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April 2019

CESG Fishbowl Tele-Seminar: “The Rocky Road to Safe Autonomy: a Formal Methods Perspective”

April 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Fishbowl, WEB 333   Wenchao Li Assistant Professor in the ECE at Boston University Title: "The Rocky Road to Safe Autonomy: a Formal Methods Perspective " Abstract: The rapid advancement of autonomous systems comes with a growing concern over the safety of these systems when they are deployed in real-life situations. Achieving safety is a multi-faceted and complex task and requires the system to meet an interlaced set of logical, temporal and real-time constraints. At the algorithmic level, minimizing failures and avoiding unsafe maneuvers is often desirable if not essential. At the system level, system architecture plays an important role in safety assurance. In this talk, I will present some of my recent works on improving the safety of autonomous systems from both the system design and the algorithm perspectives and through the lens of formal reasoning. Biography: Wenchao Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University (BU). He currently holds the Peter J. Levine Career Development Professorship and is a Junior Faculty Fellow at the Hariri Institute for Computing. Prior to joining BU, he was a Computer Scientist at SRI International, Menlo Park. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. His research interests lie broadly in the area of dependable computing, with a recent focus at the intersection of formal methods and machine learning and with applications to cyber-physical systems, design automation, and A.I. safety. His work has been recognized with the ACM Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award in Electronic Design Automation and the Leon O. Chua Award at UC Berkeley. BU.ECE Portraits               Light Snacks Provided  

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CESG and Blockchain Seminar: “A Consensus Taxonomy in the Blockchain Era”

April 26 @ 4:10 pm - 5:10 pm
Emerging Technologies Bldg., Room 1037, 101 Bizzell St.
College Station, TX 77843 United States

Room 1037, Emerging Technologies Building Dr. Juan Garay Professor in CSE Department, Texas A&M University Title: “A Consensus Taxonomy in the Blockchain Era”  Abstract: Consensus is arguably one of the most fundamental problems in distributed computing, playing also an important role in the area of cryptographic protocols as the enabler of a secure broadcast functionality. While the problem has a long and rich history and has been analyzed from many different perspectives, recently, with the advent of blockchain protocols like Bitcoin, it has experienced renewed interest from a much wider community of researchers and has seen its application expand to various novel settings. One of the main issues in consensus research is the many different variants of the problem that exist as well as the various ways the problem behaves when different setup, computational assumptions and network models are considered. In this work we perform a systematization of knowledge in the landscape of consensus research in the Byzantine (actively malicious) failure model starting with the original formulation in the early 1980s up to the present blockchain-based new class of consensus protocols. Our work is a roadmap for studying the consensus problem under its many guises, classifying the way it operates in the various settings and highlighting the exciting new applications that have emerged in the blockchain era. Biography: Since Fall '17, Juan A. Garay is a full professor at Texas A&M University's Computer Science & Engineering Department. Previously, after receiving his PhD in Computer Science from Penn State, he was a postdoc at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) and held research positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Bell Labs, AT&T Labs--Research, and Yahoo Research. His research interests include both foundational and applied aspects of cryptography and information security. He has published extensively in the areas of cryptography, network security, distributed computing, and algorithms; has been involved in the design, analysis and implementation of a variety of secure systems; and is the recipient of over two dozen patents. Dr. Garay has served on the program committees of numerous conferences and international panels---including co-chairing Crypto 2013 and 2014, the discipline's premier conference. He is a Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR).               Pizza Provided

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