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Brian Noble | Faculty

Brian Noble

Department Chair, Computer Science and Engineering

1261 LEC/2102
bnoble@umich.edu
(734) 647-7150

Profile Story

Growing up outside of Jackson, Michigan, Professor Brian Noble enjoyed a variety of activities: reading Dune and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, playing football and wrestling for his high school team. His favorite pastime, however, was messing around with his Apple 2E computer.

"You were really close to the physical hardware on that machine," he says. "It was essentially a big toy you could understand and play with—that would sometimes do your bidding and sometimes not, depending on how well you wrote code."

Then, after his sophomore year of high school, Professor Noble’s family unexpectedly moved to Palo Alto, California, the computer programming capital of the world. Needless to say, the new location suited his interests.

"I had already known at that point that I wanted to do computer science. I just didn’t know I was moving to one of the places that was an epicenter for it."

"I had already known at that point that I wanted to do computer science. I just didn’t know I was moving to one of the places that was an epicenter for it."
Brian Noble

Professor Noble ate up math and science classes in high school and enrolled as a student at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied electrical engineering and computer science. After obtaining a PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, he accepted a professorship at U-M in 1998. Originally, he had no plans to move back to the Michigan, but he likes being close to his roots and now has no intention of leaving.

"I tell my students in class: if you’re a native, it’s harder to reach escape velocity than you think," he jokes.

In addition to teaching Computer Science and pursuing his research, Professor Noble recently accepted the position of Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education for the College. In overseeing undergraduate programs and activities, he hopes to increase the opportunities for students to participate in their own education.

Some of his ideas include letting students teach classes and using CTools to measure student performance and provide feedback to teachers. "I’m pretty passionate about having students be more involved in the process of their education," he says. "Between project teams and student organizations, we already do a good job of this, but I think we can do more."

His biggest piece of advice to new students is to seek out opportunities outside their field. After all, Professor Noble credits the numerous philosophy classes he took as an undergraduate with leaving a strong impression on him.

"Surprisingly, the kind of training you do in philosophy to be able to write a coherent essay and organize it is very similar to the training you need to write a coherent program," he notes. "It was really worth taking a detour, and those [classes] have helped shape the way I think about things today."

Short Bio

EDUCATION

 

Carnegie Mellon University
PhD Computer Science '98
MS Computer Science '94

University of California, Berkeley at Berkeley
B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with high honors, '91

 

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

Department Chair
Computer Science and Engineering Department
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2017 – present

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
College of Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2013 – 2017

Professor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2012 – present

Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2004 – 2012

Morris Wellman Faculty Development Assistant Professor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2002 – 2004

Assistant Professor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1998 – 2002

Research & Teaching

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Software systems for mobile computing, distributed systems, file systems, security and privacy for mobile users, network measurement and monitoring.

COURSES TAUGHT

  • EECS 280 – Programming and Introductory Data Structures
  • EECS 281 – Data Structures and Algorithms
  • EECS 382 – Internet Scale Computing
  • EECS 482 – Introduction to Operating Systems
  • EECS 498 – Special Topics: Cloud Computing for the Commute
  • EECS 498 – Special Topics (Concurrent and Parallel Programming)
  • EECS 582 – Advanced Operating Systems

Honors & Awards

  • University Teaching Award, 2010
  • Co-Author, Best paper, USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies, February 2010
  • Departmental Achievement Award, 2007
  • Co-Author, Best student paper, ACM Workshop on Wireless Security, September 2005
  • Vulcans Education Excellence Award, 2005
  • Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teaching Award, 2004
  • Morris Wellman Faculty Development Chair, University of Michigan, College of Engineering, 2002—2004
  • Co-author, Best Student Paper, MobiCom 2002
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2000
  • AT&T Graduate Fellowship, 1993—1998
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award, 1995
  • Computer Measurement Group Graduate Fellowship, 1994-1995
  • Author, Best Student Paper, SIGMETRICS 1994
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1991—1993
  • Member, Tau Beta Pi, 1990
  • University Scholarship, 1987—1991

Selected Publications

For more of Prof. Noble's publications, please see his CV.

JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

  • Kaushik Veeraraghavan, Jason Flinn, Edmund B. Nightingale, Brian Noble. quFiles: The right file at the right time. ACM Transactions on Storage 6(3), Article 12, 28pgs, September 2010. A shorter version appeared in The 8th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '10). February 2010. p. 1—14. (Acceptance rate: 20%). Selected as a Best Paper.
  • Anthony J. Nicholson, Scott Wolchok, Brian D. Noble, "Juggler: Virtual Networks for Fun and Profit," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing 9(1), pp. 31-43, January, 2010. S. Shah and B. D. Noble. A study of email patterns. Software: Practice & Experience, 37(14), November 2007; p 1515—1538.
  • A. J. Nicholson and M. D. Corner and B. D. Noble. Mobile device security using Transient Authentication. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 5(11), November, 2006; p. 1489—1502.
  • J. Yoon, M. Liu, and B. D. Noble. A general framework to construct stationary mobility models for the simulation of mobile networks. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 5(7), July 2006; p. 860—871.
  • M. D. Corner and B. D. Noble. Protecting file systems with transient authentication. ACM/Springer Wireless Networks. 11(1-2), January, 2005; p. 7—19.
  • B. Noble. System support for mobile, adaptive applications. IEEE Personal Communications. 7(1); February, 2000; p. 44-49
  • B. D. Noble and M. Satyanarayanan. Experience with adaptive mobile applications in Odyssey. Mobile Networks and Applications. 4(4); 1999; p. 245-254.
  • B. D. Noble, M. Price, and M. Satyanarayanan, A programming interface for application-aware adaptation in mobile computing, Computing Systems, 8(4), p. 345-363, 1995. Also in Proceedings of the 2nd USENIX Symposium on Mobile and Location Independent Computing, April 1995, p. 57-66.

REFEREED CONFERENCE PUBLICATIONS

  • Azarias Reda, Quang Duong, Timur Alperovich, Brian Noble, and Yidnekachew Haile. Robit: An Extensible Auction-based Market Platform for Challenged Environments. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development 2010 (ICTD). London, UK. December 2010. (Acceptance rate: 14%)
  • Brett D. Higgins, Azarias Reda, Timur Alperovich, Jason Flinn, Thomas J. Giuli, Brian D. Noble, and David Watson. Intentional Networking: Opportunistic Exploitation of Mobile Network Diversity. In the 16th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom). September, 2010. Chicago, IL. p. 73—84. (Acceptance rate: 14%).
  • Azarias Reda, Brian Noble, Yidnekachew Haile. Distributing private data in challenged network environments. Proceedings of the 19th International World Wide Web conference (WWW). April 2010. p. 801—810. (Acceptance rate: 14%).
  • James Mickens, John Douceur, Bill Bolosky, and Brian Noble. StrobeLight: Lightweight Availability Mapping and Anomaly Detection. In Proceedings of The 2009 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX), June 2009. p. 57—70. (Acceptance rate: 17%).
  • A. Nicholson and B. D. Noble. BreadCrumbs: Forecasting Mobile Connectivity. In the 14th International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom). September, 2008. p. 46-57. (Acceptance rate: 12%)
  • J. Mickens and B. D. Noble. Concillium: Collaborative diagnosis of broken overlay routes. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN). Edinburgh, Scotland. June 2007. p. 225-234. (Acceptance rate: 25%).
  • S. Shah, C. A. N. Soules, G. R. Ganger, and B. D. Noble. Using provenance to aid in personal file search. In Proceedings of the 2007 USENIX Annual Technical Conference. Santa Clara, CA. June 2007. p. 171—184. (Acceptance rate: 24%)
  • J. Yoon, B. D. Noble, and M. Liu. Surface street traffic estimation. In Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM/USENIX Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys). San Juan, PR. June 2007. p. 220—232. (Acceptance rate: 21%)
  • J. Yoon, B. D. Noble, M. Liu, and M. Kim. Building realistic mobility models from coarse-grained traces. In Proceedings of the 4th Annual ACM/USENIX Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys). Uppsala, Sweden. June 2006. p. 177—190. (Acceptance rate: 16%)
  • A. J. Nicholson, Y. Chawathe, M. Y. Chen, B. D. Noble, and D. Wetherall. Improved Access Point Selection. In Proceedings of the 4th Annual ACM/USENIX Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys). Uppsala, Sweden. June 2006. p. 233—245. (Acceptance rate: 16%)
  • A. J. Nicholson, I. E. Smith, J. Hughes, and B. D. Noble. LoKey: leveraging the SMS network in decentralized, end-to-end trust establishment. The 4 th International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive). Dublin, Ireland. May, 2006. p. 202—219. (Acceptance rate: 13%)
  • J. W. Mickens and B. D. Noble. Exploiting Availability Prediction in Distributed Systems. In Proceedings of the 3rd USENIX/ACM Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI). San Jose, CA. May 2006. p. 73—86. (Acceptance rate: 25%)
  • T. J. Hacker, B. D. Noble, and B. D. Athey, Data Block Scheduling for Parallel TCP Streams, in Proceedings of 14th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC- 14), Research Triangle Park, NC, July, 2005. (Acceptance rate: 18%)
  • T. J. Hacker, B. D. Noble, and B. D. Athey. Improving Throughput and Maintaining Fairness using Parallel TCP. The 23rd Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies (INFOCOM). Hong Kong, China. March 2004. (Acceptance rate: 18%)