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Showing posts from February, 2010

Highlights from EWSN 2010

I was invited to give the keynote speech at the European Wireless Sensor Networks conference in Coimbra, Portugal. This was a fantastic location for a conference -- Coimbra has one of the oldest universities in Europe, over 700 years old. It's a beautiful city. EWSN is the European counterpart to conferences such as SenSys and IPSN. It is a very different crowd than typically attends those events. I learned a lot about a couple of the big EU-sponsored sensor nets projects including CoNet and GINSENG. Interestingly, the Contiki OS seems to be pretty popular amongst the European research groups, in contrast to the TinyOS-dominated US landscape.

My keynote was entitled "The Next Decade of Sensor Networking" and I tried to argue that the field is running the risk of becoming stagnant unless we define some big research challenges that will carry us for the next decade. I've blogged about these themes here before. I delivered the talk in "Larry Lessig" style -- ha…

David Shaw's Anton Supercomputer

Today, David Shaw of D. E. Shaw Research delivered a Distinguished Lecture in Computational Science here at Harvard (this is a new seminar series that Ros Reid and I cooked up to bring in a few high-profile speakers each semester). Of course, prior to forming D. E. Shaw Research, David founded D. E. Shaw and Co., a hedge fund which was one of the most successful quantitative analysis shops. Since 2001, David has been doing research full time -- D. E. Shaw Research develops both algorithms and customized machine architectures for molecular dynamic simulations, such as protein folding and macromolecule interactions. The result is the Anton supercomputer, a heavily customized machine with 512 specialized computing cores specifically designed for particle interaction simulations. It was a great talk and was very well attended -- I'll post the video once it's available.

David presented the algorithms and architecture behind the Anton machine. The goal is to run molecular dynamic sim…