Azer Bestavros

Associate Provost for The Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences, Professor of Computer Science, Founding Director of Hariri Institute for Computing, College of Arts & Sciences

Azer Bestavros is Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and the Founding Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing at Boston University, which was set up in 2011 as an incubator for high-risk, high-reward cross-disciplinary collaborations. Notable incubated efforts that he launched at the Institute, which matured into multi-million-dollar projects, include the $25M+ Mass Open Cloud Exchange, $10M NSF Cloud Security Frontier project, $5M Red Hat open-source innovation collaboratory, and the $1M+ SCOPE cloud platform for enabling smart-city applications. In addition to research, the Institute has served as the anchor of number of university initiatives, including the Data Science Initiative, the Digital Health Initiative, the Digital Learning Initiative, and the BU Spark! program for student-driven innovation.

Professor Bestavros pursues research in networking, distributed computing, cybersecurity, and high-assurance systems. His seminal contributions include pioneering studies of web push caching through content distribution networks, self-similar Internet traffic characterization, game-theoretic cloud resource management, and safety certification of networked systems and software. His current research projects include the development of toolkits for secure multi-party computation, the design and implementation of scalable software platforms for privacy-preserving big-data analytics, and the use of edge clouds for control of cyber-physical systems. As of 2018, funded by over $30M from government and industry sponsors, his research has yielded 18 PhD theses, 8 issued patents, 2 startups, and hundreds of refereed papers with over 18,500 citations according to Google Scholar.

Professor Bestavros received a number of awards for distinguished teaching, research, and service, including the ACM Sigmetrics Inaugural Test of Time Award for 1996 research work “whose impact is still felt 15 years after its initial publication” and the 2010 United Methodist Scholar Teacher Award in recognition of “outstanding dedication and contributions to the learning arts and to the institution.”  In 2017, he was named a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, the highest distinction bestowed upon senior faculty members at Boston University for “representing our community with distinction, enriching the academic experience for our students, and raising our stature as a major research university.”

Prior to his inaugural role at the Hariri Institute for Computing, Professor Bestavros chaired the Computer Science Department at Boston University from 2000 to 2007, having joined it in 1991 after completing his PhD in Computer Science at Harvard University.

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