We sharpen our tools, love our computers, read our books, and try things to our heart's content.
In the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, we are a small research team interested in exploring our limits as we investigate interesting problems in the area of large-scale networks and distributed systems, including cloud computing, inter-datacenter networks, crowdsourcing, systems support for data analytics, and mobile applications. Our group logo represents (guess what?) a Möbius Strip, and blue is our colour (as in “aqua”).
We maintain a small library of interesting books in the group, so that every team member may benefit from reading them (and not having to wait for returns or return for reserves in the libraries around campus).
Since we live and breathe paper deadlines, we are proud of our lab space. Our little corner in the Bahen Centre of Information Technology (Bahen 4176) hosts ten cubicle spaces for the team, complete with a fridge, a bookshelf, a projector screen, and perhaps more importantly, two leather sofas.
We love our computers, too. In our lab, we have one eight-core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, two iMac Intel Core Duo computers, three Macbook Pros, six Macbook Airs, and six 27″ Apple Cinema Displays. Since we have big plans for experiments, we run them on servers. Our servers (in dedicated server rooms, of course) include a high-performance computing cluster, with two racks, three switches, a KVM console, 54 dual-CPU servers, and 20 quad-CPU servers. Our eight-core Mac Pro is used as our web server, open directory server, mail server, VPN server, as well as file server. It currently runs Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. In our internal web site, we take full advantage of the latest Wiki and blog technologies, with extensive tagging and search abilities.
Combined, our computing facilities allow us to try things to our heart’s content, without worrying about the lack of resources. As you can see, we are a Mac-centric group when it comes to day-to-day computing, but we strive to develop cross-platform code that runs equally well on Linux, Windows, and of course, the Mac.