Neeran M. Karnik

Eminent Speaker

Short CV: Neeran Karnik has professional experience as a researcher, software architect, people manager and educator. He obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota, with a thesis in the area of mobile agent security. He is an independent consultant and researcher with a focus on cloud computing, datacenter management, etc. He has previously worked at companies like IBM, BMC Software, Veritas and Vuclip in both research and product architect roles, specializing in technology areas like distributed systems, cloud computing, service-oriented architecture and security. Neeran has published 20+ papers in peer-reviewed conferences and journals, and holds 20+ US patents. He has also taught courses at the University of Minnesota and IIT-Delhi. He was one of the pioneers in online cricket coverage, as a co-founder of CricInfo.

Title of Talk 1: Hints for Computer System Design
Synopsis: Butler Lampson, the ACM Turing award winner for 1992, wrote a famous paper with this title, summarizing his learnings from many years of systems development at Xerox PARC. His experience included work on the first person workstation (the Xerox Alto), the first WYSIWYG editor (Bravo), the first laser printer, etc. The Hints paper, first published in 1983, has stood the test of time and is relevant even for today's web-scale systems. The paper provides several generalized hints for systems design—a mix of fundamentals and best practices—accompanied by several examples from real systems designs. There are hints for ensuring correct functionality, speed, and fault tolerance. This talk will give a quick overview of the breadth of Lampson's research and implementation work, and then dive into the Hints paper itself.

Title of Talk 2: CricInfo—A Tech History
Synopsis: CricInfo, now owned by ESPN, started way back in 1993 as a service for providing online cricket-related information (live commentary, scorecards, news updates, statistics and records) on the Internet. We faced several technical challenges in the early days of CricInfo, and either built our own tools or repurposed existing ones to address our requirements. In this talk, I will give an overview of several of these tools and how they helped connect cricket-starved fans (especially in countries without live television coverage of cricket) to the information they sought. This includes tools like IRC bots for sharing live commentary, dougie for cricket scoring, gopher as an information system, vat for transmitting audio over the 'net, etc. We will also briefly look at the infrastructure used for hosting CricInfo back then, and the constraints it posed.

Neeran M. Karnik

Qualifications: Ph.D. (Computer Science)

Title: Independent Consultant

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