{DSN08 logo}   DSN 2008
The 38th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks

June 24-27, 2008
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

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Alex Hills
Carnegie Mellon University

Dependability on the Last Frontier

Although Alaska is well-known for its frontier image, it is actually highly dependent on technological systems and networks. Sometimes these are reliable, and sometimes they are not. A 38-year veteran of the Great Land, Alex. Hills will tell you about some Alaskan systems that have been dependable and some others that have fallen short -- all true and interesting stories.

Dr. Alex Hills is Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and also President of Alex Hills Associates, based in Palmer, Alaska. After his arrival in Alaska 38 years ago, he spent seven years living and working in the Alaska bush, where he was deeply involved in developing rural Alaska's broadcast and telecommunications network.

For example, Dr. Hills served as the first full time General Manager of Kotzebue's KOTZ, the only radio station in northwest Alaska, and the residents of the region also elected him the first President of OTZ Telephone Cooperative, which provides telephone service in the area's villages. He subsequently assisted four other bush communities in starting their own public radio stations. Years later, at Carnegie Mellon, he created the university's "Wireless Andrew" network, which established the vision for the technology we now call "Wi-Fi."

Dr. Hills is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and was recently elected Alaska Engineer of the Year by the Alaska Engineering Societies.

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Thomas Seder
General Motors, Research & Development

Automotive Enhanced Vision Systems - Issues Arising from Placing Users in the Loop

It is well known that Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) improve pilot situational awareness and assist flight task performance, making them a firmly established flight deck technology in the Avionics domain. While similar technologies hold the promise of bringing parallel benefits to the everyday driver, Automotive EVS is current a nascent technology for numerous reasons. In this presentation, a unique Automotive EVS system will be described and several concept applications will be reviewed. Subsequently, a set of issues that emerge from the nature of user-system interaction, the unique features of the automotive domain and associated system -ilities. Included in this discussion are aspects of system reliability, system availability, user acceptability, user adaptability and the important task of building user trust through reliable and hierarchical importance ranking and management of information presented on Automotive EVS.

Tom is the Lab Group Manager of the Human Machine Interface group within the Vehicle Development Research Lab at GM in Warren Michigan. He is responsible for developing next generation interfaces that enable safer, more efficient and pleasurable human interactions with GM vehicle interiors. This technical domain is comprised of User Centered Design process development, use of Design Language for brand differentiation and harmonious experience, in addition to the traditional focus of information management, display and control, and user human factors/ usability testing.

In addition to holding a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Northwestern University, Tom has an MBA from the University of Iowa. He began his career at the Rockwell Science Center where he developed high energy density materials for use as propellants and chemical laser fuels. From there he transferred to Rockwell Collins to lead organizations in the development of avionics HMI and display technologies. There, he ascended to the position of Air Transport Director of Technology and Product Planning. Tom then joined Guardian Industries Science Center as the Director of Sputtered Films Technology, leading an organization charged with developing thin film optics technologies and products. Finally, he was the Director of Advanced Technology at Guardian prior to joining GM in 2006.

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