Professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya UPC Barcelona Tech with 30 years of experience in teaching and research in high-performance computing, with relevant scientific publications and R&D projects in companies and institutions.
Throughout my career, my entrepreneurial spirit has led me to apply high-performance computing knowledge to many areas as Cloud Computing, Big Data, or Artificial Intelligence. Now my research focuses on supercomputing applied to Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning, areas in which I’m co-advising several doctoral theses. My research has been published in the main forums of these fields. Since its inception, I have led a research group at the Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Emerging Technologies for Artificial Intelligence group, from which we are doing research and technology transfer. During recent years I have also carried out different activities contributing to the definition of what strategy to follow at a technological level ahead of the new challenges that these technologies represent. I have written several technical books, I give lectures and I have collaborated with different mass media.
I have a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC Barcelona Tech, 1988) and I also hold a Ph. D. from the same institution (Best UPC Computer Science Thesis Award, 1993). Currently, I’m a full-time professor in the Computer Architecture Department at UPC Barcelona Tech. I did a stage at the Center for Supercomputing Research & Development at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois, USA, 1992) as a visiting researcher.
I have more than 200 research publications in journals, conferences, and book chapters. I was involved in several conferences organized by IEEE and ACM associations and member of management committees. I have been a Program Committee member of more than 50 conferences in that specific area, as well as taking up other positions such as Poster Chair, Program Chair, Publicity Chair, Steering Committee member. I also served as a reviewer for relevant journals as IEEE Transactions on Computers, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Concurrency, and Computation-Practice and Experience, Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, International Journal of Autonomic Computing, among others. I have acted as a supervisor of 9 Ph.D. Thesis and, currently, I’m supervising 3 Ph.D. students more.
In 2005 the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC) was founded, and I was nominated as a Manager for Autonomic Systems and eBusiness Platformsresearch line in BSC. The research group produced research publications (over 120 publications and 11 Ph.D. Thesis) as well as software components that can be applied at middleware level to improve their adaptability, efficiency, and productivity. The research group targets Supercomputing execution platforms composed of high-productivity heterogeneous multi-core systems with accelerators and advanced storage architectures deployed in large-scale distributed environments. The group grew up and it was divided into new groups created at the Computer Science department at BSC. Now I’m responsible for exploring new opportunities to apply the Supercomputing technology to the Artificial Intelligence arena. Thus, the new research Emerging Technologies for Artificial Intelligence has been created.
Manager of Research and Technology Transfer projects
My current activity in this area is mainly centered on one project which apply Cognitive Computing to the banking sector, and a European project working in Deep Learning and Supercomputing. Previously, with my research group, I have participated in more than twenty projects in competitive calls, and a lot of them involve University-Industry Technology Transference. The research group has also been involved in Networks of Excellence: European Network of Excellence on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation (HiPEAC), Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) and European Technology Platform for High-Performance Computing (ETP4HPC).
I have been lecturing on Computer Networks, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, and Systems Performance Evaluation in the UPC Barcelona Tech. At the moment, I lecture on Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics in the Master in Informatics Engineering, in the Master in Innovation and Research in Informatics, and the Erasmus Mundus Master in Distributed Computing. I’m also currently teaching Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence knowledge included in these courses. I have been a member of the Cátedra Telefónica-UPC where I have worked in teaching innovation. At the moment, I’m also collaborating in training centers as UPC School of Professional & Executive Development and ESADE.
Expert and Consultant
I have a consultative and strategy role with visionary tasks related to next-generation technology and its impact. I’m both a creative thinker and influential collaborator, I have worn many hats, so to speak, throughout my long career. I act as an expert on these topics for various organizations, companies, and mentoring entrepreneurs. I was a member of UPCnet management board during 2011-2013, a member of the advisory board at Barcelona Big Data Center of Excellence (2015-2016), and a member of the BSC Access Committee core team. I hold several appointments as an independent expert by the European Commission (Information Society and Media Directorate) in 2010, by Friends of Europe’s Greening Europe Forum in 2011, and was elected as Expert of Swiss Academy of Engineering Science during 2012- 2013. Moreover, I was elected many times as evaluator by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología of Spain, by the Dirección General de Investigación de la Comunidad de Madrid (Spain), by the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló (Spain), by the Departament d’Universitat i Recerca of the Generalitat de Catalunya, by La Caixa Foundation, and the Science Foundation (Ireland) among other institutions. In 2010, I was elected by the Fundació Centre Tècnològic de Catalunya as a member of the board of experts for elaborating the white paper ―The contribution of ICT to the transition to a more sustainable energy model. And in 2012 I was invited by the European Commission to contribute at the Second Digital Assembly Agenda. Right now, I have been a Board Member and Analytics Advisor at IThinkUPC.
Writer and Speaker
I’m also actively involved in science communication with general audiences. I’m collaborating with Spanish mass media to divulge technology trends. I also published books about science and technology for a general audience. I have given numerous talks to different audiences, from worldwide experts to common citizens and high school students. I have been publishing a Blog about computing technology trends from 2006-2020.
Before being a manager at BSC, I was a member of the European Center for Parallelism of Barcelona (CEPBA) (1994-2004) and a member of the board of managers of CEPBA-IBM Research Institute (CIRI) (2000-2004). I have been Vice-dean of Institutional Relations at the Computer Science School (1998- 2001) and a member of the University Senate (Claustre) and a member of the Board of Governors (Junta de Govern) (2011-2013). I have also participated in numerous academic management activities and institutional representation.
Awards and recognitions
I currently have the recognition of 5 “Research Tracts” (Tramos de investigación) conceded by the “National Commission for the evaluation of research activity” (CNEAI).
During my career I have received the Best Paper Award at DeepVision workshop CVPR 2019, an IBM Faculty Award(2008), “Menció FIBER” (2015), the best paper award at IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications conference (2007), a best UPC Computer Science Thesis Award 1993-94, OLIVETTI-UPC Internship Grant award (1992), UPC PhD Grant (1991), Accésit al 1er concurso de ideas medioambientales de la UPC (1998).
I’m a member of different associations in our area as IEEE, ACM, or ISOC. I’m also a member of the Societat Catalana de Tecnologia de l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans, the Facultat Informàtica de Barcelona Alumni (I was one of its founders), Societat Economica Barcelonesa d’Amics del País (SEBAP). I’m one of the organizers of the Barcelona Spark Meetup and Barcelona Data Science and Machine Learning Meetup.
I have created and designed many artworks since I started to paint many years ago. I would like to share with you one of the works related with my position as scientist (look below). Mountain biking and running are some of the outdoor activity that I love. I feel at home in the woods!