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Mahadev Satyanarayanan

Carnegie Group Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University


Satya is the Carnegie Group Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.   His multi-decade research career has focused on the challenges of performance, scalability, availability and trust in information systems that reach from the cloud to the  mobile edge of the Internet.  In the course of this work, he has pioneered many advances in distributed systems, mobile computing, pervasive computing, and the Internet of Things. Most recently, his seminal 2009 publication “The Case for VM-based Cloudlets in Mobile Computing” has inspired many technical efforts worldwide at the intersection of mobile computing and cloud computing, and has led to the emergence of  Edge Computing (also known as "Fog Computing").  At the convergence of cloud computing and mobile computing, his work in the Elijah project is exploring the role of cloudlets, which are decentralized cloud computing elements at the edge of the Internet.  Cloudlets enable mobile devices to offload resource-intensive computation at low latency and high bandwidth, thus pointing the way to futuristic applications such as wearable cognitive assistance on devices such as Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens.

Early in his career, Satya was a principal architect and implementor of the Andrew File System (AFS) which pioneered the use of scalable file caching, ACL-based security, and volume-based system administration for enterprise-scale information sharing. AFS was commercialized by IBM, is in widespread use today as OpenAFS, has heavily influenced  the NFS v4  network file system protocol standard, and was the inspiration for DropBox.  Building on the AFS work, Satya was a principal architect of the Coda File System which introduced the concepts of disconnected operation and bandwidth-adaptive weakly-connected operation in distributed file systems.  The Coda concepts of hoarding, reintegration and application-specific conflict resolution can be found in the hotsync capability of mobile devices today. Key ideas from Coda were incorporated by Microsoft into the IntelliMirror component of Windows 2000 and the Cached Exchange Mode of Outlook 2003.The Odyssey project explored the partitioning of responsibility between the operating system and applications in adapting to wide variability in critical resources such as wireless network bandwidth and energy in mobile computing.   Through these and other projects such as Aura and Chroma, Satya was a co-inventor of many supporting technologies for mobile computing such as such as cyber foraging (also known as "cloud offload"),  data staging, lookaside caching, translucent caching and application-aware adaptation.   In the  Internet Suspend/Resume system, his team has explored the role of virtual machine (VM) technology in seamless mobility of legacy software.   

Satya received the PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon, after Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He is a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE.  He was the founding Program Chair of the HotMobile series of workshops, the founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Pervasive Computing, the founding  Area Editor for the Synthesis Series on Mobile and Pervasive Computing, and is the founding program chair of the First IEEE Symposium on Edge Computing that will be held in October 2016.   He was the founding director of Intel Research Pittsburgh,  and was an Advisor to Maginatics, which has created a cloud-based realization of the AFS vision and was acquired by EMC in 2014.

Agenda Sessions