The Tale of Two Panels.

There are two panels at MobiCom 2014. The motivation and inspiration behind the selected topics this year in fact is tightly correlated with this being the twentieth year of MobiCom.

20av“This being the 20th year of MobiCom,” the Panel Chair, Thyaga Nandagopal from NSF says, “the organizers felt that it would be a great idea to take stock of what we have achieved so far, and learning the lessons of what worked and what did not work. At the same time, we need to look at the emerging challenges of the future, given that mobile computing and networking has become an essential part of all of our lives. The past and future motivated the choice of our two panels – one with some of the pioneers in this community to take a look back, and another one with our younger shining stars to take a look ahead.”

The first pgrudge_against_societyanel is on the first day of the conference, Monday, September 8, and is moderated by Lakshminarayanan Subramanian from NYU. The topic of the panel is: “Tackling Societal Grand Challenges with Mobile Computing.”

For this panel, we have invited Sanjit Biswas (Meraki/Cisco), Gaetano Borriello (University of Washington), Prabal Dutta (University of Michigan), Dina Katabi (MIT), Randy H. Katz (UC Berkeley), and the moderator Lakshminarayanan Subramanian (NYU).

jasper_morello_-crew_navigating_in_skiffThe second panel takes place on Tuesday, September 9, and is moderated by Victor Bahl from MSR. The panel is titled “Applying the lessons learnt for navigating the future – a conversation with the pioneers,” and it is specifically prepared in celebration of MobiCom’s 20th year. For this panel, pioneers in the field of computing are invited to share their wisdom and success stories, namely: Professor Leonard Kleinrock, known as a father of the Internet, Professor Randy Katz, who developed (along with his collaborators) the RAID computer storage concept, and Professor David J. Goodman, who has made fundamental contributions to digital signal processing, speech coding and wireless information networks.

To gauge more information on the second panel, I asked the moderator Victor Bahl why he thought the panel is fitting to have this year, and what his expectations are. He says, “MobiCom is no longer a teenager and 20 years is a great milestone point to look back and reflect – to think about our successes and failures. We can learn from both and who better to help us do this than our OCA winners. My hope is that the conference participants will take this wonderful opportunity to engage deeply with our panelist in a open and honest dialog about how we can become more effective in transforming the world for the better – doing what we do best – researching and inventing new life-changing technologies.”

What feedback and response is expected from the MobiCom community, in terms of engaging with these panels and otherwise? Thyaga, the panel chair, responds and says, “I am hoping that the MobiCom community takes an active part in these panels, to better understand the process and motivations that have led us on this trajectory, where we have become influential players in research on mobile computing and networking.” Thyaga then adds, “At the same time, we need grand challenges to provide a focal point for the next 20 years, and by engaging with these panels, I sincerely hope that the MobiCom community is able to collectively identify our next moonshot.”

Similarly, what are we, the community, expected to take out from these panels? Thyaga replies with: “Many of the research contributions stemming from the past 20 years of MobiCom’s existence have impacted society in an highly positive way. I would like the public to understand these contributions and how they have changed society for the better.” He then adds, “At the same time, I want to give them hope that we continue to carry the mantle of being the premier forum for bleeding-edge research in this area, and that they should stay tuned to this arena to get a glimpse of what new progress is coming down the pipe to realize our ideal of ‘information about anything, anytime, anywhere’.”

Find an updated article on the actual panel discussion here!


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