UMass Amherst Computer Scientist James Kurose Explores Network Future in Season’s Final Distinguished Faculty Lecture

James Kurose

AMHERST, Mass. – Computer scientist James Kurose will discuss a “clean-slate” in the next generation of computer network architecture in the final lecture of the 2013-14 Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Kurose’s talk begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9 in the Massachusetts Room at UMass Amherst’s Mullins Center.

Kurose, a Distinguished Professor at UMass Amherst, will discuss “content networking,” exploring a model in which a network-user’s device (computer, phone, or TV) connects directly to content (such as video and audio, web content and software) rather than to another specific device in the network.

“Given that Internet video traffic alone was nearly 70 percent of all global consumer Internet traffic in 2012, it’s clear that people today are mostly concerned with connecting themselves to content rather than to a specific network device or user,” Kurose notes. “Today’s Internet architecture, nearly 40 years old now, is grounded in a 100-year-old communication model of connecting a specific device to another specific device through the network.” he said. “Building architects say that forms follows function, and that’s true in computer networking as well – the profound changes in how people use the Internet have caused researchers to consider next-generation Internet designs more well-matched to this new use.”

Kurose, a researcher in computer networks as well as an award-winning teacher, will begin with a “Networks 101” introduction to the evolution of telephone networks to the Internet to emerging content-centric networks. He will discuss how today’s Internet, although designed for device-to-device communication, can nonetheless be used for device-to-content communication and identify challenges and approaches in making today’s Internet more content-centric; and then focus on the design and analysis of a “clean slate” next-generation network architecture designed specifically around a model of device-to-content communication.

“We will also discuss research challenges and early research results, including those at UMass Amherst, in designing and analyzing a new network architecture in which content may be opportunistically cached and possibly massively replicated within the network,” said Kurose.

Kurose completed his undergraduate degree in physics at Wesleyan University, and received his Ph.D. in computer science at Columbia, joining the UMass Amherst computer science department in 1984. He has served as department chair and interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and has served on numerous national and international science advisory boards and panels. His research interests include network protocols and architecture, network measurement, sensor networks, multimedia communication, and modeling and performance evaluation.

A co-author of the book “Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach,” a sixth edition of which was published by Pearson/Addison-Wesley in 2012, he is also the author or co-author of more than 200 refereed technical publications.

Following his talk, Kurose will receive the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition given for service to the campus. All lectures in the series are free and open to the public.