Co-authored Books


Journal Articles

Conference Proceedings

Virtualization Whitepapers


Other Web Sites

Other Students

Work Experience

About this Site

To the right of this text you will see several courses that are a work in progress. As part of my coursework to fulfill my Ph.D. studies I will be creating new courses to be taught at Clarkson University (and other places perhaps). As I work through each set of course materials I will post a link in one of the boxes. Suggestions are welcome.

To the left of this text you will see several publications and CV content items. That section is part CV and part resume. I plan on adding new publications here as the opportunity presents itself.

Updated Links

I have updated the links on the left hand side of this web site to include a series of whitepapers about networking topologies for highly-available cloud computing environments using Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) networking. Though the papers were validated on the IBM z/VM hypervisor, they should work with minor modifications on KVM, XEN, and a myriad of others.

If you are looking for a reference architecture for Highly-Available networking configurations to support live guest migration that is incredibly fault tolerant, look no further!

Posted: 02-14-12 @ 11:39

Light the Soul Like a Kiln

These are the books I am currently reading:
To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design by Henry Petroski

The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina

In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing by Matthew E. May, Guy Kawasaki

The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun

Systems Thinking, Systems Practice by Peter Checkland

Posted: 03-05-10 @ 17:41

Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container...

I have been working furiously on a paper accepted to the IEEE Transforming Engineering Education Conference in Dublin Ireland April 2010. Glad the paper abstract was accepted, now I wish there was less writing and polishing to do for it to be camera ready.

I exhausted my 2X500GB mirrored raid of personal disk that comprises my home theater/backup server. Looking to maybe get some TB class disks to upgrade. Might even skip to 2TB disks.

While on the subject of RAIDs, I had one (yes I have 2 simply because they are so awesome) of my McIntosh Labs 6100 stereo integrated amplifiers serviced recently at Arlington Audio and Video. They did a hell of a job. It plays very well. So well, it may play as good as new! But since it is older than I am so how would I know?

Thinking about doing Boxee on my AppleTV for the Netflix streaming support. Sounds pretty awesome.

I have a ton to say about virtually everything I have read in the last month or two, but there is no such thing as Clarkson Universities Great Ideas In Western Civilization course (colloquially referred to as GFI) for adults focused on truly modern literature in the science/technology/business/non-fiction space. I'm thinking of trying to start a seminar or discussion series at work during lunch hours for interested people who want to get the gist of a book in a brief 15 minute presentation (with encouragement to read the original texts). I think if others were doing the same, I would possibly stumble on something new that I wouldn't otherwise know about. One of the things I miss most about being on campus is the knowledge exchange and random books or references people would bandy about. So I wont bore people with details, I will just put super short comments in case it sparks anyone to discuss further with me through some other medium. The remainder of this post is called: "Seriously, Shut Off the TV and Be Amazed How Much You Can Read!"

Recently Read:

The Laws of Disruption - Moore's law, and Metcalfe's law, combined with the authors own observations form the laws of disruption. Some good points in the book. Felt a bit long though. I will keep note of this book, if nothing else than to use it as reference for a book idea I have.

Chariots of the Gods - A fun read, but so much of the original thesis supporting arguments has been shown to be bunk that it is hard to thoroughly enjoy. At the time it was written however, it was probably pretty mind blowing.

The Dumbest Generation - the author argues that my generation (those born from 1980~1995) are poor readers as a consequence of technology. He further argues because we lack literary skill and breadth we are poor citizens (lacking the classical background which was taken for granted by well educated people in previous generations). He argues against the special snowflake school of education, hearkening back to more rigorous standards in liberal arts education which was required of anyone who dared call themselves educated. I did like his discussion of my generations particular love for "Living off the thrill of peer attention" vis a vis twitter and blogs and things of that nature. Instant positive feedback seems to be a major portion in the myspace, twitter, and facebook movements. I also enjoyed his phrasing when he declares that my generation has "no shame for anti literary taste, and no congnizence of its poverty". Poignant.

The Tipping Point - How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - The gist of his book is that there are certain major factors in why some ideological or cultural phenomena catching on while others do not. He explains the process of thought/trend/meme dissipation in terms of social epidemics. The major factors have a lot to do with the people transmitting the message (mavens, salespeople, and connectors) as well as the actual message or concept involved (how sticky that message is). I have two more of his subsequent works, which I have not yet read. I imagine they will be excellent based on this work.

Blink - The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - In my mind it was mostly about the power of snap judgements (when to embrace them and when perhaps we shouldn't). Some excellent psychology remarks in the book, along with examples from car sales, and the museum acquisition arena. Highly recommended (with the note that his self referencing back to previous chapters wears thin, especially if you read quickly and can finish the book in a weekend like I did).

Outliers - The Story of Success - His treatise on success which is intent on dispelling the age old nonsense of a genius who made it from nothing all on their own. The short version of this book is that there is always something that helps. More often than not, it is a perfect confluence of success which causes the outlier condition. Highly recommended read.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Some fiction to break up some of the dryer research papers and non-fiction works I have been reading lately. This is the famous book which was the basis for Bladerunner. The book and film are different enough to keep the reader engaged. I recommend both the book and the film for what it is worth.

Awakening - A graphic novel (warning it is only the first part of the story), written by someone living across the river in beautiful New Paltz NY. The writing is very reminiscent of many gritty gum-shoe detective stories. I recommend it if you like the zombie genre. The art is also quite a bit different than any other graphic novel I have ever read.

Superman: Red Son - more aptly known as the red son of Krypton (not talking color, we are talking political affliation)- If you like Superman, you should read this graphic novel. The premise is that Superman lands in soviet Russia instead of a farm in Nebraska. Its a quick and entertaining read.

Ape and Essence - Aldous Huxley book within a book sort of concept. The bulk of the novel is a screenplay whichis discovered by the characters in the first chapters. The inner story involves a discussion about humans as told by a society of evolved chimps. Many religious and political themes. I enjoyed it, but its a bit out there.

New Books that arrived today:

Agile Testing - Crispin and Gregory. Purchased in the hopes of helping the IBM agile test transformation. The table of contents contains several things that look alien to me. I might learn something from this one!

Handbook of Usability Testing Second Edition - Rubin and Chisnell. A formal addition to my HCI library which crosses over into the testing world. Should be a fun read.

Software Testing - James McCaffrey - This is like a pocket guide to testing. Small and with quiz questions. Oddly it covers some things that the typical textbook size books completely overlook. Chapter 2 on the math techniques at least bothers to introduce that material which is otherwise missing entirely from the fluffy books. All this in 105 pages with a large font.

Software Testing Second Edition - Patton. Appears to be an intro text. Done in a texbook style with simple quizzes at the end. Part of my ongoing survey into the right, wrong, and overlooked material of teaching testing. It would seem a lot of basic testing books exist with terminology etc, but nothing that really has grabbed me as a definitive volume on the subject. Nothing that contains exercises or labs worthy of an equivalent course in Calculus or Chemistry for instance.

Slide:ology - I previously read Buzzcos copy and had to have my own for reference. Seriously, if you do slides for presentations buy this.

Presentation Zen - I previously read Buzzcos copy and had to have my own for reference (second time mike has come up aces in this list). If you do presentations, read this book.

The Inmates are Running the Asylum - I somehow lost my old copy (I am looking suspiciously in your direction COSI lab!). I ordered this one to have it back on the shelf.

The Best Software Writing 1 - Joel Spolsky - I do not always agree with his blog postings when I have had the chance to read them. He does have some interesting things to say quite often though. I thought I should read his book to see what I can learn, and how compelling an argument he can make over the course of an entire book. Keep in mind he is the editor, and other authors write the individual essays.

More Joel on Software - Joel Spolksy - I have to give this work a full read and fair shot because it is his own work entirely.

Mental Models - Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior - Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior - Indi Young - Bought on a whim of sorts. It is a book about design based on mental models. I sincerely hope the author doesn't just cite anecdote, and opts to marshal scientific evidence about the brain and how mental models work. I guess I will know when I work my way through the queue.

Posted: 01-25-10 @ 00:09

Recap Fall 09

Thanks to Mike Buzzetti for helping me get my blog live again. He and I poked for a while on Polaris today, he eventually figured out the root cause. It turns out somewhere along the way Clarkson has changed its AFS cell, which broke some paths I had set up. During the investigation I happened to see who was logged on. All of 8 people. On the upside, due to a non-inventive naming scheme, I was able to see Professor Fulton, my undergraduate advisor, is now using a MacbookPro. Also, before moving too far from the subject of co-workers, I would like to formally send off the esteemed Mr. Matthew Finlayson to his new gig at Jive Software. He will most assuredly be missed at IBM.

Finished up a hectic semester of class. Read just about every paper on virtual machine memory sharing that there was to read. I have a chunk of a survey paper done, but it really does need some polish before it would be considered ultimately useful for anyone. In fact I have sent to to an IBM colleague in research to see if she wouldn't mind completing the paper with me. In addition to the paper writing, I completed an introductory course into SystemC which I enjoyed thoroughly. Dr. Kohndker was a very good instructor who worked with me to allow me to take the course remotely. Having said that, Tim certainly liked the class more than I did. So much so, that he may be pursuing aspects of SystemC simulation as his thesis topic. I believe that with the completion of last semesters coursework, that I have satisfied the university course requirements. I am now forced to work on my Ph.D. research in earnest. Hopefully this year will leave me with new things to report on that front.

So far my biggest new years resolution has been trying to use an RSS reader to digest and collapse large portions of my Internet browsing time. So far it feels like a definite time saver, only because I discard things based on headlines rather than skimming introductory paragraphs. I cannot help but think that I am missing out on some stuff due to the switch. In addition to the normal pages I read, I opted to also add twitter feeds from some of my friends. I can officially state that reading, or following, a twitter feed is tantamount to listening to a schizophrenic patient talk to themselves during an episode. Random shout outs to people who are not there, along with ideas that are all over the map and express no thread of continuity.

The secondary new years resolution I am pursuing involves limiting TV to essentially weekends only. I am using the DVR to record fewer shows and I am trying to read more during the week. I am also seriously considering switching to an eBook reader of some sort. I have long been out of book shelves in my apartment, and I do not intend on owning fewer books, nor slowing my rate of purchase. Clearly something has to give. I maintain high hopes of an tablet or slate that is high color, gets excellent battery life, and supports PDFs with annotation. It would be a lot easier than carrying around books and printed PDFs everywhere.

At the tail end of 2009 I published a new paper "A Reference Implementation Architecture for Deploying a Highly-Available Networking Infrastructure for Cloud Computing and Virtual Environments using OSPF". The paper discusses a fairly generic means for making the networking to virtual machines highly available. This is an interesting issue for many reasons. Cloud computing means more of our data is on the network hosted on virtual machines. Essentially the networking to those virtual machines becomes a major focus on service level quality. The network is the computer, as sun would say. The paper was written with an enterprise focus, but the approach should be applicable to VMWare, Xen, KVM, and others with minor modifications to the NICs used. A follow on paper is due shortly which discusses the overhead of such an approach at moderate scaling.

While on the subject of work I can also report that I have been working on 2 very interesting education missions lately. One relates to z/OS while the other has to deal with the testing aspects of software engineering. As collateral from one of the projects, I have submit an abstract to the IEEE Transforming Engineering Education Conference, Dublin. We were supposed to hear about the acceptance on 12/31/09 but had not been informed either way. Upon emailing the organizer, it appears they were inundated with far more submissions than they had expected. We were told some additional time would be needed before final decisions are made. So now my co-authors and I are playing the waiting game. Wish us luck.

Posted: 01-08-10 @ 18:47

Recap of the summer

So I had an offer accepted on the house that I like only to lose it the night before my home inspection. I was told the night before my inspection, after having received a verbal acceptance on my offer for the property, that someone else had made a full price offer.

I returned this weekend from 2 weeks abroad where I was teaching in Shenzhen and Taipei. In Taipei I stayed within eyesight of this famous building and was in a hotel which is attached to this even more famous building. It was a wonderful experience. I will hopefully upload some photos in the near future. I also hope to teach the same course internationally again in the future.

Returning back to the U.S. also means a return to work and a return to class. It also means I am a year older as Clarkson traditionally starts classes on my birthday or the following day. As for classes this semester, I am currently registered for thesis, and 2 credits of colloquium. My intent is to go to conferences like I usually try to do, attend colloquium talks at local colleges, and spend some time at IBM research seeing what is new and exciting. The next scheduled talk I plan on seeing is today from 1:00 - 3:00 and is hosted here at IBM Poughkeepsie as part of our Technical Vitality Affiliate Seminar Series. The Talk will be given by Dilma da Silva. She is a researcher at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, in New York. She manages the Advanced Operating Systems group. She received her Ph.D in Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 1997. Prior to joining IBM, she was an Assistant Professor at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her research in system software addresses the need for scalable and adaptable system software. She has published more than 60 technical papers. The talk she will be presenting is about Cloud computing issues she is working on.

I am also auditing the Advanced Operating systems course Dr. Matthews teaches. Though I have taken the course before, a substantial portion of the content changes each semester, and it will allow me to refresh myself on the state of operating systems research. I look forward to it, once we work out the long distance communication details.

Another course I am strongly considering is a course in system-c which is a language for modeling hardware designs and systems. The course web-page is here for those who are interested in learning more.

I will be ordering books and completing my formal registration as soon as my Manager returns from his vacation on Monday August 31.

Posted: 08-26-09 @ 08:32

The ambiguity shows

I put in an offer on the house I like Friday before leaving to spend some time in CT with Steve Camras. I was dismayed to see that someone else has also put in an offer on the same property. The offers were presented to the seller, and she will get in touch with the listing agent sometime early this week. I imagine that means Tuesday at the earliest because of the Memorial Day holiday here in the U.S. I don't fancy the notion of a bidding war in a buyers market. So in the interim I have searched for a few other interesting properties.

I was asked last week to travel to Shenzen China (Peoples Republic of China) to teach a week long course on Linux on the mainframe. I as also asked to teach a course the following week in Taipei Taiwan. Taiwan's is an island nation off the coast of the mainland which is known as the Republic of China (or ROC). Taiwan was formerly known as Formosa which is Portuguese for "Beautiful Island", or so I am told. I have decided I think I will teach both. It will make an interesting trip, and I should return just before my birthday late in August. Kyle Smith, currently at VMWare constructed the labs and taught this course years ago in Canada. Once plans are confirmed I will need to get my visa for the mainland visit. Taiwan does not require a travel visa when staying such a short period of time.

I moved my plants outside for the season today. I am growing cherry tomatoes, oregano, basil, green onions, cilantro, and pygmy sunflowers.

On the music front, I listened to a bunch more Emery records today. The newest record "While Broken Hearts Prevail" should definitely get more radio exposure. The singers trade off nicely and the music is very palatable. Track 6 was the only let down that I noticed personally. Whiny and predictably sad would be the best description I can come up with. It is also the only ballad type song on the record.

Today I also gave a listen to the City and Color record "Bring Me Your Love (Special Edition)" as well as "The MySpace Transmissions". The former is a double disc version of something I already enjoyed. The latter was a nice 6 track album rife with sadness as is so common in the lyrics from Dallas Green. A man with a wonderful voice and a guitar can be a powerful musical experience. Drums and basses are for bands, and Mr Green is a Hero not a band (Note that when he rocks out with Alexis on Fire there are plenty of excellent drums and basses, and the guitars are electro-magical).

Another new record I listened to today was the self titled debut LP record from "Telekenisis!" (who happens to be one talented dude playing all the instruments on the record). It is just excellent pop/rock. I recommend you listen to the second track "Coast of California" to get an idea of what this record is all about.

Dear Lazy Social-Web (via the humans who I know in real life and read this blog). Does anyone out there happen to have the record from Lonely Forest with the song "You Move" on it? I am looking to see if the rest of the record is similar to that track before purchasing it. Comments welcome via the usual non blog channels.

Everyone I have talked to about the graphic novel concept seems to like it. I guess I should get writing on it since I only have the summer before I will have to deal with the real world of homework and thesis investigation when I get home from work.

Posted: 05-24-09 @ 17:50

There is a vulture perching right off screen and it's bitter and whispers chaotic things

The semester is over and the dust has settled. Everything went pretty well given my hectic work schedule. Though I still have to do some investigations into some loose ends. I also have to register for some additional fall classes. I am currently only scheduled for thesis and colloquium credits. I think I will be auditing a course from Dr. Matthews and adding one more class.

I interviewed with Marist College and did a tour of their campus but I have not yet heard anything back from them. I had the impression when leaving that I would have heard something by now, but perhaps I misunderstood. On the work front, my talk delivered to IBM research went very well. I delivered it at the Yorktown campus, which was simulcast to Raleigh and Toronto. At the conference I met some amazing AIX researchers who are doing some excellent work on AIX involving a virtual type file system (think proc or sys) but with a particularly neat spin. I also met a researcher named Pin at the conference who wants to collaborate a bit on some research involving virtualization that they have going on soon.

I also have some interesting work coming up later this week on turning some of my thoughts on software testing into a course offering produced by IBM. I should begin work on that immediately after the current edition of the Linux Virtual Server Platform Evaluation test report is completed (Tuesday, a.k.a. tomorrow is the deadline).

Life has been strange and full of changes lately. A friend and mentor of mine named Dave passed away last week which was a shock to the system. I wont go into details but his passing was something no one really expected at such a young age.

I have been continuing with my concept for a graphic novel. I even made contact, in a roundabout way, with an artist who does some excellent comic drawing work. I am hoping to convince him to do some concept art for me and if he believes in the project to perhaps sign on as the artist for pencils and inks.

I have also decided that I would begin house hunting in earnest. For a long time I have been causally looking, and for the first time since I have arrived in pok, I have found something I think I genuinely like at a price point I can afford. The house needs a ton of work, but has a good skeleton and tons of potential.

On the subject of multimedia I have recently finished reading "The White Plague" by the author of Dune. Despite the Irish names and places which I thought hard to keep track of, the book was excellent. On the music front I have been listening to Armour for Sleep. I guess one would consider it some form of emo modern rock I guess. I have listened to Dream to Make Believe (2003), What to do When you are Dead (2005) which has a song called car underwater which I remember on the radio, and Smile for them (2007). I have also been heavily listening to the Gaslight Anthem (seriously sounds like Bruce Springstein singing but with music and some lyrics which sound like The Cure. I highly recommend you give it a listen. I have enjoyed both of the albums I got, "59 Sound" and "Sink or Swim". On the heavier side of the fence, I have been rocking out to the Receiving End of Sirens records "The earth Sings Mi Fa Mi" (2007), and "The Heart and the Synapse" (2005) which is my preferred example of their work (that last track "Epilogue" blows my mind). I also picked up the Silversun Pickups newest record "Swoon" (2009) a while back. In my opinion it is a shoegazer epic. I thoroughly enjoy it, but then again I loved their last album. I highly recommend the song "Substitution" which is better than the current radio sample "Panic Switch".

Posted: 05-19-09 @ 17:50

About Me

I am Eli M. Dow, a 28 year old Ph.D. student, inventor, and author enrolled full time, though remote, at Clarkson University in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Science Program. My advisor is the incredibly talented Dr. Jeanna Neefe Matthews. I am studying from both the Software Engineering and Computer Science departments (yes there is a difference!). I am currently working for IBM who is graciously paying my tuition. My primary academic and research interests are in the areas of operating systems, systems theory and systems-thinking, High-Availability systems and architectures, and virtualization.

Spring 09 Reading List

Some of the Recent Books I have Read or have in Queue (The Immediate Need to Read):

Fall 08 Reading List

This list contains the books used during my Fall08 Semester:

Image:Cloud Computing & Hadoop

Cloud Computing

This section will outline my research and investigations into cloud computing and the hadoop programming model. This initial invesigation is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed at the end of the spring 2009 semester.
Learn more about Cloud Computing and Hadoop

Image:Software Development

Agile & Scrum

This is a set of course notes and materials I am working on for an undergraduate course in Agile software development methods. The course is a work in progress and includes extensive discussion of Scrum practices. This initial invesigation was completed in the Fall 08 semester.
Learn more about Agile Software Development

Image:Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking

This is a placeholder for a research topic I am fond of, but have not yet done a deep dive into. I plan on obtaining a directed study in this subject in the near future. In the long term, there is a book idea I have on the subject. Watch this space for more details. This investigation is ongoing.

Image:Software Testing

Software Testing

This is a set of course notes and materials I am working on for an undergraduate course in Software Testing. The course is a work in progress and includes discussion of FVT, SVT, and Integration test. In addition topics such as blackbox, whitebox, and greybox testing are discussed. This initial investigation was completed in the Fall 08 semester.
Learn more about Software Testing

Image:Thesis Hacking


This isnt top secret or anything yet. I just havent decided exactly what it is I will be doing to complete my Ph.D. Thesis. My areas of interest tend to be in human-computer interaction and operating systems. Additionally I have interest in software testing tecniques and software engineering principles.