Keynote Speakers

Dr. Muhammad Imran
Dr. Muhammad Imran

University of Glasgow

Topic: How future networks will become proactive? - Machine learning to solve a pertinent engineering challenge.

The cellular network have long been configured and optimised reactively by identifying events and triggers and readjusting the operation of the cellular system. Our research is paving the way to make a step change by introducing proactive techniques to pre-emptively trigger actions that will make the networks more agile in adapting to changing demands of service and quality of experience. With the advent of ultra-dense deployment of networks, we need to use such mechanisms to schedule multi-level sleep modes of cells, mobility management as well as joint RAN-backhaul optimisation from efficiency perspective. As a use case, we will focus on the energy efficiency aspect covering the fundamental framework for the evaluation of energy efficiency and the state of the art as well as futuristic approaches to achieve energy efficiency.

Prof. Muhammad Ali Imran received his M.Sc. (Distinction) and Ph.D. degrees from Imperial College London, UK, in 2002 and 2007, respectively. He is a Professor of Communication Systems in University of Glasgow, Vice Dean of Glasgow College UESTC. He is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, USA and a visiting Professor at the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, UK. He has been associate editor of IEEE Comms Letters, IET Communications and is currently serving as the associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Access and Sensors Journal.

He has led a number of multimillion-funded international research projects encompassing the areas of energy efficiency, fundamental performance limits, sensor networks and self-organising cellular networks. He also led the physical layer work area for 5G innovation centre and was the faculty lead for "Engineering for Health" programme at Surrey. He has a global collaborative research network spanning both academia and key industrial players in the field of wireless communications. He has supervised 40+ successful PhD graduates and published over 400 peer-reviewed research papers including more than 100 IEEE Journal papers. He has delivered a TEDx talk and has been interviewed by Scottish Television (STV) as well as the Herald newspaper in addition to many other media appearances.

He secured first rank in his B.Sc. and a distinction in his M.Sc. degree along with an award of excellence in recognition of his academic achievements conferred by the President of Pakistan. In addition to 8 Best Conference Paper Awards in international conferences, he has been awarded IEEE Comsoc's Fred Ellersick award 2014 and FEPS Learning and Teaching award 2014 and twice nominated for Tony Jean's Inspirational Teaching award. He is a shortlisted finalist for The Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014, Reimagine Education Awards for innovative teaching and VC's learning and teaching award in the University of Surrey. He is a fellow of IET, a senior member of IEEE and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), UK.

Website: https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/staff/muhammadimran/

Dr. Murtaza
Dr. Murtaza Haider

Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University Toronto

Topic: TBA

Murtaza Haider is a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, in Toronto. Murtaza is also the Director of a consulting firm Regionomics Inc. During 2014-15, Professor Haider was a visiting research fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Professor Haider specializes in applying analytics and statistical models to find solutions for socio-economic challenges. His research interests include applied analytics, data science, forecasting housing market dynamics, transport/infrastructure/urban planning, and human development in Canada and South Asia.

Murtaza Haider is the author of Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics (ISBN 9780133991024), which will be published by Pearson/IBM Press in 2015.

He is an avid blogger and writes weekly for Dawn newspaper and Huffington Post.

Murtaza Haider holds a Masters in transport engineering and planning and a Ph.D. in Urban Systems Analysis from the University of Toronto. He is also an adjunct professor of engineering at McGill University.

Website: https://www.ryerson.ca/tedrogersschool/bm/programs/real-estate-management/murtaza-haider/

Dr. Agha Ali Raza
Dr. Agha Ali Raza

Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan

Topic: Speech over Simple Phones: The Internet of the Orals

The Internet is a gateway to information and connectivity for literate, affluent, and tech-enabled people. Unfortunately, with 4.4 billion offline individuals, more than half of the world remains deprived of this facility. Dubbed oral, such populations include people who are low-literate, low-income, tech naïve, visually impaired, linguistically and socially marginalized, geographically remote, and native speakers of unwritten languages. An attribute common to 73% of these people is that they have access to some kind of a mobile phone. Recent years have seen a growth in speech interfaces available over simple mobile phones as spoken dialog systems and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems to provide information and connectivity to such populations. However, speech over phones comes with challenges of its own including hurdles of user training, motivation, spread, large-scale content moderation and being inclusive towards marginalized populations. Another major challenge is that modern Speech and Natural Language Processing techniques mostly exclude languages of developing regions. My talk will focus on recent advances that employ entertainment to overcome these obstacles. These techniques employ entertainment as a viral conduit to spread development-related information to under-served populations. This enables speech-based telephone services to be used as vehicles for large-scale dissemination of development-related information, pulling information in the form of real-time surveys, performing randomized controlled trials and demographic studies, and measuring the knowledge impact of information campaigns at scale and in real-time. Such services are also being used to provide voice-based social connectivity to the target populations providing them with a voice and social identity, and to rapidly gather large spontaneous speech corpora for the local languages of developing regions. Such data enables the development of speech recognition, spoken-term detection, speaker ID, and noise classification systems (among others) for such languages.

Agha Ali Raza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Information Technology University (ITU), Punjab and also the founding director of the Center for Speech and Language Technologies (CSaLT) at ITU. He is a Fulbright Scholar and received his Ph.D. from the Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. His cumulative teaching experience as part of the Computer Science faculties at FAST-National University and ITU spans nine years. He teaches Computer Science courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels including Natural Language Processing, Speech Processing, Data Structures & Algorithms, Assembly Language Programming, and Computer Architecture. His research interests include Speech and Natural Language Processing, Speech-based Human-Computer Interfaces, and Information & Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). The aim of his research is to enable information access and social connectivity for under-connected and under-served populations (low-literate, low-income, tech naïve, visually impaired, oral cultures, linguistically and socially marginalized, and geographically remote communities) throughout the developing world. His work shows that speech-based entertainment services and social networks accessible over simple and feature mobile phones can be used as powerful motivators to induce self-training and viral spread among under-served populations. Such services can be used as vehicles for large-scale dissemination of development-related information, pulling information in the form of real-time surveys and for performing randomized controlled trials and demographic studies. These services provide target users with a voice and a digital social identity. Raza has authored 22 research papers published in peer-reviewed conferences. Over the last three years, the benefits of his research have directly impacted the lives of more than 300,000 people via various projects in Pakistan, India, and West Africa. His novel approach to mass-disseminate information about job-opportunities to low-literate telephone users in Pakistan received the 2013 best paper award at ACM CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. His research has been funded by Google Inc., UNICEF Innovations Fund, GIZ, NIH, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI), and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. He has been an Associate Chair for CHI 2019, was the short papers PC chair for ICTD 2017 and has been a PC member for ICTD, and ACM COMPASS (formerly ACM DEV) and a reviewer for CHI since 2015.

Website: http://aghaaliraza.com

Dr. Haider Abbas
Dr. Haider Abbas, IET Fellow

Director, National Cyber Security Auditing and Evaluation Lab (NCSAEL), MCS-NUST

Topic: Cyber Security Auditing and Evaluation: A Challenge for Every Organization

Haider Abbas is currently heading the National Cyber Security Auditing and Evaluation Lab (NCSAEL) at NUST. He is the Regional Editor for all submission from Iran and Pakistan for Neural Computing and Applications (ISI-Indexed, IF 4.6). His professional services include - but are not limited to - Journal Editorships, Industry Consultations, Workshops Chair, Technical Program Committee Member, Invited/Keynote Speaker and reviewer for several international journals and conferences. Dr. Abbas has received several research grants totaling 180+ Million for ICT related projects from various research funding authorities and has been working on scientific projects in US, EU, KSA and Pakistan. He has authored over 120 scientific research articles (with cumulative IF 200+, Citations: 2700+, H-Index: 26) in prestigious international journals and conferences. He is the principal advisor for several graduate and doctoral students at Florida Institute of Technology, United States, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan, King Saud University, KSA, and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan. In recognition of Dr. Abbas services to the international research community and excellence in professional standing, he has been awarded one of the youngest Fellows of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) UK; a Fellow of The British Computer Society (BCS), UK and a Fellow of The Institute of Science and Technology, UK. He has also been elected to the grade of Senior Member of IEEE, USA.

Dr. Adnan Noor Mian
Dr. Adnan Noor Mian

Associate Professor at Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore, Pakistan

Topic: Improving IoT Cellular Networks using Machine Learning.

Dr. Adnan Noor Mian is an associate professor at Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore, Pakistan where he leads the Internet of Things (IoT) research lab. Presently he is a visiting researcher at the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of the Cambridge, UK. He received his PhD in Computer Engineering from the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy in the field of distributed systems. His research interests include wireless sensor and ad hoc networks, Internet of Things (IoT), mesh networks, V2X communication, distributed algorithms, mobile and distributed systems, cloud and fog computing. He has published more than 35 papers in the leading venues of the field. He has also been serving in a number of technical program committees of international conferences and reviewer of many international journals. Recently he is selected as Senior Associate of International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy in the field of IoT. He is the first one, not only from Pakistan but also from other counties, to get this position in the field of IoT.

Dr. Adnan holds more than 20 years of teaching experience. He has taught a variety of courses at the graduate and undergraduate level at places like National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) Lahore, Sapienza University of Rome and Aitchison College, Lahore before joining ITU. In 2016 he was awarded the Frogh-e-Taleem Award (Promotion of Education Award) from Idara Frogh-e-Taleem (Institute for the Promotion of Education) by the government of Punjab, Pakistan as an acknowledgement to the services in education. He is also the founding chairperson of Department of Computer Science and Dean of Sciences in the Information Technology University, Lahore and has taken a number of initiatives to promote and establish research culture in the University, making it one of the leading CS research university of Pakistan. In 2017 as an acknowledgement to these services he was awarded by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan.

Website: http://itu.edu.pk/faculty-itu/dr-adnan-noor-mian/

Dr. Sarmad Hussain
Dr. Sarmad Hussain

Consultant

Topic: TBA

PhD in Speech Science, Department of Communication Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL., USA. 1993-1997. Thesis in Experimental Phonology and Phonetics: “Phonetic Correlates of Lexical Stress in Urdu.� Advisor: Janet Pierrehumbert.

Visiting Scholar, Phonetics Laboratory, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.Advisor: John Coleman.

MPhil in Computer Speech and Language Processing, Department of Engineering, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. 1992-1993. Thesis: “Synthesis of Urdu Consonants Using Infovox Text-to-Speech System.� Advisor: Sarah Hawkins.

BSEE (with Honors) in Electrical Engineering (Computer Eng.), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, TX., USA. 1988-1992.

Website: https://www.kics.edu.pk/staff/Dr.SarmadHussain