Available & Reconfigurable: Oxymoron for Distributed Systems?

Distributed systems are all around us, providing the backbone of the computing infrastructure that we rely upon — think of the mesh of computing nodes connected by wireless and wireline networks of various kinds that help us get our financial transactions done in the blink of an eyelid, or those that get our web orders […]

Does Computer Systems have a Reproducibility Problem?

And Should you Care? This is about the reproducibility of results in Computer Systems. The papers that we shed blood, sweat, and tears for getting into our hyper-competitive conferences (definitely the latter two, the first is not widely documented). Are they helping us progress as fast and as efficiently as they could? Are our software […]

Big Tech, Big Brother, and the Virus: A Toast

This is the second of a two part series. One form of information that can help us with the CV quarantine is data about crowding at the grocery stores. There are many companies that provide video surveillance at retail stores and if only they would aggregate and anonymize such information and share publicly. We can […]

Big Tech, Big Brother, and the Virus: The Cautionary Tale

This is part one of a two-part series. Big tech can provide surveillance, we know that by now. It can provide the surveillance at as fine a level as you want — at our individual level and at minute-level precision. The cell phone and the credit card, the two indispensable parts of our daily lives, […]

The Non-Expert Inventor

As a Computer Scientist, I catch myself sometime, when looking at a wonderful innovative system at work, thinking of the details that went into it. When face-to-face with the wonderful Starship zipping around the Purdue campus delivering food, I am thinking of what software security feature does it have to avoid it being hijacked. When […]

Internet at 50 Years: Hills to Climb

Citation In this second of my two part reflection on the internet at its 50th birthday, I turn my eyes toward three challenges the medium has to solve. I then list from a bird’s eye view some of the most important solutions being investigated in academia to fix these. In customary braggadocio, I include some […]

Internet at 50 years: Celebrating Three Victories

Citation The internet had a rather unobtrusive 50th birthday on October 29, 2019, celebrated in a low-key style mainly in the quiet hallways frequented by technologists. It has come a long way from the first unintended message “lo” sent by Leonard Kleinrock and Charley Kline in UCLA to SRI in Menlo Park. Much has been […]