Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli is the Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, where he has been a Professor since 1976. He was a co-founder of Cadence and Synopsys, the two leading companies in Electronic Design Automation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Cadence, Sonics, Expert Systems, and of KPIT Technologies. He was a member of the HP Strategic Technology Advisory Board, of the Science and Technology Advisory Board of GM, and is a member of the Technology Advisory Council of UTC. He is member of the Scientific Council of the Italian National Science Foundation (CNR) and of the Executive Committee of the Italian Institute of Technology. He was the first President of the Consiglio Nazionale Garanti della Ricerca, and is member of the Strategic Committee of the Italian Strategic Fund.
He received the Kaufman Award for “pioneering contributions to EDA”, the IEEE/RSE Maxwell Medal “for groundbreaking contributions that have had an exceptional impact on the development of electronics and electrical engineering or related fields”, the first ACM/IEEE A. Richard Newton Technical Impact Award. He holds an honorary Doctorate by the University of Aalborg, Denmark and one by KTH, Sweden.
He is an author of over 850 papers, 17 books and 2 patents, is IEEE and ACM Fellow and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Wonders and Threats of the Instrumented World
Information technology moves rapidly to an increasingly decentralized and collaborative environment (the Cloud) with rich interfaces to the physical world (the Internet of Things). In particular, it has been predicted that by 2020 several billions (thousands per person) of electronic devices will be available. These devices will allow making the computing infrastructure invisible to humans and supporting societal scale applications that are unthinkable today. However, even today, we are facing a number of severe challenges in applications such as autonomous vehicles, that should be monitored carefully with respect to safety, security and privacy concerns.
Design of complex distributed system such as the Internet of Things is essentially about connections: Connection of concepts, Connection of objects, Connection of teams. Products of the future will be connected across physical and virtual domains. Connections can produce systems that offer more than the sum of the components but they can also lead to systems that are less powerful, secure and private than the sum of the components or that are so compromised by their interactions that they do not work at all. And this situation is getting worse: a nightmare waiting to occur! An efficient management of interactions among deployed parts of a larger system requires principles that are common to the design methods developed at the bleeding edge of technology. I will point to a number of exciting fields such as Industry 4.0, energy efficiency, synthetic biology, autonomous aircraft and cars where advances are constantly made towards the mastering of distributed, autonomous systems.