IoTSC2014: where science is made!
I needed couple of days to get some rest, thus my absence. What I have been resting from was the very intensive past week, during which I have attended a truly scientific summit, called Internet of Things and Smart Cities Ph.D. School 2014 or simply #iotsc2014.
Organized by the University of Parma, the IoTSC2014 event aimed into gathering leading scientists, researchers and business innovators at one place for a week. They aimed high, but they did it. And in terms of quality, the quantity of accumulated knowledge fizzing around was pretty high.
The event took a place in the Castle of Lerici, a magnificent place, giving a magnificent 360° panoramic view over the Gulf of Poets, situated 345 steep steps above the Lerici harbor. I can say that each of the 345 steps was worth the experience spending a week in a castle, with what is some of the best scientists in the Internet of Things area. Castle. Science. Sorcery. Wizards. I decided to dedicate the header photo of this post to the Castle of Lerici.
And, yes, there was a paleontological museum right below the conference hall. Life was somehow complete after that discovery was made.
Every talk that took place on the stage was very detailed – there were fewer lectures [as opposed to the previous summer school I attended], but they went very deep into their subject – supporting it by cutting-edge scientific analysis and real-life testbed scenarios. Pure science.
Days were divided to CONNECT, COLLECT and CONSUME. I bet you can figure out why.
We were warmly welcomed by Prof. Gianluigi Ferrari [University of Parma], who briefly explained what our plan for the upcoming week is. With 40 hours at stake, our approximately 8-hour days were divided in a very smart way – we have lectures on the morning and practice on them in the afternoon. Simple and smart.
It all started with a keynote by Prof. Carsten Bormann [University of Bremen] that presented us with the current standing and future challenges of the Internet of Things industry. I swear, when I see someone presenting 200 slides, I rarely would stay awake until the very end. He grabbed our immediate attention, moving from differentiating classes of devices that operate in constrained networks to delving into the paradigm of constrained networks in detail, as well. A good part of these 200 slides were dedicated to the real meaning of IPv6 and why it matters a lot for the success of the Internet of Things.
Large part of the Figuring out the challenges in IoT article is based on the talk of Prof. Bormann.
An extensive, Italian-style coffee break followed.
Right after the break Frank Van Steenwinkel from Fidecity presented what it takes for a city to be smart. Pretty interesting talk, which included a very broad view on the future of smart cities from a veteran in the industry, with very impressive resumé. Coming out of the Cisco Alumni, he is now heading Fidecity and consult various governments in Europe in terms of getting their cities smarter.
I have covered this extremely interesting talk in the What it takes for a city to be smart? article.
Pasta & di mare [sea food] lunch took place.
As we digested along, Flavio Bonomi introduced Fog Computing, a conception intensely developed by Cisco for the needs of the Internet of Things. I have covered the major concept of Fog Computing in the What is Fog Computing? article. Here is a video of Flavio Bonomi that clarifies the subject a lot.
Flavio Bonomi spoke about a lot of other things and went through various scenarios of how the Internet of Things world will develop further. As soon as the media is released by the University of Parma, I will update the post.
The last lecture for the day [the first we had only lectures, no workshops] was given by Dr. Jérémie Leguay [Thales Communications] and Prof. Andrzej Duda [Grenoble INP-Ensimag]. They presented the CALIPSO project.
CALIPSO builds Internet Protocol (IP) connected smart object networks, but with novel methods to attain very low power consumption, thereby providing both interoperability and long lifetimes. CALIPSO leans on the significant body of work on sensor networks to integrate radio duty cycling and data-centric mechanisms into the IPv6 stack, something that existing work has not previously done. CALIPSO works at three layers: the network, the routing, and the application layer. Their team also revisit architectural decisions on naming, identification, and the use of middle-boxes.
The CALIPSO project has a wonderful and very detailed website. My advise is to put it on your watchlist.
This is how the introductory day felt from my point of view. I admit that I have never attended an event even closely related to that level of science. When I have booked my attendance, I was very well aware that the event will be more technically oriented. Even with my expectations very high, the very first day I totally understood – here is were science is made. As I have previously stated, in my 5 things you should know about IoT checklist — success in Internet of Things heavily depends on engineering talent and skills. Getting to the engineering phase, however requires a high degree of science and research, in theory first, followed by field experiments.
This how science is made – infinite number of hours while drilling deep into a subject. Period. It requires vast dedication and a lot of talent. Few people dare to dedicate a good amount of their human-being to such a cause. I met these people and spent a week with them at the Internet of Things and Smart Cities 2014 in Lerici, Italy. I have always had utmost respect to people in science, now that respect grew even more.
This is the first of couple of articles that cover the Internet of Things and Smart Cities events. I will make a separate article for each of the CONNECT, COLLECT and CONSUME days that followed. Stay tuned!