IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference
8–11 January 2022 // Virtual Conference



15:15-16:30 (EST)
Panel 1: Leveraging Intelligent Digital Realities to Reconnect the World


11:45 - 13:15 (EST)
Panel 2: Distributed and Federated Learning for Consumer and Industrial IoT

Panel 1: Leveraging Intelligent Digital Realities to Reconnect the World

Date: Sunday, 9 January 2022
Time: 15:15-16:30 (EST)

As a result of the pandemic since early 2020, the entire world has undergone a major physical and virtual transformation. Technology is a key enabler in driving this transformation.

In particular, the IEEE Digital Reality Initiative serves to explore and enable the coming Intelligent Digital Realities through collaboration among technologists, engineers, regulators, practitioners, and ethicists around the world. The Intelligent Digital Transformation is fueled by advances in technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and applications using the copious amounts of continuously generated data. By leveraging these technologies and others developed such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Digital Twins, the line between the physical world and the digital world is becoming increasingly less distinct.

Applications are already quickly emerging across the broad fields of gaming, entertainment, medicine, automotive, education, manufacturing, enabling the sharing of services, and more. These consumer-based applications rely heavily upon reliable and secure communications and networking for success.

Emphasis will be upon presenting practical applications and their implementations of interest to attendees. Subject matter expert speakers will share their observations and a look ahead to the future.

Format: Participate in a live discussion with a panel of industry experts from several distinct fields who will provide their perspectives, observations, and predictions of the future.

Session Outline (Total Time is 1.5 hours)


  • Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates
  • Nicholas Napp, Xmark Labs
  • Jeewika Ranaweera, Oracle
  • Moderated by Kathy Grise, IEEE
  • Organized by Doug Zuckerman and Kathy Grise

Panelist Biographies:

Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin

President of Coughlin Associates

He is a digital storage analyst and business and technology consultant. He has over 37 years in the data storage industry with engineering and management positions at several companies. Coughlin Associates consults, publishes books and market and technology reports (including The Media and Entertainment Storage Report), and puts on digital storage-oriented events. He is a regular storage and memory contributor for and M&E organization websites. He is an IEEE Fellow, President of IEEE-USA and is active with SNIA and SMPTE.

Nicholas NappNicholas Napp

FounderCEO Xmark Labs

As a co-founder of Xmark Labs, Nicholas is focused on the role of Virtual & Augmented Reality and Blockchain technologies in enterprise digital transformation. He enjoys working at the intersection of strategy, technology and corporate narrative to accelerate business growth.Nicholas has been working with VR and AR systems since the 1990s when his team at Rainbow Studios pioneered the use of VR in 3D animation production. He has launched over 40 products across a wide range of consumer and enterprise markets.Nicholas is also Chairman of the Board at FabNewport, a non-profit provider of maker-centered learning programs and services for middle school and older students.

Jeewika RanaweeraJeewika Ranaweera

Principal hardware engineer, Oracle

She is a principal hardware engineer working on high-speed microprocessors at Oracle. She received her Bachelor’s in CSE from ISPJAE in Havana, Cuba and her Master’s and PhD degrees in ECE from the University Of Toronto, Canada. She is an IEEE Senior Member and a steering committee member for IEEE Future Directions and Digital Reality Initiatives. Jeewika authored an eBook about her engineering journey for IEEE Women in Engineering to inspire others to follow STEM careers and illustrated the 1stchildren’s book published by IEEE. Recently she delivered a Keynote on “Successful Leadership Development in STEAM Careers,” at the IEEE LAEDC 2020, WIE/YP Networking session in Costa Rica. She is passionate about delivering talks on Quantum Computing, and the need to have a diverse environment to eliminate “Bias in AI” that discriminates minority. She also shared her unique insight via a podcast on areas where immersive technologies benefit humanity. She has been a speaker at the IEEE LAEDC, Drive World Conference, ChipChat, IEEE VTS, IEEE CCNC, AWE, IEEE TTM, Grace Hopper Conference, IEEE WIC Summit, and FB Developer Circle. She has also been a Track chair for the IEEE WIE ILC.She volunteers as a female technologist through the Oracle Education Foundation. As a Program Evaluator for ABET, she helps guide the content, quality and delivery of ECE degree programs around the world. She has authored and co-authored many papers published in technical journals, or presented at international conferences. Jeewika holds five US Patents.

KathKathy Grisey Grise

Senior Program Director - IEEE Future Directions

She supports new technology initiatives, is the IEEE staff program director for the Digital Reality Initiative, the IEEE Technology Navigator AI, Future Directions and Industry Advisory Board Committees, and manages the digital presence team for Future Directions. Previous initiatives included big data and cloud computing. Ms. Grise serves as the Technical Program Chair of the IEEE COMPSAC 2022 Symposium - Data Sciences, Analytics, & Technologies (DSAT). Prior to joining the IEEE staff, Ms. Grise held numerous positions at IBM, and most recently was a Senior Engineering Manager for Process Design Kit Enablement in the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center. Ms. Grise led the overall IT infrastructure implementation, and software development in support of semiconductor device modeling verification, packaging, and delivery; device measurement and characterization data collection and management, and automation for device modeling engineers. Ms. Grise is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, and an IEEE Senior member.

Doug ZuckermanDoug Zuckerman

IEEE Future Directions

Doug Zuckerman received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from Columbia University (USA) and is an IEEE Life Fellow. His professional experiences at Bell Labs and Telcordia Technologies span the operations, management and engineering of emerging communications technologies, networks and applications. His work heavily influenced standards for management of telecommunications networks. Earlier in his career, with a background in electromagnetics, he contributed to AT&T’s millimeter waveguide transmission system, design of satellite antennas and systems, maintenance requirements and standards for digital transmission systems, operations planning and systems engineering for digital networks, systems and services and optical network interoperability and standardization.  His interest in recent years has focused on public safety technology, cloud/fog/edge computing and networking, big data, digital reality and other emerging technologies. Previous leadership roles have included IEEE Communications Society President and Division III (Communications Technology) Director, Optical Internetworking Forum OAM&P Working Group Chair and Board member, IEEE representative to the OpenFog Consortium, and various other leadership positions. Currently, he is a consultant for Peraton Labs (Applied Communications Sciences, previously the Applied Research unit of Telcordia Technologies and before that Bellcore/Bell Labs).

Panel 2: Distributed and Federated Learning for Consumer and Industrial IoT

Date: Monday, 10 January 2022
Time: 11:45 - 13:15 (EST)

Consumer and Manufacturing businesses are undergoing a transformation with the ability of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to collect massive amount of data, perform computations such as machine learning locally as well as interacting among themselves to aid with productivity, automation and improve user experiences. This includes, but not limited to, smart home systems, smart agriculture, drones in the consumer segment as well as factory automation and defect detection systems in industries.
Privacy is a huge area of concern when dealing with consumer and businesses’ data in addition to the challenges of network bandwidth and delays for shipping data for analysis at the server. From a machine learning perspective, federated learning and other distributed learning paradigms have evolved that can not only perform inference at end devices but also conduct training in a cross-device or even cross-silo setting without the need for sharing data between devices/silos. This powerful approach has the potential to drive numerous consumer and industrial applications.
While these technologies could potentially bring several advantages, successful adoption of federated and distributed learning requires improvement along several fronts including increased trust between participating devices/silos, dealing with adversarial attacks, cost-efficient training as well as the reliability of the models for the participating devices, all while dealing with no visibility of end devices’ data.
The panel seeks to bring industry experts to discuss the impediments and breakthroughs that are emerging in order to successfully adopt this cutting edge technology to the consumer and industrial segments.

Format: Participate in a live discussion with a panel of industry experts from several distinct fields who will provide their perspectives, observations, and predictions of the future.

Session Outline (Total Time is 1.5 hours).


  • Shiqiang Wang, Research Staff Member, IBM Research
  • Jeffrey Byrne, Founder and CEO, Visym Labs
  • Mani Malek, Applied Research Scientist, Meta AI
  • Pamela Norton, Founder and CEO, Borsetta
  • Bruno Vavala, Software Research Scientist, Intel Labs

Panelist Biographies:

Shiqiang WangShiqiang Wang

Research Staff Member, IBM Research

Shiqiang Wang is a Research Staff Member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, NY, USA. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London, United Kingdom, in 2015. His current research focuses on the intersection of distributed computing, machine learning, networking, and optimization. He has made foundational contributions to edge computing and federated learning that generated both academic and industrial impact. Dr. Wang serves as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. He has also been actively organizing workshops at the intersection of edge computing and machine learning, and regularly participates in technical program committees (TPCs) of prominent conferences and review panels of research grants. He received the IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Prize in 2021, IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (OTAA) in 2019 and 2021, multiple Invention Achievement Awards from IBM since 2016, Best Paper Finalist of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) 2019, and Best Student Paper Award of the Network and Information Sciences International Technology Alliance (NIS-ITA) in 2015. For more details, please visit his webpage at:

Jeffrey ByrneJeffrey Byrne

Founder and CEO, Visym Labs

Jeffrey Byrne is founder and CEO of Visym Labs in Cambridge MA working on privacy preserving computer vision.  Previously, he was Vice President of Computer Vision with Systems and Technology Research in Woburn MA.  He led the vision group which focused on fundamental research problems at the intersection of visual recognition and machine learning.  Dr. Byrne has been principal investigator on programs with IARPA, DARPA, AFRL and SOCOM in research areas of face recognition, activity recognition and scene understanding.  He holds a BS (1996) and MS (1997) in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from Carnegie Mellon University, and a PhD (2013) in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of the 2007 NDSEG fellowship, 2010 UPenn Graduate student teaching practicum award and best paper runner up awards at BMVC’20 and IEEE FG’17.  He is a US Citizen and holds a TS/SCI level clearance.

Mani MalekMani Malek

Applied Research Scientist, Meta AI

Mani Malek currently leads the federated learning (FL) research, product team engagement, and development of simulation software for FL in responsible AI org, at Meta AI (Formerly known as Facebook AI). He has worked on a variety of privacy-preserving technologies including differential privacy and federated learning. Before joining responsible AI at Meta, he has been leading the algorithm development in the media comprehension team creating AI-based solutions to improve digital rights and media integrity. Mani holds his PhD from University of British Columbia on multimedia copy detection and retrieval. He has published papers in a variety of journals.

Pamela Norton Pamela Norton

Founder and CEO, Borsetta

Pamela Norton is an American entrepreneur and visionary who believes business and social impact are interdependent. She is the Founder & CEO of Borsetta, a global pioneer in the optimization of complex AI edge systems with built in designs for privacy preserving AI, security and trust. Borsetta's simulation technology and unique cyber-physical modeling is grounded in decades of real-world deployment by the world’s leading research scientist and founding father of system based modeling. Since 2018, Borsetta has been leading the market in adoption of block-chain based applications to secure IP, authenticate and create trust, traceability and symbiotic relationship between secure hardware and AI, and fueling advances for the edge economy.
Pamela is a disruptive innovator, cheerful futurist, and optimistic dot connector. She is the inventor of the patent-pending process to create intelligent assets enabling trust, security, a new digital economy and real-time intelligence embedded into a physical asset/object. She is an entrepreneurial and driven Chief Executive, with 28 years of leading industry expertise in founding and launching numerous technology companies in the US and international marketplaces.

She is a proven builder of world-class disruptive technology solutions and high performing product development teams, with a specialty in both start-up and scaled growth stages for Fortune 1000 companies. Proven fundraising and networking skills, building fruitful partnerships with hundreds of clients, building brands and delivering multi million-dollar bottom-line growth.

She has compiled her learnings in an upcoming book called “Our Lives, Business, and Future on The Edge” where Pamela presents fundamental technology and cultural changes such as the People Sharing Economy, Sustainable Fractional Assets, Digital Money, Trusted Custodians, Digital taxation, Sovereign Micro-Chipset & Sensor Privacy Control, and a principle she is formulating with thought leaders known as the Edge Economy.

Pamela is a Board member of the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Leadership Council Advisory Board and the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), to help foster an economic environment to promote high technology businesses. Pamela holds a BS degree in International Business from Regis University and International Relations from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

Bruno VavalaBruno Vavala

Software Research Scientist, Intel Labs

Bruno Vavala is a Research Scientist in the Security and Privacy Research group at Intel Labs. His research interests span Trusted Computing, Distributed Systems and Fault-Tolerance. He regularly contributes to Hyperledger projects, hosted by the Linux Foundation, with the objective of enhancing confidentiality for decentralized applications. He published several works in IEEE venues. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and from University of Lisbon.