Jordi Torres

Jordi Torres es catedrático de universidad en la UPC y manager de investigación en el BSC, con más de 25 años de experiencia en I+D en supercomputación basada en sistemas distribuidos y paralelos de gran escala. Su espíritu emprendedor le llevaron a aplicar estos sistemas a la analítica avanzada sobre el Big Data, y en estos momentos su investigación se centra en la Supercomputación aplicada a la Inteligencia Artificial, en concreto ahora mismo en Deep Learning y Probabilistic Models. Con talante visionario y dinamizador de las nuevas tecnologías, durante estos últimos años ha realizado diferentes actividades dentro y fuera del BSC para contribuir a la definición de qué estrategia seguir a nivel tecnológico  ante los nuevos retos que estas tecnologías representan. Actualmente actúa como experto para diversas organizaciones y mentorizar emprendedores. Es también escritor de varios libros, imparte conferencias y colabora con diferentes medios de comunicación. Destacar que es un apasionado del arte y el diseño visual.

Jordi Torres is a professor at UPC Barcelona Tech and research manager at Barcelona Supercomputing Center  with a wide range of activities for over 25 years in research and development of advanced distributed and parallel systems. His explorer and entrepreneurial spirit lead him to become a Big-Data Analytics researcher too. Actually, his research focus on Supercomputing for Artificial Intelligence, in particular right now with special focus on Deep Learning and Probabilistic Models. He also has a consultative and strategy role with a visionary task related to next generation technology and its impact. He is both a creative thinker and influential collaborator base on that he has worn many hats throughout his long career. He acts as an expert for various organizations and companies and mentors entrepreneurs. He is also a writer, gives conferences and collaborates with Spanish mass media. He is passionate about art and visual design.

Biography: He has a Masters degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC Barcelona Tech, 1988) and also holds a Ph. D. from the same institution (Best UPC Computer Science Thesis Award, 1993). Currently he is a full professor in the Computer Architecture Department at UPC Barcelona Tech. He has been a visiting researcher at the ―Center for Supercomputing Research & Development‖ at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois, USA, 1992).

Research Publications: He has more than 150 research publications in journals, conferences and book chapters (complete list). He is member of IEEE, ACM and ISOC and was involved in several conferences organized by these associations and member of management committees. He has been a Program Committee member of more than 50 conferences in the area, as well as taking up other positions such as Poster Chair, Program Chair, Publicity Chair, Steering Committee member (complete list). He also served as a reviewer for relevant journals in the area as IEEE Transactions on Computers, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Concurrency and Computation-Practice and Experience, Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, International Journal of Autonomic Computing, among other. Jordi Torres has acted as a supervisor of 7 PhD Thesis, and currently, he is supervising another 3 PhD students.

Research Group: In 2005 the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC) was founded and he was nominated as a Manager for Autonomic Systems and eBusiness Platforms research line in BSC. The research group produced research publications (over 100 publications and 11 PhD Thesis) as well as software components that can have been applied at middleware level in order to improve their adaptability, efficiency and productivity. The research group targets Supercomputing execution platforms composed of high-productivity heterogeneous multi-core systems with accelerators and advanced storage architectures deployed in large-scale distributed environments. Currently, the group is doing research in using this platforms for Artificial Intelligence, in particular right now with special focus on Deep Learning and Probabilistic Models.

Manager of Research and Technology Transfer projects:  His current activity in this area is mainly is centered in the project CaixaBank-BSC that apply Cognitive Computing to the banking sector.  Previously, with his research group he has participated in a number of competitive calls and a lot of them involve University-Industry Technology Transference (visit this research project page for more detailed list of projects). The research group also has been involved in Networks of Excellence: European Network of Excellence on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation (HiPEAC), Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) and European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing (ETP4HPC).

Teaching: He have been lecturing on Computer Networks, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture and Systems Performance Evaluation in the UPC Barcelona Tech.  At present he lectures on Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics in the  Master in Informatics Engineering, in the Master in Innovation and Research in Informatics, and the Erasmus Mundus Master in Distributed Computing (visit this page for more details). He has been a member of the Cátedra Telefonica-UPC where he worked in teaching innovation.

Expert and Consultant:  He has a consultative and strategy role with a visionary task related to next generation technology and its impact. He is both a creative thinker and influential collaborator base on that he has worn many hats throughout his long career. He acts as an expert on these topics for various organizations, companies and mentoring entrepreneurs. He has been member of UPCnet management board during 2011-2013. He is member of the advisory board at Barcelona Big Data Center of Excellence, and member of the  BSC-CNS Access Committee core team. He has held several appointments as an independent expert, by the European Comission (Information Society and Media Directorate) in 2010, by Friends of Europe’s Greening Europe Forum in 2011, and has been elected as Expert of Swiss Academy of Engineering Science for period 2012- 2013. He has been elected as evaluator by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología of Spain, the Dirección General de Investigación of Community of Madrid (Spain), the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló (Spain), the Departament d’Universitat I Recerca of the Genaralitat de Catalunya (Spain), La Caixa Foundation, and the Science Foundation (Ireland) among others institutions. In 2010, he was elected by the Fundació Centre Tècnològic de Catalunya as a member of board of expert for elaborating the white paper ―The contribution of ICT to the transition to a more sustainable energy model. And in 2012 he was invited by the European Comission to contribute at the Second Digital Assembly Agenda.

Writer and SpeakerHe is also actively involved in science communication with general audiences. He is collaborating with spanish mass media to disseminate technology trends (visit this page for an updated list). He also published books about science and technology for a general audience (visit this page for an updated list). He has given numerous talks to different audiences, from worldwide experts to common citizens and highschool students (visit this page for an updated list). He publishes a Blog about computing technology trends since 2006.

Academic Management: Before being manager at BSC, he was a member of the European Center for Parallelism of Barcelona (CEPBA) (1994-2004) and a member of the board of managers of CEPBA-IBM Research Institute (CIRI) (2000-2004).  He has been Vice-dean of Institutional Relations at the Computer Science School (1998- 2001) and a member of the University Senate (Claustre) and member of the Board of Governors (Junta de Govern) (2011-2013). He has also participated in numerous academic management activities and institutional representation.

Awards and recognitions: During his carrier he has received a IBM Faculty Award(2008),  “Menció FIBER” (2015), a best paper Award at IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications conference, Cambridge MA USA (2007), 4 “tramos de investigación” conceded by the “Comisión nacional e valuadora de la actividad investigadora”, a best UPC Computer Science Thesis Award 1993-94, OLIVETTI-UPC Intership Grant (1992), UPC Phd Grant (1991), Accésit al 1er concurso de ideas medioambientales de la UPC (1998), Ayudas para la elaboración de material docente UPC (1997).

Artisan: He is passionate about art and visual design (visit this page for an updated list of work produced).

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”

– Arnold J. Toynbee