NTT Research Hosts UPGRADE 2020, Virtual Global Research Summit

Four-day event highlights basic research in cryptography, quantum information systems and healthcare technology

Palo Alto, Calif. – August 24, 2020 – NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced              plans to hold UPGRADE 2020 NTT Global Research Summit as a virtual event on September 28 – October 1. The online event, to be held 1:30-4:30 pm PST on each of these four days, will feature talks involving cryptography and blockchain, quantum information systems, and healthcare AI and biosensors. NTT Group President and CEO, Jun Sawada, and NTT Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development Planning, Katsuhiko Kawazoe, will deliver opening remarks on Day 1, which will center on the theme of “Fundamental Research: A Foundation of a Better Future.” The subsequent three days will consist of breakout sessions featuring scientists from the three NTT Research Labs and various research partners.

Keynoting the event on September 28 will be two prominent academics in the fields of computer science and medical research, respectively: Professor Shafi Goldwasser and Dr. Peter J. Fitzgerald. Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, Dr. Goldwasser is also a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a professor of computer science and applied mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She was the recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Alan Mathison (A.M.) Turing Award in 2012, along with Silvio Micali, for transformative work that laid the complexity-theoretic foundations for the science of cryptography and has received numerous other academic honors. Dr. Fitzgerald, M.D., Ph.D., is an interventional cardiologist with a doctorate in biomedical engineering, who also directs the Center for Cardiovascular Technology at Stanford University and the Cardiovascular Core Analysis Laboratory at Stanford University Medical School. Dr. Fitzgerald is a professor in the departments of medicine and engineering at Stanford, has led or participated in more than 100 clinical trials, published over 350 articles and chapters in medical journals and textbooks and been the principal or founder in more than a dozen medical device companies.

The Day 1 agenda also includes an open panel with NTT Research scientists from the organization’s Cryptography & Information Security (CIS) Lab, Physics & Informatics (PHI) Lab, and Medical & Health Informatics (MEI) Lab:

  • Brent Waters, Distinguished Scientist, Cryptography & Information Security (CIS) Lab. Dr. Waters is also a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. Among his many honors, he has received the Grace Murray Hopper Award and has been named a Sloan Research Fellow, a Packard Fellow and a Microsoft Faculty Fellow. He is noted as a founder of Functional Encryption and Attribute-Based Encryption, was selected as a 2019 Simons Investigator in Theoretical Computer Science by the Simons Foundation and this year received an International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) Test-of-Time Award for a paper he co-authored with Dr. Amit Sahai in 2005.
  • Robert Byer, Distinguished Scientist, Physics & Informatics (PHI) Lab. Dr. Byer is also the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University. He has made numerous contributions to laser science and technology, including the demonstration of the first tunable visible parametric oscillator, the development of the Q-switched unstable resonator Nd:YAG laser, remote sensing using tunable infrared sources and precision spectroscopy using Coherent Anti Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS). His current research includes the development of nonlinear optical materials and laser diode pumped solid state laser sources for applications to gravitational wave detection and to laser particle acceleration. Dr. Byer has served as presidents of The American Physical Society, of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE LEOS. He has also served as Vice Provost and Dean of Research at Stanford.
  • Joe Alexander, Distinguished Scientist, Medical & Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. Dr. Alexander joined NTT Research from Pfizer, Inc., where he most recently served as senior medical director, global medical affairs. He completed his residency in internal medicine and served as a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Alexander obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. (biomedical engineering) degrees at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. His post-graduate training included fellowships at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. A specialist in pharmaceutical modeling and cardiovascular dynamics, he leads the MEI Lab’s bio digital twin initiative.

Day 1 of Upgrade 2020 will close with a roundtable discussion on the IOWN (Innovative Optical Wireless Network) initiative. Panelists representing IOWN Global Forum member companies NTT R&D, Intel, Chunghwa Telecom and Ciena will discuss this collaborative and far-reaching initiative established to define the next-generation communications infrastructure and help create a smarter world for billions of people. The IOWN Global Forum was set up to spur development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications and reference designs in areas such as photonics R&D, distributed connected computing and best practices.

Over the next three days of this virtual summit, attendees will hear from other members of the NTT Research team and university research scientists currently working in collaboration with NTT Research. On September 28, academics from eight universities conducting joint research in areas such as photonic accelerator hardware, quantum simulations and quantum neural networks will deliver presentations. On September 29, attendees will hear from nine researchers on topics in the field of cryptography, including secure software obfuscation, quasi-adaptive non-interactive zero knowledge (NIZK) proofs, and incompressible encodings. On October 1, another ten scholars will cover topics in medical and health informatics, such as bio digital twins, a miniaturized system for cell handling and analysis, precision medicine, and new operating models in the post COVID-19 era. For more details on Upgrade 2020, including updates and information on (free) registration, please visit the event’s agenda.

About NTT Research

NTT Research opened its Palo Alto offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. The organization aims to upgrade reality in three areas: 1) quantum information, neuro-science and photonics; 2) cryptographic and information security; and 3) medical and health informatics. NTT Research is part of NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider with an annual R&D budget of $3.6 billion.


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