My Role as Head of IBM CAS

In my role as the Head of CAS Toronto, I was responsible for approximately 60 applied collaborative research projects with universities, approximately 100 visiting university researchers, and CASCON (the premier international general computer science conference hosted in Canada) with over 1500 attendees annually. 

One of my proudest moment as the Head of CAS Toronto was when the CAS Toronto partnerships won the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in the Leo Derikx category for "an established innovative model of long-standing university-industry partnership in pre-competitive R&D that has improved the general well-being of an industry". Here I am proudly posing with my friends and colleagues who travelled to all the way to Winnipeg to share in the celebrations of winning this prestigious award.

Another proud moment was in 2005 when CAS Toronto celebrated the Computing Pioneers of Canada: incredible people, inspiring stories. More information can be found here.

Through my various management and technical roles a IBM, I had the opportunity to work with really smart people to collaborate on projects in the areas of data management, collaboration, distance education, privacy, social computing, and services science. For examples of the cool projects I got to work on at IBM (ones I can talk about :-), see below.

Some Example Cool IBM Projects

Virtual Workplace for Multidisciplinary Collaboration

In 2006, I was invited to participate in an IBM Academy of Technology study to determine technologies needed to enable cross-institutional, multidisciplinary collaborative research in emerging sciences such as life sciences, nanoscience, nanotechnology, material sciences, and environmental sciences and to help IBM demonstrate its leadership in the scientific and engineering community. In this study, I was one of 19 core members from IBM around the world and I co-led a 10-person sub-team responsible for defining a virtual workplace for cross-institutional multidisciplinary collaboration. Our sub-team worked with IBM science researchers from around the world to articulate the necessary features for such a virtual workplace, we defined an architecture to provide those features, and compared that with current IBM offerings identifying gaps and areas for leadership. The findings of the study are IBM Confidential and cannot be detailed here but the recommendations and results of our work produced several internal reports and presentations, and have guided and influenced services delivered in several science applications with IBM clients.

Privacy in eCommerce

In 2005 and 2006, I co-supervised with, Drs. J. Slonim and M. McAllister, Master’s student, Mike Smit at Dalhousie University in the area of Privacy in eCommerce. Mike’s research was part of a CAS collaborative project with the IBM WebSphere Commerce team involving four developers. This research resulted in a framework to manage the internal privacy policy of a business (determining a privacy policy, validating and verifying it, deploying and enforcing it, and testing the entire system for compliance). I participated on the IBM side of this collaboration with two other IBM developers. Through this CAS project, there was significant impact beyond the thesis results. Mike Smit’s P3P policy expertise was used to assist in IBM customer support situations, one joint patent was filed, one IBM developerWorks paper was published (on P3P), Mike gave two internal presentations and an executive summary that resulted in significant technology transfer to IBM. These results were also disseminated through a paper accepted to a conference, and through an invited presentation, “Data Privacy in Electronic Commerce” I gave at the MITACS Network Information and Security Workshop on Feb. 8, 2006.

Self-managing Database Management Systems

From 1999 to 2001, I led a team of Advanced Technology developers in IBM DB2 to design and build autonomic and self-managing administration tools for DB2. This work was part of a larger team of developers, managers, and researchers working on SMART (Self-Managing and Resource Tuning) database systems. I led the administration tools part of SMART DB2, was responsible for CAS projects in this area, and participated on the Core Team (of four people). The other members of the Core Team were responsible for different parts of the effort (internal DB2 features, DB2 Control Center features, and IBM research projects). The Core team had responsibility for the overall SMART DB2 effort including staging the incorporation of features into the product, building relationships with business partners, defining which projects to pursue, and engaging with other parts of IBM. The results of this work included many features being incorporated into DB2 and influence over a number of autonomic activities in IBM.