Meet the speakers

Prospective students will have the opportunity to attend courses given by distinguished and influential educators in the realm of computer science, engineering and data science who will share their wisdom and academic expertise.

Keynote speakers

Wendy Hall,  DBE, FRS, FREng is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and was Dean of the Faculty of Physical Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2014. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) from 2002 to 2007. She is now a Director of the Web Science Institute. One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at its forefront ever since. Her current research includes applications of the Semantic Web and exploring the interface between the life sciences and the physical sciences. She is Managing Director of the Web Science Trust. She was elected President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in July 2008, and was the first person from outside North America to hold this position. Until July 2008, she was Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, was a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, and was a founder member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.  She was President of the British Computer Society (2003-4) and an EPSRC Senior Research Fellow from 1996 to 2002.

Joseph Sifakis (ACM Turing Award Winner)  is Emeritus Senior CNRS Researcher at Verimag, and the director of “Centre de la Recherche Intégrative” (CRI) in Grenoble. His current research interests cover fundamental and applied aspects of embedded systems design. The main focus of his work is on the formalization of system design as a process leading from given requirements to trustworthy, optimized and correct-by-construction implementations. Joseph Sifakis has been a full professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for the period 2011-2016. He is the founder of the Verimag laboratory in Grenoble, which he directed for 13 years. Verimag is a leading research laboratory in the area of embedded systems, internationally known for the development of the Lustre synchronous language used by the SCADE tool for the design of safety-critical avionics and space applications. In 2007, Joseph Sifakis has received the Turing Award for his contribution to the theory and application of model checking, the most widely used system verification technique today.


Natalia Andrienko has been working at GMD, now Fraunhofer IAIS, since 1997. Since 2007, she is a lead scientist responsible for the visual analytics research. Since 2013 she is professor (part-time) at City University London. She co-authored the monographs “Exploratory Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Data” (Springer, 2006) and “Visual Analytics of Movement” (Springer, 2013) and over 80 peer-reviewed journal papers. She received best paper awards at AGILE 2006, EuroVis 2015 and IEEE VAST 2011 and 2012 conferences, best poster awards at AGILE 2007, ACM GIS 2011 and IEEE VAST 2016, and VAST challenge awards 2008 and 2014. Natalia Andrienko is associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (since 2016) and editorial board member of Journal of Geographical Systems (since 2012) and Internation Journal of Geographic Information Science (since 2017).

Gennady Andrienko is a lead scientist responsible for the visual analytics research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) and professor (part-time) at City University London. He co-authored two monographs ‘Exploratory Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Data’ (Springer, 2006) and “Visual Analytics of Movement” (2013) and 80+ peer-reviewed journal papers. From 2007 till 2015 Gennady Andrienko was chairing the ICA Commission on GeoVisualization. He was associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (2012-2016) and paper co-chair of IEEE VAST (2015-2016). He co-organized scientific events on visual analytics, geovisualization and visual data mining, and co-edited 14 special issues of journals.


Juliana Freire is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Data Science at New York University.  She holds faculty appointments at the Tandon School of Engineering, Center of Data Science, Courant Institute for Mathematical Science, and Center for Urban Science and Progress.  She is the Executive Director of the NYU Moore Sloan Data Science Environment. Her recent research has focused on big-data analysis and visualization, large-scale information integration, web crawling and domain discovery, provenance management, and computational reproducibility. Prof. Freire is an active member of the database and Web research communities, with over 180 technical papers, several open-source systems, and 12 U.S. patents.  She is an ACM Fellow and a recipient of an NSF CAREER, two IBM Faculty awards, and a Google Faculty Research award. She has chaired or co-chaired workshops and conferences, and participated as a program committee member in over 70 events.  Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, Sloan Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, W. M. Keck Foundation, Google, Amazon, AT&T, the University of Utah, New York University, Microsoft Research, Yahoo! and IBM.

Minos Garofalakis is the Director of the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS) at the “Athena” Research and Innovation Centre in Athens, Greece, and a Professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Technical University of Crete, where he also directs the Software Technology and Network Applications Laboratory (SoftNet). He received the MSc and  PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and 1998, respectively,  and worked as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies (1998-2005), as a Senior  Researcher at Intel Research Berkeley (2005-2007), and as a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo!  Research in Santa Clara, CA (2007-2008). In parallel, he also held an Adjunct Associate Professor  position at the EECS Department of the University of California, Berkeley (2006-2008). Prof. Garofalakis’ research interests are in the broad areas of Big Data analytics and large-scale  machine learning, including database systems, centralized/distributed data streams, data synopses and approximate query processing, uncertain databases, and data mining and knowledge discovery.

He has published over 150 scientific papers in refereed international conferences and journals  in these areas, is the co-editor of a volume on Data Stream Management published by Springer in 2016, and has delivered several invited keynote talks and tutorials in major international events.  Prof. Garofalakis’ work has resulted in 36 US Patent filings (29 patents issued) for companies such  as Lucent, Yahoo!, and AT&T; in addition, he is/has been the PI in a number of important research projects funded by the European Union. Google Scholar gives over 11.500 citations to his work, and  an h-index value of 58 (circa February 2017). Prof. Garofalakis is an IEEE Fellow (Class of 2017,”for contributions to data streaming analytics”), an ACM Distinguished Scientist (2011), and a  recipient of the TUC “Excellence in Research” Award (2015), a Marie-Curie International Reintegration Fellowship (2010-2014), the 2009 IEEE ICDE Best Paper Award, the Bell Labs President’s Gold Award (2004), and the Bell Labs Teamwork Award (2003).

Georgia Koutrika is a Research Director at Athena Research Center in Greece. She has worked as a senior research scientist at HP Labs in Palo Alto, CA, USA (2012-2016), at IBM Research-Almaden in San Jose, CA, USA (2010-2012), and as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Computer Science Dept., Stanford University, USA (2006-2009). She has received the PhD, MSc, and BSc degrees in Computer Science from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens, Greece. Dr. Koutrika’s research is in the broader area of big data and in the intersection of databases, information retrieval, machine learning, and data mining, and includes: personalization and recommendation systems, user profiling and user analytics, large-scale information extraction, entity resolution and information integration, and data exploration. Her work has been incorporated in commercial products, has been described in 6 granted patents and 20 patent applications in the US and worldwide, and has been published in more than 80 research papers in top-tier conferences and journals. She has two ACM SIGMOD Best Demo Awards.

An ACM and IEEE member, and ACM SIGMOD Associate Information Director, Dr. Koutrika is actively serving the scientific community. She has served as a General Co-Chair for ACM SIGMOD 2016, Industrial Track PC Chair for EDBT 2016, and Workshop and Tutorial Co-Chair for IEEE ICDE 2016. She is currently Demo PC co-chair for ACM SIGMOD 2018. She serves in the program committees of conferences including ACM SIGMOD, PVLDB, ACM SIGKDD, WWW, IEEE ICDE, and EDBT, and she has organized several focused workshops in databases.

Raymond T Ng is a Professor of Computer Science (Canada Research Chair in Data Science and Analytics Chief Informatics Officer, PROOF) and his main research area for the past two decades is on data mining, with a specific focus on health informatics and text mining. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed publications on data clustering, outlier detection, OLAP processing, health informatics and text mining. He is the recipient of two best paper awards – from the 2001 ACM SIGKDD conference, the premier data mining conference in the world, and the 2005 ACM SIGMOD conference, one of the top database conferences worldwide. For the past decade, he has co-led several large-scale genomic projects funded by Genome Canada, Genome BC and industrial collaborators. Since the inception of the PROOF Centre of Excellence, which focuses on biomarker development for end-stage organ failures, he has held the position of the Chief Informatics Officer of the Centre. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Ng was the associate director of the NSERC-funded strategic network on business intelligence.

Dino Pedreschi is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pisa, and a pioneering scientist in mobility data mining, social network mining and privacy-preserving data mining. He co-leads with Fosca Giannotti the Pisa KDD Lab – Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory, a joint research initiative of the University of Pisa and the Information Science and Technology Institute of the Italian National Research Council, one of the earliest research lab centered on data mining. His research focus is on big data analytics and mining and their impact on society. He is a founder of the Data Science & Business Informatics MSc program at Univ. Pisa, a course targeted at the education of interdisciplinary data scientists, and the coordinator of the PhD program in Data Science. Dino has been a visiting scientist at Barabasi Lab (Center for Complex Network Research) of Northeastern University, Boston (2009-2010), and earlier at the University of Texas at Austin (1989-90), at CWI Amsterdam (1993) and at UCLA (1995). In 2009, Dino received a Google Research Award for his research on privacy-preserving data mining.