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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

October 7, 2009

Speaker:  Dr. Mark Coates, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University

Title: Gossip and Consensus: Reaching Agreement in Networks 

Abstract: In many emerging network applications, it has become important for distributed agents to have a mechanism to agree upon some quantity. One example is the task of coordination of mobile agents, where agreement must be reached about current positions and future goals. In many networks, including sensor and vehicular ad-hoc networks, the communication range is limited and energy expenditure is a consideration. It becomes important to achieve the desired agreement using only local communication, i.e. exchanging data only with devices in a relatively small geographical neighbourhood. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the research that has focused on the development of distributed algorithms that strive to address this task. A key issue is how fast these algorithms converge to the solution, since this determines the amount of communication required. I will highlight the connections with spectral analysis of graphs and mixing times of Markov chains, and describe some of our recent research efforts to accelerate the convergence rate.

Biography: Mark Coates received the BE degree (first class honours) in computer systems engineering from the University of Adelaide, Australia, in 1995, and a PhD degree in information engineering from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1999. He was awarded the Texas Instruments Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1999 and was a research associate and lecturer at Rice University, Texas, from 1999-2001. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) in 2002, where he is currently an Associate Professor. His research interests include communication and sensor/actuator networks, statistical signal processing, and Bayesian and Monte Carlo inference. 

Disciplines: Computing