EcoCloud Annual Event

EcoCloud Annual Event

Registrations Open:

Date of the event:
24th May, 2022

Lausanne Palace Hotel 
Rue du Grand Chêne, 7-9
CH-1002 Lausanne
+41 21 331 31 31


8:00 – 8:30Pick-up badges/registration + welcome coffee
8:30 Introduction
David Atienza and Ed Bugnion (EPFL)
Session 1Sustainable smart cities, transport systems and agriculture
9:00Digital Twins at the services of Sustainable Cities & Transport systems : challenges?
Frédéric Dreyer (EPFL)
9:15Towards a Data-driven Operational Digital Twin for Railway Wheels
Olga Fink (EPFL)
9:35Competitional aspects of climate/smart agriculture and forestry
Marilyn Wolf (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
10:00Data production in renewable energy hubs
François Maréchal (EPFL)
10:30Coffee break
Session 2Energy-constrained and sustainable deep learning
11:00Advanced computational imaging: the rise and fall of deep neural nets
Michael Unser (EPFL)
11:35Carbon-Aware Deep Learning to Promote Model Optimization: An Application in Global Health
Annie Hartley (EPFL)
12:00 – 13:00Standing lunch
Session 3Energy-constrained trustworthy and computing systems
13:00A cryptocurrency to Save the Planet
Rachid Guerraoui (EPFL)
13:30Solving Hard Optimization Problems with Light
Francesca Parmigiani (Microsoft)
14:00Optical Computing With Optical Fibers
Christophe Moser (EPFL)
14:30 – 15:00Break
Session 4Sustainable Scientific Computing
15:00Some aspects of scientific computing and data management in climate and environmental applications
Michael Lehning (EPFL) 
15:30Heating up while cooling down: How Decentralized Multi-Functional Computing Infrastructures can contribute to reach Switzerland’s climate goals?
Berat Denizdurduran (DeepSquare)
16:00Challenges in solving high profile, high impact scientific problems with HPC: the tokamak fusion reactors and the Square Kilometer Array cases
Gilles Fourestey (EPFL)
16:30 – 18:30Poster session + networking aperitif
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Sustainability Days 2021 Program

DAY 1/2: September 16th, 2021

8:30 – 9:30 Welcome Session
8:30 – 9:20 Registration and Covid verification
9:20 – 9:30 Welcome message from EcoCloud

VIDEO LINK: Sessions 1 and 2

Session 1 – Next-Generation Datacenter Technologies
Moderator: David Atienza

9:30 – 9:55 Speaker 1 – Bruno Michel, Manager of Smart System Integration, IBM Zurich

How to become Physically Net Zero by 2030

9:55 – 10:20 Speaker 2 – Utz-Uwe Haus Head of EMEA Research Lab, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Facets of Green HPC: between carbon-neutral site operations and data-aware middlewares

10:20 – 10:45 Speaker 3 – François Marechal, Head of IPESE, EPFL

Integrating data centers in the energy system

10:45 – 11:10 Speaker 4 – Jussi Vihersalo (Eaton) and Mark Monroe (Microsoft)

Grid-interactive data centers: enabling decarbonization and system stability

11:10 – 11:25 Coffee break
Session 2 – Panel on Future Technologies

Moderator: David Atienza

11:25 – 11:35 Panel introduction and position statements

Bruno Michel, Manager of Smart System Integration, IBM Zurich
Utz-Uwe Haus, Head of EMEA Research Lab, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
François Marechal, Head of IPESE, EPFL
Jussi Vihersalo, Eaton
Mark Monroe, Microsoft
Hsien-Hsin Sean Lee, Area Research Lead, Facebook (presentation )

11:35 – 12:30 Panel Q&A session
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break – Standing lunch

VIDEO LINK: Sessions 3 and 4

Session 3 – Efficiency & Emissions in Datacenters: Metrics, Standards and the Economics

Moderator: Babak Falsafi

13:30 – 13:55 Panel introduction – 5 min spotlight per speaker (total 25-30 min)
Roger Sueess, CEO, (presentation )
Martin Casaulta, Chief Technologist, HPE (presentation )
Vincent Barro, VP Secure Power & DC Business, Schneider Electric (presentation )
Mihaela Grigorie, Electrical Efficiency Specialist, Swiss Federal Office of Energy (presentation )
13:55 – 14:25 Panel discussion
14:25 – 14:45 Panel Q&A session
14:45 – 15:00 Coffee break
Session 4 – Best Practices Workshop

Moderator: Babak Falsafi

Martin Casaulta, Chief Technologist, HPE

15:00 – 16:00 Workshop
16:00 – 17:30 Cocktails organised by SDEA (presentation )

DAY 2/2: September 17th, 2021

8:30 – 9:00 Registration and Covid verification

VIDEO LINK: Sessions 5 and 6

Session 5 – IT Infrastructure & Circular Economy

Moderator: Frederic Dreyer, Founder of FUSTIC, EPFL

9:00 – 9:25 Speaker 1 – Holger Frauenrath Associate Dean for Industry and Innovation, EPFL

The future of material sustainability

9:25 – 9:50 Speaker 2 – Nicola Farronato, Head of Innovation Team, Torino City Lab

Sustainable IT for Cities

9:50 – 10:15 Speaker 3 – Marc-Elian Bégin, CEO, SixSq

Sustainable edge-to-cloud solutions

10:15 – 10:30 Coffee break
Session 6 – Use cases requirements workshop

Moderator: Frederic Dreyer

10:30 – 10:40 Speaker 4 – Patrick Montier Smart City, Geneva (presentation )
10:40 – 10:50 Speaker 5 – Maxim Interbrick, COO, Sparrow Analytics (presentation )
10:50 – 11:00 Speaker 6 – Ale Rojas, Tech4Impact, EPFL (presentation )
11:00 – 12:00 Panel introduction and Q&A session
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break – Standing lunch
13:00 End of the EcoCloud Sustainability Days
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Fighting Digital Disinformation: Is it a Case of “Too Little Too Late”?

Fake news on social media has been around for a long time, but it came to the fore in the wake of the 2016 US presidential elections. The alleged interference by Russia in driving social media toward the candidature of Donald Trump showed how so-called ‘news’ on Facebook and other social media platforms can be dangerously twisted to malign candidates and influence voters. With the 2020 elections just weeks away, the ugly specter of digital fake news figured prominently in a recent conference held by EPFL’s Center for Digital Trust (C4DT).

Experts on cyber security, fake news, and democracy called for an awakening among citizens and governments so that urgent heed is paid to this growing menace, which threatens the very essence of democracy. Dr. ​Rebekah Overdorf, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at EPFL’s Distributed Information Systems Laboratory, raised concerns about the manipulation of social media by vested interests. However, she emphasized that the problem is not US- or West-centric; rather, it is a global phenomenon. This is proven by her ongoing research on cyber disinformation and election interference in Kyrgyzstan, sometimes referred to as ‘the island of democracy.’ Following elections on October 4, there was a public outcry against widespread manipulation and voter suppression, which ultimately forced the prime minister to step down. Collaborating with local journalists, students and activists, Overdorf identified three methods of information manipulation: creating noise through fake social media accounts to drown out opposition, spreading disinformation through fake news to destroy trust, and performing malicious personal attacks.

Karl Aberer, faculty member of EcoCloud and Full Professor at the Distributed Information Systems Laboratory, went a step further by addressing the root of the problem: insufficient quality information and a surfeit of free, but often manipulated, news on social media. Digital literacy is the need of the hour, but time may be running out. Drawing a parallel with climate change, Professor Aberer said that we might soon be reaching a “point of no return” when democracies might be beyond redemption.

These alarming thoughts were echoed by Steve El-Sharawy, head of Insights at EzyInsights. He said that global manipulation is already beyond control. Although Facebook has deleted billions of fake accounts, it could only be the proverbial tip of the iceberg with many fake accounts still propagating misinformation on social media.

The conference, “Manipulating elections in cyberspace: Are democracies in danger?” was a joint C4DT – CyberPeace Institute – CTEI event that can be viewed at

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Paolo Faraboschi @ 2017 EcoCloud Annual Event. Photo Courtesy Alain Herzog

Coming up: 2018 EcoCloud Annual Event

The annual mega event at EcoCloud is just around the corner. In little over a fortnight, the Lausanne Palace Hotel will be a buzz of activity as it hosts the two-day EcoCloud annual event, slated for June 18–19. The venue’s prime location, which offers panoramic views of the city, Lake Geneva, and the magnificent Alps, will be an apt setting for industry experts to share insights on budding data and cloud computing platforms.

This year’s event will feature industrial speakers and presentations by EcoCloud researchers. Session I (June 18) will focus on Security, Privacy & Trust (Chair: Bryan Ford), Session II (June 19, morning) will include deliberations on Systems (Chair: Babak Falsafi), and Session III (June 19, afternoon) will be themed around Analytics (Chair: Martin Jaggi).

In his keynote address, Úlfar Erlingsson (Senior Staff Research Scientist in the Google Brain team) will introduce Google’s work on addressing privacy problems in systems and deep neural networks as well as the RAPPOR and Prochlo mechanisms for learning statistics in the Chromium and Fuschia open-source projects. He will also present techniques for training deep neural networks with strong privacy guarantees.

In the industrial session that will follow, leading speakers from the IT industry will share their expertise. Simon Knowles of Graphcore will speak on designing processors for intelligence; cryptography expert Nick Sullivan of Cloudflare will share his findings about evolving web architecture and its impact on security, privacy, and latency; and Hong Wang of Intel Labs will address the question of reinvigorating foundational uArch research to boost IPC.

Interspersed with the astute observations of the industrial experts will be presentations by EcoCloud researchers on a range of topics such as distributed clinical and genomic data, distributed ledger technologies, using a central server to protect keys, durability for non-volatile memory, verified NAT, taming skew in large-scale analytics, the revelations of a “click,” machine learning, and taxonomy induction.

This is the seventh edition of the EcoCloud Annual Event. Like past years, the outcome of the interactions among researchers and industry stalwarts is bound to have a major bearing on future innovations in the cloud computing industry.

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