Opening Keynote

Industrial Internet

‘Industrial Strength’.  These two words are often seen on cleaning products that can literally dissolve the skin on your finger tips. But, the phrase is also bringing new meaning to global industries every day. A major source of scale advantage and cost savings is being derived from a new wave of industrial-strength applications and asset performance management services that harness streams of performance data generated by machines connected to one another, and people, in the cloud. To fully appreciate the potential impact of the application economy, it is important to consider how large the ‘Industrial Internet’ will become: IHS estimates that by 2025 there will be 17B connected industrial assets. As those intelligent assets continue to converge with low-cost sensing, advanced analytics and new levels of connectivity, the only danger to an industrial operators’  finger tips will be the tap, tap-tapping on a touch screen to access real-time insight for better, faster decision making. Airlines, railroads, hospitals and utilities will be major beneficiaries of industrial-strength technology to move jet engines, locomotives and gas turbines closer to “no unplanned downtime”. It will enable enhanced asset reliability by optimizing inspection, maintenance and repair processes. It will improve operational efficiency at the level of fleets. This talk will explore the notion of the Industrial Internet, emerging waves of industrial-strength innovation and technology, opportunities for big gains in productivity and efficiency by reducing unplanned downtime, and GE’s strategic decision to focus on software and analytic–based services.


Mr. William Ruh is Vice President of GE Software, an advanced software technology and shared services organization that serves more than 30,000 engineers across GE business divisions, giving customers the capabilities required to connect intelligent machines, data and people, and to run industrial-scale analytics.

Mr. Ruh joined GE in 2011 to lead a renewed focus on software and analytics and to drive the global strategy, direction, operations and portfolio of software-based services that harness streams of customized performance data for reaching new levels of productivity. As part of this charter, GE Software is creating an ecosystem of strategic partnerships and investments, developing a common software platform–PredixTM–for powering Industrial Internet offerings, and establishing a portfolio of shared services–cyber security, data science, user experience, cloud, and agile development–for building more sustainable and safe products.

Prior to joining GE, Mr. Ruh was vice president at Cisco where he held global responsibility for developing advanced services and solutions. Before that, Mr Ruh he served as founder and chief technology officer of Concept Five Technologies, Inc. Previously, he served as the chief technology officer and senior vice president of Software AG, Inc. where he was responsible for the growth and expansion of the solutions and consulting services practice. Mr. Ruh has also held various management roles at The Advisory Board, The MITRE Corporation, IBM, and AkroMetrix, LLC.

He has more than 30 years of industry experience in enterprise application integration and object oriented technology. Mr. Ruh is an accomplished author and a frequent speaker on such topics as emerging business models, cloud computing, analytics, mobile computing, agile development, large scale distributed systems, and M2M communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton.

Tuesday Keynote

Analytics in the Era of Cognitive Computing

Cognitive computing systems interact naturally with people to enable use of data beyond what is possible with current analytic methods. They both aid humans in finding and interpreting data, and learn from humans through training and through feedback. This talk will provide an overview of cognitive computing, discuss current applications of it in various industries, and explore the role operations research methods can play in extending cognitive computing beyond the domain of language based reasoning.


Brenda Dietrich is an IBM Fellow and Vice President. She joined IBM in 1984 and has worked in the area now called analytics for her entire career, applying data and computation to business decision processes throughout IBM. For over a decade she led the Mathematical Sciences function in the IBM Research division where she was responsible for both basic research on computational mathematics and for the development of novel applications of mathematics for both IBM and its clients. She has been the president of INFORMS, has served on the Board of Trustees of SIAM, and is a member of several university advisory boards. She holds more than a dozen patents, has co-authored numerous publications, and frequently speaks on analytics at conferences. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2014. She holds a BS in Mathematics from UNC and an MS and Ph.D. in OR/IE from Cornell. Her personal research includes manufacturing scheduling, services resource management, transportation logistics, integer programming, and combinatorial duality. She currently leads the emerging technologies team for IBM Watson, extending and applying IBM’s cognitive computing technology.