IBM researcher to speak on clock synchronization: from theory to practices and products

Published: Sep 18, 2012 3:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Morgan Stashick,, 334-844-3591

Li Zhang, manager of the system analysis and optimization group at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, will present “Computer Clock Synchronization: From Theory to Practice and Products” on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 3 p.m. in 1124 Shelby Center. His lecture is hosted by Weikuan Yu, assistant professor in Auburn University’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering.

Zhang will discuss the importance of maintaining synchronized clocks for coordinating research applications, as well as the various techniques developed at IBM’s Watson Research Center to achieve high accuracy in synchronized clocks.  He will discuss the software engineering practices that have turned these techniques into industry clock synchronization protocols and the software technology that has been transferred into a variety of commercial products at IBM.

Zhang earned his doctorate in operations research at Columbia University, as well as his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Beijing University and his master’s degree in mathematics at Purdue University. Zhang’s research interests include control and performance analysis of computer systems, statistical techniques for traffic modeling and prediction, and scheduling and resource allocation in parallel and distributed systems. He has co-authored more than 80 technical articles and has earned 20 patents. For his work on measurement-based clock synchronization algorithms, Zhang received IBM's prestigious Corporate Award and Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for developing advanced clock synchronization mechanisms for mainframe computers.