Sloan Lecture Series

Lecture #7 The Coming Age of the Internet of Things (November 4, 2015)

This event was sponsored by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It was co-sponsored by ACM, IEEE, and NYU Center for Cyber Security.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ACM IEEE

The Coming Age of the Internet of Things

Soon many billions of heretofore disconnected devices will be outfitted with Internet access and equipped with software. These appliances will be able to accept control from authorized parties and to emit information that can be used for management and analysis. The introduction of these devices poses a wide range of questions that must ultimately be answered—

  • How do I configure large numbers of new devices into my network?
  • How do I avoid configuring someone else's devices accidentally into my network and vice versa?
  • How does a device know it is talking to an authorized agent?
  • How can I grant temporary access to devices to guests, law enforcement, fire departments, third parties?
  • How do I revoke access to third parties?
  • How can I keep transactions involving these devices private?
  • How do I allow guest's devices to become part of my network temporarily?
  • How does the Internet of Things affect my daily life? My business? My social relationships?
    My health? My privacy? My security?
  • What new businesses might arise as a consequence of a proliferation of Internet-enabled devices?
  • What if there are bugs in these devices? How can updates be performed securely? By only authorized parties?

In his distinguished Cyber Security NYU Engineering/Sloan Foundation Lecture, Internet pioneer Vinton G. Cerf does not claim to answer all of these questions, but says it’s important to ask them and to seek answers.

Watch the video

Cyber Lecture Series 7 - The Coming Age of the Internet of Things from NYU Tandon Online on Vimeo.

Distinguished Lecturer

Vinton G. Cerf

Vinton G. Cerf
Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist

Vinton G. Cerf is Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet. Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Cerf was Founding President of the Internet Society (ISOC) and is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, International Engineering Consortium, Computer History Museum, British Computer Society, Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is Past President of the Association for Computing Machinery and currently serves as Chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), and recently completed his term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. President Obama appointed him to the National Science Board in 2012. Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Prince of Asturias Award, Tunisian National Medal of Science, Japan Prize, Charles Stark Draper Award, the ACM Turing Award and 21 honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate at Polytechnic University (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering). In December 1994, People magazine named Cerf as one of that year's "25 Most Intriguing People."

Distinguished Panelists

Deborah Estrin

Deborah Estrin
Professor, Computer Science, Cornell Tech and
Co-Founder, Open mHealth

Deborah Estrin is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech in NYC and Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is founder of the Health Tech Hub at the Jacobs Institute; co-founder of the nonprofit Open mHealth; and directs the Small Data Lab at Cornell Tech. Her current research leverages mhealth applications and small data for health management. Estrin is committed to fostering modular architectures, standardized data interfaces, and the health tech innovation community. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Previously, Estrin was on the UCLA faculty where she was the Founding Director of the NSF Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS), pioneering the development of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real-time data about the physical world and the people who occupy it. She received a Doctor Honoris Causa from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE. She is a recipient of the Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Award for Innovation and was the first ACM-W Athena Lecture award winner. Follow her on Twitter @deborahestrin.

Beth Simone Noveck

Beth Simone Noveck
Jerry Hultin Global Network Professor, NYU Tandon School of Engineering Director, The Governance Lab

Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. The Jerry Hultin Global Network Professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, she was formerly the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab. Noveck is also a Professor of Law at New York Law School and a Senior Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Director of the White House Open Government Initiative. UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her Senior Advisor for Open Government. She also served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent,, and the Gov Lab’s Living Labs and training platform, The Academy. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she serves on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and chaired the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multi-Stakeholder Innovation. A member of the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership, she was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology. Noveck is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful (Brookings Institution Press) and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds (NYU Press). Her next book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing will be published by Harvard University Press. She tweets @bethnoveck and writes on Medium @bethnoveck.

Opening & Closing Remarks

Robert Ubell

Robert Ubell
Vice Dean, Online Learning
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Robert Ubell is Vice Dean of Online Learning at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he heads its online graduate engineering unit, NYU Tandon Online (formerly NYU-ePoly), ranked as No. 8 by US News & World Report. The School’s online Cyber Security Master’s was awarded the best online program by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). Ubell also heads the Enterprise Learning unit, serving top Fortune 500 companies—Goldman Sachs, IBM, Northrop Grumman and AT&T, among others. A Fellow of OLC and a member of the Online Learning Task Force of the Board of Regents, New York State Department of Education, he has served on numerous boards, currently including OLC. He is recipient of the highest honor in online education, the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award.

Welcome Remarks

Nasir Memon

Nasir Memon
Lecture Series Chairman
Head, Computer Science Department
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Nasir Memon is Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Offensive Security, Incident Response and Internet Security Laboratory (OSIRIS) at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. A founding member of the NYU Center for Cyber Security, Prof. Memon’s research covers digital forensics, data compression, and multimedia computing and security. A Fellow of IEEE and SPIE and a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Signal Processing Society, he is the author of more than 250 scholarly papers and holds a dozen patents. Recipient of several awards, including the NYU School of Engineering Jacobs Excellence in Education Award, Memon was Editor-in-Chief of Transactions on Information Security and Forensics.


Paul M. Horn

Paul M. Horn
NYU Distinguished Scientist in Residence
Senior Vice Provost for Research
New York University

Paul M. Horn is NYU Distinguished Scientist in Residence and Senior Vice Provost for Research. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Research at IBM. Earlier Horn was professor of physics at the James Franck Institute and the Physics Department at the University of Chicago. Recipient of numerous awards, including the Bertram Eugene Warren Award from the American Crystallographic Association, Distinguished Leadership Award from the NY Hall of Science, Hutchison Medal from the University of Rochester and Pake Prize from the American Physical Society, in 2003, Scientific American named him one of the top computing business leaders in the US. A member of numerous boards, including General Accountability Office (GAO) Board of Advisors, Board of Trustees of the Committee for Economic Development, and Board of NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Horn graduated from Clarkson College of Technology and received his PhD in physics from the University of Rochester. A Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Sloan Fellow, Horn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a former Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters and author of more than 85 scholarly papers.

Event Sponsors

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

About The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic not-for-profit grantmaking institution based in New York City. Founded in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then President and CEO of General Motors, the Foundation’s mission is to promote the common welfare and improve American quality of life through accelerating the advance and application of scientific knowledge. To that end, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics. The NYU School of Engineering Cyber Security Lecture Series is funded through the Sloan Foundation’s Civic Initiatives program, which aims to benefit New York City in ways consonant with the Foundation’s larger mission to support science, technology, and economics. For more information, visit

About NYU Center for Cyber Security

NYU CCS is an interdisciplinary research center that will train the next generation of cyber security professionals to integrate technical, legal, and financial perspectives to develop secure, reliable, and practical solutions to complex security problems. In an integrated world, problems of technology and security are inherently interdisciplinary. Computer scientists and engineers must be able to put technical innovations in their commercial and strategic context, and to think about cyber security as part of a holistic approach to risk management. At the same time, lawyers and business strategists must understand the technological developments that drive both innovation and risk. The Center is the focal point at NYU for the development of the next generation of cyber security leaders.

Association for Computing Machinery

About the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. For more information, visit


About IEEE

IEEE is the world's largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE's highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. For more information, visit

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