Week 46: Don’t Be Late

Mark your calendars for an early start on Monday at DAC.

popularity

Last year we moved DAC’s official opening session from Tuesday to Monday. The move makes perfect sense as there is much on the Monday schedule, including tutorials as well as the designer and IP track sessions. The opening session has always been special at DAC. It is the most popular general session as various awards are given out that day too.

This is how it works: Throughout the year ACM and IEEE give out numerous awards at their sponsored conferences. The awardees can choose the event where they want to be recognized. DAC is always an attractive choice, and this year the number of presented awards might set yet another DAC record. There will be 10 ACM awards and 9 IEEE awards (including 1 joint ACM/IEEE award). EDAC will be honoring Kaufman Award Winner Dr. Lucio Lanza from last November; and then we have the two specific DAC awards: the P.O. Pistilli Undergraduate Scholarship award and the Marie R. Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement award. We are super excited to honor so many individuals at DAC and to make sure that we have ample time we are starting the general session on Monday at 8:45 a.m.

But then again, you will all get an award of sorts—the first ever Google keynote at DAC by Brian Otis, who directs the company’s smart contact lens project. Whenever I mention that Brian is speaking at DAC, people either gush about presentations he has given before or exclaim how excited they are to get an opportunity to finally listen to him. No pressure, Brian!

When I was doing my research about who we might invite to give keynotes, my DAC executive committee colleague and friend Patrick Groeneveld suggested Brian. Patrick had heard Brian speak at a seminar at Stanford and thought he would be fabulous at DAC. So I went to my favorite two sources: Wikipedia and YouTube.

Let’s start with quoting Wikipedia: “Google Contact Lens is a smart contact lens project announced by Google on 16 January 2014. The project aims to assist people with diabetes by constantly measuring the glucose levels in their tears. The project is being carried out by the life sciences division of Google X and it is currently being tested using prototypes.” How could one not be intrigued?

From there I made my way to YouTube and watched a few clips and yes, I was hooked. This is IoT at its best, a concrete example that stands to benefit a lot of people. Diabetes runs in my family and two very close friends are diabetics. More than 300 million people around the world suffer from the disease, which requires constant glucose monitoring to be properly managed. Consider the description of the electronics that will do this monitoring from the announcement on Google’s Official Blog: “Chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair.”

Smart technologists audaciously tackling big global problems—these are the best kinds of stories in the tech industry and I am thrilled that one will be told on DAC’s main stage on Monday. See you there and don’t be late!