Saturday, January 10
10:00 - 11:10
Room: Celebrity 2/3

Converging Around Big Data and the Consumer, an IEEE Future Directions Event


Convergence Event Organizer: Kathy Grise, Senior Program Director, IEEE Future Directions


The event will demonstrate the convergence in what are seemingly different and distinct technology fields. The event centers on big data, and demonstration of how divergent technologies and topics "converge" around big data. Subject matter experts representing computing, IoT, medicine, privacy and security, energy, and reliability will be invited. In particular, the focus will be around the consumer, its technologies, and applications.


Themes to include, but not limited to:

• How data fits into humanity, its factors and impacts to the consumer.

• How medical smart devices, sensors, wearable devices, etc. leverage applications, technologies, which also rely heavily on data.

• Impacts of power and energy on the consumer.

• Predicting reliability fits most anywhere there is a system of any kind deployed, understanding the physics and consequences of failure is important. Each subject matter expert will provide an overview and presentation on how their respective area intersects and converges with big data. All the SME's will be invited back for a lively panel discussion.


Invited Speakers


Charles Despins, Moderator, President and CEO of Prompt inc., a Canadian university-industry R&D consortium in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector. In addition to his academic postings in the University of Quebec network, he has held various posts in the private sector, namely at CAE Electronics, Microcell (Canadian cellular operator) and at Bell Nordiq Group (a network operator in rural and northern areas of Canada) as vice-president and chief technology officer. He has also worked as a consultant for wireless network deployments in India and China.Charles is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and a recipient (2006) of the Outstanding Engineer award from IEEE Canada.


Steven Collier, Director, Smart Grid Strategies, at Milsoft Utility Solutions. Steve is Milsoft’s resident smart grid expert and assists the company with smart grid strategies for product development, business development, marketing, sales and industry relations. Beginning with Houston Lighting & Power in the early 1970s, he has worked as a professional, executive or consultant with energy, telecommunications and technology companies in the US and abroad. Steve has BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Houston and Purdue University, respectively. Collier is an IEEE Technical Expert who writes and speaks widely on new and emerging energy, telecom and information technologies and their applications for a modern, intelligent grid. Follow Steve on Twitter as @smartgridman and on his blog at


Ling Liu, Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. There she directs the research programs in Distributed Data Intensive Systems Lab (DiSL), examining performance, security, privacy, and data management issues in building large scale distributed computing systems. Prof. Liu and the DiSL research group have been working on various aspects of distributed data intensive systems, ranging from Big Data technology, Cloud Computing and cloud datacenters, decentralized and social network computing, mobile and location based services, sensor network and event stream processing, to service oriented computing and architectures. She has published over 300 international journal and conference articles. Her research group has produced a number of open source software systems, among which the most popular ones include WebCQ, XWRAPElite, PeerCrawl, GTMobSIM, and SHAPEi. Prof. Dr. Liu's current research is primarily sponsored by NSF, IBM, and Intel.


William Tonti, holds a BSEE from Northeastern University, an MSEE and a P.h.D from the University of Vermont, and an MBA from St. Michael’s College. He retired from IBM in 2009 after 30+ years of service, working as the lead semiconductor technologist for a large part of his career. Dr. Tonti holds in excess of 290 issued patents, and has been recognized as an IBM Master Inventor. He was honored by having his 250’th patent issue transcribed into the U.S. Congressional Record. Dr. Tonti is a Fellow of the IEEE a past IEEE Reliability Society President, a recipient of the IEEE Reliability Engineer of the Year award, and the IEEE 3’rd Millennium medal. Dr. Tonti joined IEEE in 2009 as the Director of IEEE Future Directions where he works alongside staff and volunteers to incubate new technologies within the IEEE.


May Wang, is an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Winship Institute, IBB and IPaT at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, USA. She is a Kavli Fellow, a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Cancer Scholar, Biocomputing and Bioinformatics Core Director in Emory Georgia Tech Center of Cancer Nanotechnology, and Co-Director of Georgia Tech Center for Bio-Imaging Mass Spectrometry. Prof. Wang’s research is in Biomedical Big Data analytics with a focus on Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI) for Personalized and Predictive Health. Her research includes high throughput NGS and -omic data mining to identify clinical biomarkers, bionanoinformatics, pathological imaging informatics to assist clinical diagnosis, critical and chronic care health informatics for evidence-based decision making, and predictive systems modeling to improve health outcome.


Kathy Grise, IEEE Future Directions Program Director and IEEE Senior Member, works directly with IEEE volunteers, IEEE staff, and consultants in support of new initiatives, and is the IEEE staff program director for the IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative, Big Data Initiative, Green ICT Initiative, and the IEEE Technology Navigator. Prior to joining the IEEE staff, Ms. Grise held numerous positions at IBM, and most recently was a Senior Engineering Manager for Process Design Kit Enablement in the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center. Ms. Grise lead the overall IT infrastructure implementation, and software development in support of semiconductor device modeling verification, packaging, and delivery; device measurement and characterization data collection and management, and automation for device modeling engineers using cloud services.