Dr. Umar Saif – we are so proud of you

March 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm 6 comments

umarDr. Umar Saif, Professor at LUMS, believes that we need to glamorize Research if we are to achieve excellence in Higher Education.

Well, he has started the ball rolling on the path to making research look pretty sexy. What am I talking about?

A paper that Dr. Umar Saif co-authored with students and colleagues at MIT has been awarded the Mark Weiser best paper award at IEEE Percom’08! The Mark Weiser Award is the highest award of recognition for a researcher in the field of Pervasive Computing.

This is the first time it has been awarded to a paper with a byline of a Pakistani university. Percom is ranked in the A+ category in the CORE list (widely used for ranking conferences in CS); as the premier conference in pervasive computing, percom had an acceptance rate of ~11% this year. An extended version of the paper will appear as an invited paper in the Pervasive and Mobile Computing Journal later this year (PMC).

A copy of the paper is posted at:
http://www.cag.csail.mit.edu/~umar/publications/percom08-goals-web.pdf

The system was featured in several technology magazines, newspapers
and blogs. BBC published the most “sensational” story (and Umar believes it is the best picture in popular media): I think the one taken by Jawwad at SI#6 was much nicer (the one above): http://www.pervasive-cmi.csail.mit.edu/news/3583479.stm.html

Umar and his team started this work over 4 years ago, when they wrote the first position paper on what we dubbed goal-oriented programming. This paper laid out the early vision of a system that may be programmed with human intent, rather than complicated computer jargon. The system
became the center piece of Project Oxygen at MIT ($45Million project) and became a progenitor of several follow on systems in this area.

The vision paper: http://cag.csail.mit.edu/~umar/publications/ubisys.pdf

You may download the following video to see the system (and Umar Saif) in action: http://cag.csail.mit.edu/~umar/tmpmovies/mov1.mpg

Other noteworthy work done by Umar and his team in the area of research in the last 6 months include

1. A project that got funding from Microsoft Research (Poor Man’s
broadband) was featured in New Scientist (a first for Pakistan).
http://www.cag.csail.mit.edu/~umar/NS-PMB.pdf. This was also the first
time a research project in Pakistan was funded by Microsoft Research
(LUMS press release:
http://web.lums.edu.pk/umar/press/microsoft.asp.html

2. They just got a large collaborative research program funded in
collaboration with UC Berkeley (by USAID/HEC). This research program
is focused on Developing-world technologies and the work will be
jointly carried out with Eric Brewer’s TIER group at Berkeley
(http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu). Our side will be led by my team at
http://www.dritte.org and http://newt.lums.edu.pk — with
participation by PTCL, VU, NADRA, PITB and DSD.

3. They will be running a course with Univ. of Washington (Seattle, UW)
on developing-world technologies in a week’s time. The lectures will
broadcast live on LUMS campus and Umar Saif will be guest lecturing in a
couple of sessions via a video link. There will be other guest lecturers
from MIT, CMU, Berkeley and Microsoft. Course website (still
evolving):
http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/courses/csep590b/CurrentQtr/

Entry filed under: Posts. Tags: .

Happy Co-existence Day! A photo report of SI# 7

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. babushka99  |  March 24, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Bravo! This man deserves a round of applause. Maybe Jehan Dr. Umar can be invited to some of the lecture circuits that PASHA does to emphasize the importance of research/writing and more importantly – getting published.

    Reply
  • 2. mansoor ehsan  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    That was really pleasant to read about the achievements of pakistani professor. I really appreciate his efforts and pray that every pakistani does his best for positive image of pakistan. cheers🙂

    Reply
  • 3. Fariha Akhtar  |  April 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    MashAllah…I’m so proud that we have people like Dr. Umar who can really help bolster research in Pakistan. Research here is usually seen as something doing which u’ll end up being a professor at some institute but since Dr. Umar happens to be an entrepreneur as well so that’s a proof enough that research carried out keeping in view the industry trends can really turn out to be hot and sexy(as u call it)🙂

    I guess I ought to share this post with all those who are always there to demotivate me when I tell them about my intentions to get into research…..btw isn’t research and entrepreneurship a good combination? This should give u a hinter why I wanted Dr. Umar to be part of SI Sessions at Karachi😛

    Reply
  • 4. Liposuction - GupShup Forums  |  October 16, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    […] Dr. Umar Saif – we are so proud of you In the Line of Wire […]

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  • […] Right: Dr. Umar Saif, Professor at LUMS, believes that we need to glamorize Research if we are to ac…Education. Well, he has started the ball rolling on the path to making research look pretty sexy. What we are talking about? A paper that Dr. Umar Saif co-authored with students and colleagues at MIT has been awarded the Mark Weiser best paper award at IEEE Percom’08! The Mark Weiser Award is the highest award of recognition for a researcher in the field of Pervasive computing. […]

    Reply
  • […] Right: Dr. Umar Saif, Professor at LUMS, believes that we need to glamorize Research if we are to achieve excellence in Higher Education. Well, he has started the ball rolling on the path to making research look pretty sexy. What we are talking about? A paper that Dr. Umar Saif co-authored with students and colleagues at MIT has been awarded the Mark Weiser best paper award at IEEE Percom’08! The Mark Weiser Award is the highest award of recognition for a researcher in the field of Pervasive computing. […]

    Reply

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