[Busec] Jennifer Rexford visit on Friday 3-4PM

Sharon Goldberg goldbe at cs.bu.edu
Mon Mar 5 12:09:05 EST 2012

Hi WING and BUsec,

Jennifer Rexford is giving the distinguished colloquium on Friday at
11AM, and I hope you'll all attend. Abstract is below.

Jen is my PhD advisor, and is awesome and very easy to talk to, so I
hope you'll all take the time to meet her.  From 3-4PM on Friday, Jen
will have an open office hour in the security lab, specifically to
give her the opportunity to meet our grad students.  So please mark
your calendars and come by and tell Jen what you are working on.

See you then!

Title: Enabling Innovation Inside the Network

Today's computer networks perform a bewildering array of tasks, from
routing and access control, to traffic monitoring and load balancing.
Yet, network administrators must configure the network through closed
and proprietary interfaces to heterogeneous devices, such as routers,
switches, firewalls, and load balancers.  Not surprisingly,
configuring these complex networks is expensive and error-prone, and
innovation in network management proceeds at a snail's pace.

During the past several years, the networking industry and research
community have pushed for greater openness in networking software, and
a clearer separation between networking devices and the software that
controls them. This broad trend is known as Software Defined
Networking (SDN).  A hallmark of SDN is having an open interface for
controller software running on a commodity computer to install
packet-processing rules in the underlying switches.  In particular,
many commercial switches support the OpenFlow protocol, and a number
of campus, data-center, and backbone networks have deployed the new

With the emergence of open interfaces to network devices, the time is
ripe to rethink the design of network software, to put the networking
field on a stronger foundation and foster innovation in networked
services.  Yet, while SDN makes it possible to program the network, it
does not make it easy.  After giving an overview of Software Defined
Networking, this talk discusses our Frenetic project that raises the
level of abstraction for programming the network.  We also outline
exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary research at the
intersection of programming languages and computer networks.

This is joint work with Nate Foster (Cornell), Dave Walker
(Princeton), Rob Harrison (US Military Academy), Chris Monsanto
(Princeton), Mark Reitblatt (Cornell), and Alec Story (Princeton),
Michael Freedman (Princeton), and Josh Reich (Princeton).


Jennifer Rexford is a Professor in the Computer Science department at
Princeton University.  From 1996-2004, she was a member of the Network
Management and Performance department at AT&T Labs--Research.
Jennifer  is co-author of the book "Web Protocols and Practice"
(Addison-Wesley,  May 2001). She served as the chair of ACM SIGCOMM
from 2003 to 2007. Jennifer received her BSE degree in electrical
engineering from  Princeton University in 1991, and her MSE and PhD
degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from the
University of Michigan in 1993 and 1996, respectively.  She was the
2004 winner of ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young
computer professional.

Sharon Goldberg
Computer Science, Boston University

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