Main Conference

Keynote 1:

Kaniz Mahdi

VP Distributed Edge @ VMware

Bio: Kaniz Mahdi is Vice President of Distributed Edge at VMware. Kaniz is leading a multi-faceted global team of research scientists, architects and developers specializing in advanced technologies that sit at the intersection of Wireless, Cloud and AI in the VMWare Office of the CTO. Key focus includes user-centric research and co-innovation with industry and academia to unravel the complexities of Distributed Edge Cloud systems. The outputs of these research and co-innovation efforts will drive recommendations for VMware’s strategic evolution in this space.

Prior to VMware, Kaniz held various technology leadership positions at Ericsson, Huawei, Ciena and Nortel.

With 45+ patent grants, Kaniz has a stellar record of continuously pushing the envelope on new technologies. She is an inventor of essential technologies underpinning current Voice over LTE systems and has been instrumental in defining the 5G era landscape with disruptive technologies (e.g. SDN/NFV & O-RAN).

Keynote 2: Scientific AI at the Edge and the Digital Continuum.

Pete Beckman

Co-Director, Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering and Argonne Distinguished Fellow

Abstract: Geographically distributed sensor networks that include cameras, microphones, LIDAR, and weather and air quality stations can generate such large volumes of data that fast and efficient analysis is best performed by an embedded computer connected directly to the sensor. SAGE is an NSF MSRI project to build a national cyberinfrastructure for programable edge computing. The SAGE infrastructure allows scientists to write “software-defined sensors” by analyzing the data in-situ, at the edge, at the highest resolution of data. The data from the edge computation are then transmitted to a cloud computing infrastructure where they can be archived and provided to the community as data products or used in real-time to trigger computational models or dynamically modify subsequent edge computation. This new edge computing programming framework gives scientists a new tool for exploring the impacts of global urbanization, natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires, and climate change on natural ecosystems and city infrastructure. SAGE is deploying cyberinfrastructure in environmental testbeds in California, Colorado, and Kansas and in urban environments in Illinois and Texas. This talk will introduce AI@Edge, and how it is being used across the country to help solve difficult scientific problems and the future of programming models that can span edge to cloud.

Bio: Pete Beckman is a recognized global expert in high-end computing systems. During the past 30 years, his research has focused on software and architectures for large-scale parallel and distributed computing systems. For the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project, Beckman leads the Argo project focused on low-level resource management for the operating system and runtime. He is the founder and leader of Argonne’s Waggle project for artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing. Beckman also co-directs the Northwestern University / Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering and leads the Sage project funded by the National Science Foundation to build a nationwide infrastructure for AI at the edge to support ecological research for the National Ecological Observatory Network and urban research for the Array of Things. Beckman also coordinates the collaborative technical research activities in extreme-scale computing between the U.S. Department of Energy and Japan’s ministry of education, science, and technology and helps lead the Big Data and Extreme Computing BDEC) series of international workshops. He also coordinates 5G wireless research activities at Argonne.

Keynote 3: Converging Cloud & Telecommunications Infrastructures: Opportunities & Challenges

Victor Bahl

Technical Fellow & Chief Technology Officer, Azure for Operators

Abstract: 5G has created an unprecedented opportunity for telecommunications and cloud industries to come together and radically change the communications and computing infrastructures, with edge computing as the catalyst. I will describe the scientific advances bringing us to where we are today and then cast an eye to the future in sharing with the audience a vision for where things are going with telecommunications, including key enablers and potential surprises on the horizon. This will set the context for describing the opportunity ahead for the research community in the next several years, and beyond, as we stay at the forefront of innovation in telecommunications, with innovations with the cloud and edge. I will next move into near-term strategy with Microsoft standing up of Azure of Operators (AFO). AFO is aimed at bringing telecommunications industry to Azure as an integral component of its global infrastructure. I will describe the motivation and vision that led to the creation of AFO, its mission, and the significant technical and scientific challenges, which when overcome will lead to the inevitable convergence of two massive industries and new opportunities for startups, universities and research institutes.

Bio: Victor Bahl is a technical fellow and chief technology officer of Azure for Operators in Microsoft’ Strategic Missions and Technology division. Previously, he was the founding director of the networking research group and member of Microsoft Research’s senior leadership team. He is the original inventor behind Microsoft’s edge computing products, and the architect of the strategy that led to the creation of Azure for Operators business. He has published over 125 papers with over 57,000 citations, he is the author/co-author of 175 patents, and for unique research has received numerous awards including four lifetime achievement awards, three distinguished alumni awards and four national technology awards. Dr. Bahl is the founder of ACM SIGMOBILE, MobiSys, ACM GetMobile, and several other conferences. He serves on the advisory board of national research institutes, university departments, and non-profits. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS.

Keynote 4: Quantum communication and networks for edge computing

Lijun Ma


Abstract: Quantum communication can realize secure communication over unsecured communication links, and its security is guaranteed by the principles of quantum mechanics and is un-hackable by any mathematical methods. Quantum communication also work for distributed quantum computing network and distributed quantum sensing network. Due to these advantages in security and computing ability , quantum communication systems could play an important role in the edge computing field. In this talk, I will give a brief review on the state-of-the-art development of quantum communication and network, and discuss their potential applications in edge computing.

Bio: Dr. Ma works with the quantum communication and network project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As one of leading scientists, he developed a variety of quantum communication and network systems, including world-record speed quantum key distribution (QKD) system, 50-km fiber-based QKD communication system and a 3-node QKD network. He also developed key components for quantum communication systems, such as the frequency up-conversion single photon detectors, entangled photon sources, and quantum memories. Dr. Ma has coauthored scores of articles in top journals, keynote and invited talks in conferences and workshops, and patents in quantum communication field. His current research focuses on the entanglement distribution over quantum network and the quantum repeaters.

Panel I

Edge Computing Software: Where are we today?

December 14, 5:30-6:30 PM


Weisong Shi

Wayne State University

Weisong Shi is a Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow and a Professor of Computer Science with Wayne State University, USA, where he directs the Mobile and Internet SysTems Laboratory (MIST) and Connected and Autonomous dRiving Laboratory (CAR), investigating performance, reliability, power- and energy-efficiency, trust and privacy issues of networked computer systems, and applications. He is one of the world leaders in the edge computing research community, and published the first book on edge computing. His paper entitled “Edge Computing: Vision and Challenges” has been cited more than 4100 times. In 2018, Dr. Shi led the development of IEEE Course on Edge Computing. In 2019, Dr. Shi served as the lead guest editor for the edge computing special issue on the prestigious Proceedings of the IEEE journal. He is the Founding Steering Committee Chair of the ACM/IEEE Symposium on Edge Computing (SEC) and the IEEE/ACM Connected Health: Applications, Systems and Engineering (CHASE). He is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.


Niranjan Make

Niranjan Maka is the CEO of, a bay-area spin-off from VMware, focused on edge technologies.

In the recent past, he used to lead VMWare’s Edge/IoT Engineering and prior to that head VMWare’s Global R&D sites. He has held leadership positions in RSA Security / EMC, Siebel-Oracle and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

With over 30 years experience in technology, he is passionate about building people and businesses involving deep technology.

Tina Tsou

Enterprise Architect, Arm; TSC Chair, Akraino

Jim Xu


Jim Xu is a principal Engineer at Zenlayer leading distributed edge cloud and global cloud networking. Zenlayer is an innovative company in the Edge Cloud business. Before joining Zenlayer, he was a Technical Leader in Cisco’s flagship products, a Principal Engineer at Futurewei Technologies for the enterprise networking and Edge Computing platforms. He also partnered with several companies before in the areas of the Edge Computing IoT and Decentralized infrastructure. He has been granted over 20+ US and international patents. He is a current LF Edge Board member.