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Tech Sessions:
Wednesday, June 23 | Thursday, June 24 | Friday, June 25 | Invited Speakers

Ben Fry, Visualizing Data
Ben Fry received his doctoral degree from the Aesthetics + Computation Group at the MIT Media Laboratory, where his research focused on combining fields such as computer science, statistics, graphic design, and data visualization as a means for understanding information. After completing his thesis, he spent time developing tools for visualization of genetic data as a postdoc with Eric Lander at the Eli & Edythe L. Broad Insitute of MIT & Harvard. During the 2006–2007 school year, Ben was the Nierenberg Chair of Design for the Carnegie Mellon School of Design. At the end of 2007, he finished writing Visualizing Data for O'Reilly.

With Casey Reas of UCLA, he currently develops Processing, an open source programming environment for teaching computational design and sketching interactive media software that won a Golden Nica from the Prix Ars Electronica in 2005. The project also received the 2005 Interactive Design prize from the Tokyo Type Director's Club. In 2006, Fry received a New Media Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to support the project. Processing was also featured in the 2006 Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial. In 2007, Reas and Fry published Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists with MIT Press. Processing 1.0 was released in November 2008, and is used by tens of thousands of people every week.

Fry's personal work has shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial in 2003. Other pieces have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and in the films Minority Report and The Hulk. His information graphics have also illustrated articles for the journal Nature, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Seed, and Communications of the ACM.

Ben Fry runs a design and software consultancy based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bobby Johnson, Keynote Address
Bobby Johnson is Director of Engineering at Facebook, where he leads the software development efforts to cost-effectively scale Facebook's infrastructure and optimize performance for its many millions of users. During his time with the company, the number of users has expanded by more than fiftyfold and Facebook now handles billions of page views a day.

Bobby was previously at ActiveVideo Networks, where he led the distributed systems and set-top software development teams. He has worked in a wide variety of engineering roles, from robotics to embedded systems to Web software. He received a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech.

Jon Orwant, Google Books: Making All the World's Books Universally Accessible and Useful
Jon Orwant is an Engineering Manager at Google, where he leads the Boston Book Search team in their attempt to make the world's books searchable and discoverable. He is a co-author of several programming books, including the best-seller Programming Perl (the "Camel book"). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999. Previously, he was Director of Research at France Telecom and CTO of O'Reilly.

Maximilian Schich, Reconstructing Ancient Rome: 700 Years of IT and Knowledge Management
Maximilian Schich is an art historian working as DFG visiting research scientist at BarabásiLab, Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University in Boston, where he collaborates with network scientists, studying complex networks in art history and archaeology. Maximilian obtained his PhD in 2007, and looks back at over a decade of consulting experience working with network data in art research, brokering within the tetrahedron of project-partners, users, programmers, and customers. He worked several years with Projekt Dyabola as well as within Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck Institute for Art History), the Munich Glyptothek, and Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte. Find out more at

Ivan Sutherland, Keynote Address: Some Thoughts About Concurrency
Ivan Sutherland is a Visiting Scientist at Portland State University where he and Marly Roncken have recently established the "Asynchronous Research Center" (ARC). The ARC occupies both physical and intellectual space halfway between the Computer Science (CS) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) departments at Portland State. The ARC seeks to free designers from the tyranny of the clock by developing better tools and teaching methods for design of self-timed systems. Prior to moving to Portland, Ivan spent 25 years as a Fellow at Sun Microsystems. A 1959 graduate of Carnegie Tech, Ivan got his PhD at MIT in 1963 and has taught at Harvard, the University of Utah, and Caltech. Ivan holds a Turing Award and is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.

Matt Welsh, RoboBees: An Autonomous Colony of Robotic Pollinators
Matt Welsh is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University, where he has been on the faculty since 2003. His research interests span many aspects of distributed systems, operating systems, and programming languages. His recent focus has been on wireless sensor networks and cyber-physical systems, including new OS and language designs to enable efficient applications. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley and his BS from Cornell University.

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Last changed: 25 June 2010 jp