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Jeannie R. Albrecht Research Statement

Summary: Jeannie R. Albrecht
Research Statement
No one can deny the success of today's Internet. What started in the late 1960's as a small government-
sponsored research project designed to link 4 computers together now connects over 1 billion people around
the world. Although successful, decisions made nearly 30 years ago are beginning to limit the Internet's
potential. For example, the current Internet collapses in the face of flash crowds, and does not efficiently
handle streaming media such as television broadcasts or movies. Suppose we could redesign the Internet
given what we now know about computers and networks, providing built-in functionality for simultaneously
distributing media files to thousands of computers worldwide. This "Future Internet" will change the way we
view computer networks and distributed systems, making them a more integral part of our lives. As we move
toward this innovative vision, we must learn from the limitations of current designs. In particular, distributed
systems should scale to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of connected resources and users while still
maintaining high levels of performance. We must also make them reliable so that they function correctly
when confronted with flash crowds, failures, or attacks. Lastly, distributed systems must be extensible,
so that new components (users, resources, services) can be added without disrupting existing operations.
Building distributed systems that achieve these goals is not easy, and, as computer networks become more
ubiquitous, the magnitude of these challenges will continue to grow.
My research interests focus on addressing these challenges--scalability, reliability, and extensibility--in
the experimental design, implementation, and analysis of computer networks and distributed systems. The
majority of my work involves distributed application development, deployment, and management. Wide-


Source: Albrecht, Jeannie - Computer Science Department, Williams College


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences