November 12 - 15, 2006
The 14th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols
November 12-15, 2006
Santa Barbara, California
Challenges and Opportunities of IT Education and Research
Dr. Wei Zhao
Division Director of Computer and Network Systems
National Science Foundation
Senior Associate Vice President for Research
Texas A&M University
Computing and networking systems have been widely used in almost every sector of society. However, they are limited by their capabilities in terms of security, reliability, performance, and scale-ability. We will discuss the various challenges posed by the design and implementation of the computing and networking systems. We will introduce some major initiatives taken by the National Science Foundation which aim to address these challenges. Examples of such initiatives include the GENI and ICER programs.
Wei Zhao is a Senior Associate Vice President for Research and a Professor of Computer Science at Texas A&M University. Effective January 2005, he is the Director for the Division of Computer and Network Systems in the National Science Foundation. He completed his undergraduate program in physics at Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China, in 1977. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1983 and 1986, respectively. During his career, he has been a faculty member at Amherst College, the University of Adelaide, and Texas A&M University.
As an IEEE Fellow, Wei Zhao has made significant contributions in distributed computing, real-time systems, computer networks, and cyber space security. His research group has been recognized by receiving various awards and prizes, including the outstanding paper award from the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, the best paper award from the IEEE National Aerospace and Electronics Conference, an award on technology transfer from the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency, and the 2nd prize in the international ACM student research contest. Dr. Zhao is an inventor for two U.S. patents and has published over 250 papers in journals, conferences, and book chapters. He is the founding director of the Texas A&M Center of Information Security and Assurance, which has been recognized as the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency.
Wei Zhao has had extensive administration experience in higher education and research management. At Texas A&M University, he served as the head of the Department of Computer Science in Texas A&M University between 1997 and 2001. During this period of time, the funding for sponsored research quadrupled and an undergraduate program was ranked the 17th in a national survey. Wei Zhao has successively served as the Associate Vice President for Research and Senior Associate Vice President for Research since 2001. In this capacity, he supervises research-related units including Offices of Sponsored Research and Compliance, the Integrated Center of Homeland Security, Task Force on the USA PATRIOT Act, and the Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technologies.
Wei Zhao has also been active in professional services. He has served on editorial board of technical journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Computers and the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems. He is the chair for the IEEE Technical Committee of Real-Time Systems. He has chaired more than ten international conferences including the IEEE Real-Time Technology and Applications Symposia, the IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposia, and the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems.