Sobre o falecimento do Prof. Artur Ziviani

(An English version is available here)

Com muita tristeza, venho escrever minha primeira postagem em português nesta página, um gesto muito caro a mim.

Conheci o Artur Ziviani em fevereiro de 2020, quando participei do Programa de Verão do LNCC, na Jornada em Ciência de Dados, organizada pelo Artur, e os Professores Fábio Porto (LNCC), e Eduardo Ogasawara (CEFET-RJ). Fui atraído ao evento pela fama da qualidade do conteúdo, mas não imaginava que ganharia ali um amigo e um grande aliado na estruturação de um grande projeto de pesquisa.

Nos reuníamos nos últimos nove meses duas vezes por semana como parte da estruturação deste projeto, envolvendo vários pesquisadores do LNCC e de diversas universidades brasileiras, na estruturação de uma iniciativa para a mitigação de incertezas de cadeias produtivas do agronegócio brasileiro. Infelizmente a mesma pandemia, que na data de hoje chega à absurda marca de 300 mil falecimentos, gera uma conjuntura de difícil avanço, e hoje, levou embora este brilhante pesquisador, e querido amigo.

Deixo os meus mais profundos sentimentos de pesar e condolências à família, e aos seus amigos e colegas de pesquisa. Como é possível ver na sua biografia, o brilhantismo e arrojo do Artur vão fazer falta:

“Artur Ziviani é Tecnologista Sênior do Laboratório Nacional de Computação Científica (LNCC) do MCTI. É membro do grupo de pesquisa DEXL (Data Extreme Lab) e atual Coordenador da Pós-Graduação Multidisciplinar em Modelagem Computacional do LNCC. É Engenheiro Eletrônico pela Escola Politécnica da UFRJ, Mestre em Engenharia Elétrica (com ênfase em Teleinformática) pela COPPE/UFRJ e Doutor em Ciência da Computação pela Université Paris VI, Sorbonne Universités, França. Foi pesquisador visitante do INRIA, França, por 5 meses entre 2008 e 2009. É bolsista de produtividade em pesquisa do CNPq (nível PQ-1D), Cientista do Nosso Estado da FAPERJ e atua como membro do Corpo Editorial dos periódicos internacionais IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials e Computer Networks (Elsevier). Atualmente é também membro do Steering Committee da iniciativa IEEE Smart Cities. Seus interesses atuais de pesquisa incluem caracterização, modelagem e análise de redes computacionais, bem como ciência de redes, ciência de dados, aprendizado de máquina, e suas aplicações em contextos interdisciplinares. É sócio da SBC, membro afiliado da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (ABC) (2013-2017) e membro Sênior da ACM e IEEE.”

On the passing of Prof. Artur Ziviani

(Uma versão em Português está disponível aqui)

With deep sadness, I come to write my first post in Portuguese, an expensive gesture to me.

I have met Artur Ziviani in February/2020 while participating in LNCC Summer Program at their Data Science workshop, organized by him and Professors Fábio Porto (LNCC) and Eduardo Ogasawara (CEFET-RJ). I was attracted by the event’s fame on the quality of presentations, but I wasn’t envisioning that I would earn a friend and an ally on the structuring of a large research project.

We have met twice a week during the last nine months as part of the effort to structure this project, involving several researchers of LNCC and several Brazilian universities on the design of an initiative for uncertainty mitigation of the Brazilian agribusiness supply chains. Unfortunately, the same pandemic which today reaches 300k casualties created a conjuncture that limits project progress, and also today, has taken away this brilliant researcher and dear friend.

I extend my deepest condolences to his family, as well as to friends and fellow researchers. As noted on his bio, Artur’s brilliance and boldness will be missed:

“Artur Ziviani is a Senior Researcher at the Data Extreme Lab (DEXL) of the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), a research unit of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI) located in Petrópolis, Brazil. Since 2019, he is the Coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Graduate Program on Computational Modeling at LNCC (M.Sc. and Ph.D.). In 2003, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the LIP6 laboratory of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6) – Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France, where he has also been a lecturer during the 2003-2004 academic year. He received a B.Sc. degree in Electronics Engineering in 1998 and an M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering (emphasis in Computer Networking) in 1999, both from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. From September 2008 to January 2009, he was a visiting researcher at INRIA in France. He is on the Editorial Board of Computer Networks (Elsevier) and IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials. His current research interests include network characterization, modeling, and analysis, data science, network science, and interdisciplinary data science research with a networking approach. He is a Member of SBC (the Brazilian Computer Society), an Affiliated Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2013-2017), and a Senior Member of both IEEE and ACM.”

A happy birthday!

After much careful consideration, I gave myself a happy birthday.

After returning to Brazil, I have not thought that I would be involved in academic affairs so early again. But life has its own time and ways, and at this recent year and a half, I have been involved in the ideation and structuring of a private-public partnership in AI in Brazil, and I am really happy about it.

Out of that, I have been selected to attend CIFAR/MILA Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School, which turned out to be a great experience. It was the first time I have been exposed to Reinforcement Learning in a more structured format, and it seems quite useful to my work in Ag modeling.

This week, as a consequence of being at DLRLSS, I was invited to mentor a group of students, in a DL hackathon. The UofT AI is a research group led by quite motivated students at the University of Toronto, who foster their community to learn and get involved in the R&D of artificial intelligence. They have been organizing events for some years, and at this one, even with the challenges that COVID19 has posed, they launched their hackathon.

ProjectX is a three-month research competition, that will be awarding CAD 70,000 to some of the best universities in the world to develop solutions using AI to Climate Change. That sounded great for me, with my background in researching the area, with a foot set in CS, and the other in Geosci.

Personally, I was cautious about joining this effort because it is quite challenging to bring measurable results in such a short timeframe. But it is great to be working with very intelligent people, for a relevant cause (again).

I intend to bring some thoughts and “reports from the field” while mentoring the group, and interacting with other people. There will be some good fun reading papers, and analyzing results, so it may be useful to share it here too. If any reader wants to discuss in further detail, ping me on twitter as this may interest a broader audience.

As the title mentions, I gave myself a nice birthday present, by being back to research, and useful to a nice cause 🙂