K. Mani Chandy
Simon Ramo Professor and Professor of Computer Science
MS 256-80, California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125
B.Tech., Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, 1965; M.S., Electrical Engineering, Polytechnic University of New York, 1966; Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969.
Dr. Chandy received the A. A. Michelson Award of CMG (the Computer Measurement Group), a Sherman Fairchild Fellowship, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award for Computers and Communications, is a fellow of the IEEE, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Chandy does research on distributed command and control systems. He is studying applications of such systems to crisis management and homeland security. He has published three books and over a hundred papers on distributed computing, verification of concurrent programs, and performance models of computing systems.
The core problem that Dr. Chandy studies deals with systems that respond to events. Sense- and-respond systems react to significant changes in the state of the environment. Key issues are the definition of a “significant change,” the detection of the change, and the execution of an appropriate response to the change.
Animals get continuous streams of information from their different senses. They would suffer from sensory overload if they reacted to every bit of incoming information. Animals learn to “fuse” information from their different senses, and to react only to significant changes. The computer science challenge is to design systems that get streams of data from different facets of the environment, aggregate or fuse the information, and then react appropriately to significant changes.
Military command and control systems also react appropriately to significant changes in the environment. Military systems are distributed, with many processes detecting and responding to changes. The computer science challenge is to build a theory and a general-purpose platform to tailor command and control systems to civilian applications.