Meet MAX’s New Team Members: Anthony Conto, Tom Lehman, Dr. Jarda Flidr and Dr. Xi Yang

Anthony “Tony” Conto, Director of Administration and Member Relations
Tony Conto joined the University of Maryland in July, 1977. He returned from retirement to join MAX as the Director of Member Relations in October, 2012. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Executive Director of MAX, and Associate Director for Network Infrastructure on the College Park campus. He has also served as the Acting Director for Information Technology for University Libraries with responsibility for delivering information services to the libraries on the 13 campuses of the University of Maryland System. Prior to joining the University of Maryland College Park campus, he was the Associate Director for Academic Computing on the University of Maryland Baltimore campus and a faculty member in the School of Social Work.

His affiliations with national computing organizations include participation in the Quilt, an organization focusing on national networking aggregation/GigaPoP activities, in the EDUCAUSE Broadband Pricing Working Group and past board membership with CREN (Corporation for Research and Education Networking). His community service affiliations include Board of Directors membership and multiple committee activity on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maryland Chapter and past membership on the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Lights, Center for the Assistance of Youth in Crisis.

Tom Lehman, Director of Research
Tom Lehman joined the MAX team as the Director of Research in November, 2012. His research and development interests include advanced network architectures, intelligent control planes, multi-layer inter-networking, network virtualization, and integration of dynamic networking with clouds and distributed applications. He has published over 20 research papers in related areas. Prior to joining MAX, Lehman was a Computer Scientist and Project Leader at the University of Southern California, Information Science Institute (USC/ISI) in Arlington, Virginia. In that role, he was Principal Investigator (PI) on multiple Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Department of Energy (DOE) projects. This has included collaborations with MAX on projects such as the NSF-funded Dynamic Resource Allocation via GMPLS Optical Networks (DRAGON) and Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). Lehman was also a PI on DOE-funded projects where he collaborated with Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Internet2 on the development of features for the DOE OSCARS (On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System) to enable multi-domain Layer2 dynamic provisioning. Recent research activities have focused on development of technologies which facilitate the integration of network services into application workflows. Before his tenure at USC/ISI, he held positions at The MITRE Corporation and The Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lehman received a B.S. from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University. As Director of Research for MAX, he will lead the preparation of a multi-year research strategy that builds upon previous and current MAX projects, and looks ahead to successfully expand upon work accomplished to date. The key driver will be the needs and requirements of the MAX participant organizations and the research and education community.

Dr. Jaroslav “Jarda” Flidr, Director of Services
Dr. Jarda Flidr holds a Masters degree and a Doctorate from Cornell University and a Masters degree from the school of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University in Prague. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1998, Flidr joined Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in Arlington, Virginia as a Computer Scientist. His task was to devise new ideas, secure new funding and implement the underlying technologies. As a result, he has worked on numerous cutting-edge technology projects funded by DARPA, NSF and NASA. All the projects he has been involved in dealt with research of new or emerging technologies and, in addition to the project management, included hands-on implementation. In 2006, he accepted the position of Sr. Systems Development Engineer at MAX. At the same time he started to work independently with several local technology organizations to address their systems development needs. In late 2006 he founded Fulgensys, LLC, a software engineering and consulting company focusing on the development of High Performance Computing applications, embedded systems and dynamic network technologies. After leaving MAX in 2009, and after a short involvement with Acadia Optronics, LLC where he served as the CTO, he joined successful cloud and HPC services broker Nimbis Services, Inc. as their Vice President for Research and Development. In early 2012 Flidr rejoined MAX as their Director of Services.

Flidr has a strong background in physics, electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science and twenty years of active programming experience. He has worked extensively at both project management and policy levels and on actual design and implementation. His involvements range from working with the local businesses to global-reach endeavors. He is an accomplished network engineer, well-versed in the current telecom hardware, technologies and protocols. He has been involved in the deployment of the high-speed dynamic optical infrastructure and the development of the related technologies on a global basis, collaborating with organizations on multiple continents. Flidr is a prolific programmer and has spent the last thirteen years building complex systems, developing the related software and implementing their interfaces. These systems range from global-scale distributed network infrastructures and cloud/HPC systems to embedded Linux devices. Furthermore, for a number of years, he has been collaborating with numerous companies specializing in scientific and engineering applications (e.g. Wolfram Research, Altair, Simulia, etc.), and thanks to this exposure he is proficient in scientific and engineering programming as well.

Dr. Xi Yang, Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Xi Yang joined MAX in June as a Senior Research Scientist. His research activities and interests include advanced network architecture, next-generation Internet, WDM optical networking, high-speed network control and management, network survivability and network security, large-scale network testbed and application, network middleware for e-Science applications, network virtualization and cloud computing. He has published over 20 research papers in the related areas. He worked with Lucent Technologies as a member of technical staff in Bells Labs, Beijing, China in 2000. He joined USC/ISI as a research associate in 2004 and became a computer scientist in 2006. He was the core designer and primary developer for the widely used DRAGON network control software. He helped develop the Internet2 DCN Software Suite. He was also a developer for the ESnet OSCARS / Internet2 IDC software. He received a B.S. degree in communication engineering and an M.S. degree in communication and information systems from the University of Electronic Science and Technology, China in 1997 and 2000 respectively, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004.

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