On May 27, 2016, Prof. Silvia Giordano was invited to give a public lecture about “Smartphones: Human Centric or Pervasive Machines?” for teachers and students of Software School of Xiamen Unviersity.
Silvia Giordano, PhD from EPFL, is Professor at SUPSI, Distinguished Professor and Thousand Talents Plan Professor at Tianjin University of Technology, China and associate researcher at CNR. She directs the NetLab, and is responsible for the Social Area. Her work in the field ad hoc networks produced two books and several seminal papers in key research directions, with hundreds of citations. Currently she is working in the area of human mobility with very innovative results in the field of localization, and with challenging work that calls for a new understanding of the concept of social distance. She is editor of several journals, and in the steering and organizing committee of major conferences. She is ACM Distinguished Scientist, IEEE Senior member, and ACM Distinguished Speaker.
The recent proliferation of smartphones/tablets has brought data networking to the general public. This has the potential of achieving the pervasive computing vision by putting the human element in the foreground, but, at the same time, generated a huge amount of data. Data that are expected to increase even more in the next years. Thus, this new scenario may require computationally intensive applications, and it is impractical and inefficient to stick to local processing. On the other hand, the emerging trend of offloading expensive tasks and large data to the mobile computing cloud has a significant energy footprint and suffers from the drawbacks of extreme centralization. Opportunistic computing/networking provide an appealing alternative to the mobile computing cloud and to the broadband access by allowing devices to directly communicate, join forces and leverage heterogeneous resources from other devices. Because this is only possible by leveraging human mobility, opportunistic adds even more prominence to the role of the human element, which now becomes the key enabler of pervasiveness.
After the lecture, Prof. Silvia Giordano had mutual communication with students joyously. The students are encouraged to ask questions they are interested in, and Prof. Silvia Giordano answered patiently. Many students said that they obtained so much from this lecture.