performance in at least five ways: 1) Big Data: indexing a global library of images, maps, and object data, 2) Cloud Computing: parallel grid computing on demand for statistical analysis, learning, and motion planning, 3) Open-Source / Open-Access: humans sharing code, data, algorithms, and hardware designs, 4) Collective Robot Learning: robots sharing trajectories, control policies, and outcomes, and 5) Crowdsourcing and call centers: offline and on-demand human guidance for evaluation, learning, and error recovery.
4:55 PM
The Future of Near-Eyed Displays
Allan Evans, Chief Technology Officer, Avegant
Screens have been getting smaller and closer to our eyes but with one limitation: image quality. Avegant has figured out how to project images directly onto the retina, mimicking the way that humans naturally see light. Two years in the making, the Glyph is a portable headset for mobile or home use that combines a unique flip-down form factor, super sharp imagery and premium noise-cancelling audio.
5:30 PM
Close of First Day
6:30 PM

Reception and Dinner: City Club of San Francisco - 155 Sansome St
(0.5 miles from hotel)


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5
7:30 AM

Buffet Breakfast: Cypress, Sequoia (Ballroom Foyer)

8:30 AM
TTI/Vanguard Announcements
8:45 AM
e-NABLE: 3D-Printing Helping Hands for the Global Village
Jon Schull, Research Scientist, MAGIC (Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity) Center at Rochester Institute of Technology
The 3-D Mechanical Hand Maker Movement was inspired by two strangers (a prop maker from the U.S. and a carpenter from South Africa) who came together from 10,000 miles apart to create a prosthetic hand device for a small child in South Africa and then gave the plans away for free so that those in need of the device could make them for themselves or have someone make it for them. What originally started out as a couple of guys creating something to help one child in need has grown into a world wide movement of tinkerers, engineers, 3-D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers, and people who just want to make a difference.
9:20 AM

Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change
Michael D. Mastrandrea, Co-Director, Science, IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit, and Noah Diffenbaugh, Associate Professor and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
Written by hundreds of scientists from around the world, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, completed this year, provides a comprehensive stocktaking of the impacts from climate change that can already be seen around the world; the risks we face in the future; and the opportunities for reducing and managing those risks. This session, with two of those report writers, will focus on key risks relevant to business sectors and options to better prepare for those risks, including links between climate change and extreme weather.
10:15 PM
Coffee Break: Ballroom Foyer
10:45 AM
Automated Causal Models
Paul Cohen, Program Manager, DARPA
During the 1854 cholera epidemic in London, Dr. John Snow plotted cholera deaths on a map, and in the corner of a particularly hard-hit quadrangle of buildings was a water pump. Snow's maps suggested an association between cholera and the pump, but the germ theory of disease had not yet been invented and it took human ingenuity to realize that the pump was a causal mechanism of disease transmission. Nearly two centuries on, big data is vastly bigger, but human ingenuity is still required to leap from associations to causal mechanisms. DARPA's new Big Mechanism program aims to change that.
11:20 AM
Plastic Tokens, Identity, and the Internet of Things
Claus Moberg, Chief Executive Officer, SnowShoe
SnowShoe Stamps are small pieces of plastic with secret digital identities that allow e.g., mobile game developers to sell toys that link to in-game content or as a physical factor of authentication for secure user log-ins and authentications in brick-and-mortar retailers. SnowShoe stamps are built on 3D printers out of a mix of conductive and non-conductive ABS plastic. They are specially designed such that when they are pressed to a capacitive touch-sensitive surface, the surface reports a specific number of touch events in a very specific spatial configuration. The configuration of these touch events is unique to each stamp. SnowShoe Stamps have no batteries, no power, no circuitry, no antenna, and no moving parts. They cost just cents to manufacture, and they work with all multi-touch mobile devices. The company's API and SDKs can be integrated into a project in mere minutes.
11:55 AM
Big Data & Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies
Patrick Meier, Director of Social Innovation, Qatar Computing Research Institute
Who exactly are these Digital Humanitarians? They are volunteers and professionals from the world over and from all walks of life who desire to make a difference—and they do. In virtually real-time, they make sense of vast volumes of social media, SMS and imagery captured from satellites and UAVs to support relief efforts worldwide. In short, they craft ingenious crowdsourcing solutions with insights from artificial intelligence. This talks charts the sudden and spectacular rise of Digital Humanitarians, highlighting how their humanity and innovative Big Data solutions are changing humanitarian response forever. 
12:30 PM
Members' Working Plated Lunch - Cypress, Sequoia (Ballroom Foyer)
1:45 PM

The Best Drone Is the One You Have With You
Jelena Jovanovic, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Nixie Labs, and Christoph Kohstall, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Nixie Labs
Nixie is the first wearable quadcopter camera, worn like a bracelet on the wrist. With a cue from the user, Nixie takes off and takes pictures or video of the user in action, from an amazing perspective, without interrupting the moment. Drones like Nixie will become part of everyday personal life, providing a platform for future applications ranging from letting users see from a new perspective to helping in emergency situations.
2:20 PM
How to Encrypt Software
Amit Sahai, Professor of Computer Science, UCLA
Many software programs contain information—passwords, algorithms, and more—that would best be kept secret. Is it possible to hide such information, while still letting legitimate users possess and run the code on their own computers?
2:55 PM

Technoarcheology: Pulling a Lost NASA Satellite Out of the Past
Dennis Wingo, Chief Executive Officer, Skycorp Incorporated
In 2008 Skycorp partnered with SpaceRef to start the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, wherein we rescued the only remaining tape drives capable of playing the master tapes of the 1960's era Lunar Orbiter Program. See www.moonviews.com for details. The recovery of the tapes opened a door for "Technoarchaeology," that is, the archeology of technology. The preservation of our digital heritage, both hardware and software is a growing need and a societal imperative. So much of our lives are now digitized that should our technological civilization fail, the loss to posterity would be staggering. In 2014 Skycorp blazed new ground in technoarchaeology with the ISEE-3 Reboot project. 
3:30 PM
Conference Reflections
Bob Lucky, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
4:00 PM
Close of Conference

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