The 2010 Google Faculty Summit

Last week, Google held our sixth North American Computer Science Faculty Summit at our Mountain View headquarters. About 100 faculty members from universities around the world attended the summit, which focused on security, cloud computing and the social web.

Included in the agenda were presentations by Eric Grosse on security at scale, Ulfar Erlingsson on cloud computing and software security, Betsy Masiello on engineering private spaces online, and Andrew Fikes on “planetary-scale” storage systems in the cloud. Andrew Tompkins also moderated a panel on the future of the social web. Alfred Spector, VP of Research and Special Initiatives, talked of “prodigiousness” in his discussion of the potential of cloud computing. He noted that the network underlying the Internet is predicted to carry a zetta-byte (1021) per year, which translates to 32 KB/sec for 1 billion people. You can see a more complete list of the topics and panels on the Faculty Summit site.

In his closing talk last Friday, Vint Cerf spoke about the “Future of the Internet.” Among his topics were the challenges in migrating from IPv4 to IPv6, which has a much larger address space than IPv4. This results from the use of a 128-bit address, whereas IPv4 uses only 32 bits. We will soon exhaust the IPv4 address space, so migration is imminent, and complex.

Vint also discussed the great potential in implementing an “Internet of things,” which refers to a network of everyday objects. Imagine that you’re traveling, and receive a text message informing you that the temperature in your wine cellar has increased to a level that can damage the wine. You then start an app on your smartphone that interfaces with the cellar’s temperature control system to bring the level down. That’s just one possible application as we connect more and more of our personal and home electronics to the Internet.

Over on the Research Blog, we’ve posted deeper dives on a few of the talks—on cloud and security, cloud computing and the social web. Visit the research site for videos of the plenary talks and presentations. And if you have questions, please add them to our Moderator page and we’ll be glad to answer.

Posted by Maggie Johnson