Azer Bestavros

Department of Computer Science
College of Arts and Sciences

PhD, Harvard University
(617) 353-9726

Research Interests:

  • Cloud computing
  • Scalable internet protocols and services
  • Network security
  • Real-time, embedded and cyber-physical systems

    Courses Taught:

    CAS MA/CS109 The Art and Science of Quantitative Reasoning
    CAS CS350 Fundamentals of Computing Systems
    GRS CS657 Computer Science Graduate Initiation

    Brief Biography:

    Azer Bestavros is Professor of Computer Science at Boston University, which he joined in 1991, and which he chaired from 2000 to 2007, culminating in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ranking of the department as 7th in the US in terms of scholarly productivity.

    Azer’s research interests are in the broad areas of networking and real-time systems. Funded by grants totaling over $15M from various government agencies and industrial labs, his research work yielded 10 PhD theses, over 80 masters and undergraduate student projects, and 2 startup companies. It has resulted in four issued patents, a number of books and book chapters, and over 100 refereed papers. As of 2008, CiteSeer lists over 3,700 citations to this body of work.

    Azer’s research contributions (with students and collaborators) include his pioneering of the push content distribution model adopted years later by CDNs; his seminal work on traffic characterization and reference locality modeling, his work on various network transport, caching, and streaming media delivery protocols; his work on e2e inference of network caricatures; his work on adversarial exploits of system dynamics; his work on game-theoretic approaches to overlay and P2P networking applications; his generalization of classical rate-monotonic analysis to accommodate uncertainties in resource availability/usage; his use of redundancy-injecting codes for timely access to periodic broadcasts; his work on verification of network protocol compositions, including the identification of deadlock-prone arrangements of HTTP agents; and his work on virtualization services and programming environments for embedded sensor networks.

    Azer’s curricular offerings include his signature CS-109 and CS-350 courses: CS-109 introduces non-majors to the elements of abstraction, quantitative and methodical thinking that are so fundamental to mathematics and computer science, whereas CS-350 familiarizes upper-level CS majors with canonical problems that reoccur in operating systems, networks, databases, and distributed systems, and provides them with a set of classical algorithms and basic performance evaluation techniques for tackling such problems.

    Azer is chair of the IEEE Computer Society TC on the Internet and executive member of the TC on Real-Time Systems. He received distinguished ACM and IEEE service awards, and was selected as distinguished speaker of the IEEE Computer Society. He served as general chair, PC chair or PC member of most flagship conferences in networking, real-time systems, and databases, including Sigmetrics, Infocom, ICNP, RTSS, RTAS, ICDCS, LCTES, ICDE, Sigmod, and VLDB. He organized various PI meetings and CRA leadership workshops, and led CS community meetings to develop national research agendas and recommendations to government agencies. He received the┬áBest Paper Awards at ACM WISE’08 and IEEE/ACM DCOSS’08. Azer received over $16M in government and industry research funding.

    Azer has extensive industrial and consulting experience, including engagements with Microsoft, Sycamore Networks, Network Appliance, Macromedia, Allaire, Bowne, SUTI Technologies, and AT&T. He served on the technical advisory board of many companies, and is retained by a number of law firms as an expert on intellectual property issues related to networking and Internet technologies. His opinions are often featured in local and national media outlets.

    Azer obtained his PhD in Computer Science in 1992 from Harvard University, under Thomas E Cheatham, one of the “roots” of the academic genealogy of applied computer scientists.