Keynote 1 : Tuesday, June 1, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM EDT
That Does not Compute: Facts and Fiction about Computing
and the Environment
Abstract: Information technology (IT) is critically important for modern society, which is why wild claims about IT engender endless public fascination. Researchers and reporters overestimate IT's electricity use and environmental impact, often by orders of magnitude, and these fake facts ("factoids") then spread wildly as people share them and the media report them.Big mistakes result when people's inherent curiosity about an important area of knowledge collides with a pervasive lack of accurate and up-to-date information. Information technology changes so quickly that most data are obsolete as soon as they are created, and people's inability to grasp the power of exponential change makes things even worse. The fact that the most accurate data are closely held proprietary secrets compounds these problems. Unfortunately, honest research to create accurate information will always trail misinformation, because it's harder and takes longer to get the numbers right. This talk will present well-documented examples of misinformation about IT and the environment and summarize time-honored techniques you can use to avoid being misled in the future.
Keynote 2 : Wednesday, June 2, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM EDT
COVID-19 and 5G: The Lasting Impact and
New Challenges for our Communication Networks
Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic communication networks have provided an essential lifeline for work, school, our health, information, and entertainment during this challenging time at a level which has no historical precedent. Work from home and learn from home is likely to play a larger role in the way we live even after the virus threat has subsided. At the same time, industry is evolving to exploit the benefit of being "Always Connected" in new ways driven by increased demand, new opportunities, and the benefits of cloud-based processing. This benefit was formerly only provided to consumers but now, through the adoption of 5G, is extended to machines and brings with it new and severe requirements which challenge the new applications, the networks that serve them, the data centers which host them, and the devices throughout which enable them. In this talk I will outline the challenges of both the continuing growth in communication demand and the new ones posed by the coming 5G Industrial Revolution.
Keynote 3 : Thursday, June 3, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM EDT
Engineering in the Time of Corona:
Some Lessons for the Future
Abstract: During the last year, we have learned many lessons, intended and unintended, that have profound implications for engineering education and research, the nature of engineering work, and issues of access and equity in engineering. In this talk I examine what we have learned and what remains to be learned on all these dimensions and discuss both pitfalls and possibilities. The remote delivery of engineering education, for example, offers tantalizing economies of scale, the potential to draw in hitherto underserved communities, the possibility of lifelong education, and the potential for vastly expanded international connections. At the same time, there are indications that important dimensions of learning are social and that much of it occurs outside the classroom. Can remote learning be enhanced to enable these social dimensions? Similar questions remain to be answered regarding the efficacy of remote engineering employment. Can creativity and teamwork be built and sustained through largely remote interactions? And finally, there are the enormous inequities that the pandemic has laid bare: access to remote learning infrastructure and disparities in the assumption of household responsibilities are but two examples. In examining this last tumultuous year, I hope we can learn what works and does not work, what we need to learn more about, and engineer creatively a better future for us all.