Tuesday, April 29, 2008

DOA 08 Call For Papers Reminder

I am co-chairing the middleware track for the OTM conference in Mexico this year. Take a look at the Call for Papers: I'm hoping to see some good submissions.

OTM 2008 Federated Conferences - Call For Papers
Monterry (Mexico), November 9 - 14, 2008


"OnTheMove (OTM) to Meaningful Internet Systems and Ubiquitous Computing"
co-locates five successful related and complementary conferences:
- International Symposium on Distributed Objects and Applications (DOA'08)
- International Conference on Ontologies, Databases and Applications of
Semantics (ODBASE'08)
- International Conference on Cooperative Information Systems (CoopIS'08)
- International Symposium on Grid computing, high-performAnce and Distributed
Applications (GADA'08)
- International Symposium on Information Security (IS'08)

Each conference covers multiple research vectors, viz. theory (e.g. underlying
formalisms), conceptual (e.g. technical designs and conceptual solutions) and
applications (e.g. case studies and industrial best practices). All five
conferences share the scientific study of the distributed, conceptual and
ubiquitous aspects of modern computing systems, and share the resulting
application-pull created by the WWW.



- Abstract submission: June 8, 2008
- Paper submission: June 15, 2008
- Acceptance notification: August 10, 2008
- Camera ready: August 25, 2008
- Registration: August 25, 2008
- OTM Conferences: November 9 - 14, 2008


CoopIS PC Co-Chairs (coopis2008@cs.rmit.edu.au)
* Johann Eder, University of Klagenfurt, Austria
* Masaru Kitsuregawa, University of Tokyo, Japan
* Ling Liu, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

DOA PC Co-Chairs (doa2008@cs.rmit.edu.au)
* Mark Little, Red Hat, UK
* Alberto Montresor, University of Trento, Italy
* Greg Pavlik, Oracle, USA

ODBASE PC Co-Chairs (odbase2008@cs.rmit.edu.au)
* Malu Castellanos, HP, USA
* Fausto Giunchiglia, University of Trento, Italy
* Feng Ling, Tsinghua University, China

GADA PC Co-Chairs (gada2008@cs.rmit.edu.au)
* Dennis Gannon, Indiana University, USA
* Pilar Herrero, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
* Daniel S. Katz, Louisiana State University, USA
* María S. Pérez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

IS PC Co-Chairs (is2008@cs.rmit.edu.au)
* Jong Hyuk Park, Kyungnam University, Korea
* Bart Preneel, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
* Ravi Sandhu, University of Texas, USA
* André Zúquete, University of Aveiro, Portugal

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Israeli Startups Part Two

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Darwin Online

I'm a part time science buff, by which I mean I enjoy science but don't always have bandwidth to stay up on science news. However, present work necessarily builds on the past and it's always a pleasure to spend time looking back at the history of science. I recently discovered this very cool repository of the complete works of Charles Darwin. It's humbling to realize the number of fundamental insights that Darwin was able to decipher from this observations: he was truly one of history's great geniuses. Nature recently ran a wonderful story on Darwin's key contributions to current scientific understanding, though it unfortunately requires a subscription.


Russian millionare count soaring

Kommersant reports that the number of Russian millionaires is now greater than the number of Indian millionaires. I had to do a double take on this: the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of India is economic growth and transformation. Perhaps that is giving India a bit of short change, since it also boasts a rich cultural and religious history that has influenced large swaths of the globe.

To an extent, this reinforces my belief that Russia is the hidden gem in so-called emerging markets at the moment. While this may be a cause for celebration, it is also a cause for concern: take a deeper look and you'll find that the wealth is being generated predominantly in connection with extractive industries. This means the economy is vulnerable to price pullbacks in commodities and not structured to experience the kind of explosive and sustainable growth associated with technology and intellectual industries. Extraction based economies have had a devil of a time diversifying. The Kremlin is looking to address this in fits and starts (see previous posts that look at some of initiatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade), but it is a decisive matter for the future of the Russian economy that will influence the country for generations to come.

In the meantime, I believe India is doing a lot of the right things, especially by building industry (and wealth) organically, based on intellectual capital. They are still leading the way for emerging markets and in some ways for everyone.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coaldale History

I got feedback from several people interested in coal mining history in Pennsylvania based on my previous blog entry, none of whom I know: it's amazing how many random connections you get from Web searches. In any case, I wanted to link to a really interesting set of articles that traces the history of the region around Coaldale in its early stage, including the tensions that existed in the mining communities. I remember hearing stories as a kid about the "Black Marias" that would drop off the bodies of miners after an accident.

The source site is an interesting assembly of Carpatho-Rusyn immigrant histories, which is part of the background on my grandmother's side. By her generation, everyone seemed to think of themselves generically as Russian, but the background of many was more diverse and our family has a variety of Eastern Slavic traditions. For example, most of the Pascha activities I remember best were heavily influenced by the traditions of Ukraine.

The Carpatho-Rusyn ethnic group is not well known. As a matter of interest, here's a link to an overview of their history. Many were probably Uniate or so-called Greek Catholics, though in the US they were poorly received by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church and I believe many moved back after centuries to the Eastern Orthodox church, specifically under the autocephalous church in Moscow. Other Eastern European ethnic groups in the region included, according the the New York Times, Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Russians, Jews and Hungarians. The derogatory term "Hunky" was a generic reference to Eastern European immigrants in this region, derived from the fact that many of the immigrants were believed to have migrated from the Austro-Hungarian empire.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Thinking of an MBA?

Seems like perceptions of the worth of an MBA are highly cyclical, but there's no doubt that a good business school has a lot to offer for professional development. I chose to go back for an MBA after a specific experience: I realized that I really didn't understand VC term sheets or the underlying financial models when I really needed to know what I was dealing with.

Once you decide you want an MBA, you have to decide where you want to go. I looked in the US and ultimately only applied to one school. It's been understood for a while that European business schools are very good. As BusinessWeek notes, they are getting progressively better: they also offer an attractive alternative to American schools for professionals that plan to invest their professional life outside the US.

The other thing that is striking: business schools are becoming a sign of economic sophistication in economies that not too long ago were devoid of private business altogether. I am happy to see new schools developing in Eastern Europe. BusinessWeek also provides an interesting peek at Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, a new B-school being built in Russia and a key development in the maturation of the Russian economy. I've been spending a lot of time on a study of the Russian business environment, and I can tell you that many managers are very excited about this.

It may be that my age has something to do with it, but I find that many of my friends are asking me if they should consider an MBA. At some point, I'll give my thoughts on the chief benefits of an MBA, at least based on my first-hand experiences. Whether the investment (the time investment is likely to be the most dear) is worth it is a deeply personal decision, but maybe I can add some insight. Though I believe that Wharton remains the best business school in the world, I think that prospective B-school students should look at a number of options and I would put international schools on the top of the list.

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