2012 EECS Alumni Career Panel

Thursday, October 11, 2012
6:30 - 8:00 PM
1500 EECS

RSVP to reserve your box dinner

Cahit Akin Craig Labovitz Rich Sheridan David Tarver
Cahit Akin
MSE PhD EE:Systems '99 '03, and MS Math '02
Craig Labovitz
MSE PhD CSE '94 '99
Richard Sheridan
BS CCS '80, MS CICE '82
David Tarver
BSE MSE EE '75 '76

Dr. Cahit Akin is co-founder and CEO of Mushroom Networks, Inc., a 2004 spin-off company of the University of California, San Diego. Mushroom Networks provides innovative networking solutions based on their patent pending Broadband Bonding technology. Prior to starting the company he was a venture partner at ITU Ventures, the venture capital arm of Brownstein Schnel Holdings. Dr. Akin also worked as a senior marketing consultant at Princeton Brand Econometrics, managed the Cal-IT2 Adaptive Systems Laboratory at the University of California San Diego, a $12 million project which spun off two venture-backed companies, and founded Respectrum. Dr. Akin has worked on the technical and research aspects of communications for over 15 years and holds several patents.

Dr. Akin was a Most Admired CEO nominee by the San Diego Business Journal, a recipient of the NATO Graduate Study Scholarship, and a team member of the 1993 International Mathematics Olympiad.
He received his PhD and MSE degree in Electrical Engineering and MS in Mathematics from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He holds a BS degree in  Electrical Engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey.

Craig Labovitz is co-founder and CEO of DeepField, an Ann Arbor based company that provides analytics and cloud intelligence for companies doing business on the Internet. Dr. Labovitz is a expert on Internet infrastructure and cloud evolution; In the 1990s, his seminal Internet research served as a catalyst for significant changes in commercial Internet routing software implementations throughout the world. His work was recently recognized with the prestigious ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award in 2008. 

Prior to DeepField, Dr. Labovitz recently served as Chief Scientist and Chief Architect at security firm Arbor Networks, where he led development of the core technology, key patents, architecture, and commercial strategy behind Arbor's $100 million dollar a year carrier security product line. His technology is deployed in more than 400 Internet Service Providers, cable operators, content providers, and mission-critical networks around the globe. Labovitz is the author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed networking research papers, journal articles and patents. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio news programs and his research is widely cited in national media articles and academic publications.

Richard Sheridan is co-founder and CEO of Menlo Innovations, an Ann Arbor based agile software development firm. Two years after founding the comapny, Sheridanbecame the Forbes "Hire Yourself" cover story for all those choosing entrepreneurship over unemployment. The next year, it was a Wall Street Journal article on the unique office Menlo uses for software design and development. Within six years, Menlo had become one of Inc. 500's fastest growing privately held firms in the US. What make this story truly remarkable is that it occurred against the backdrop of an IT industry that everyone assumed was leaving the US for offshore.

Software developed by Menlo for its clients is designed for everyday people by Menlo's High-tech Anthropologists®, built to last by Menlo's world-class agile software development team, and managed by a set of professional project managers listed among the nation's 50 Most Prolific by the Project Management Institute. Sheridan and Menlo have won numerous awards and honors, and he and his team regularly are invited to present nationally and internationally sharing the secrets of the Menlo Software Factory(tm) with all who wish to learn how to build a Learning Organization that can keep pace with today's advances in software and design.

David Tarver developed a digital electronic music synthesizer for his master’s thesis at Michigan. It proved to be a catalyst for an idea that occurred to him at his later work at AT&T Bell Laboratories. This idea led Tarver to leave Bell Labs in 1983 to start Telecom Analysis Systems (TAS) in his basement with colleagues Steve Moore and Charles Simmons. In 1995, he engineered the sale of TAS to Bowthorpe (now Spirent) plc for $30 million. From 1996-99, Tarver spearheaded development of a Spirent telecommunications test equipment business that had sales of over $250 million and a market value in excess of $2 billion.

In 2001, Tarver founded the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative in New Jersey. The community-based not-for-profit catalyzed dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for Red Bank children. He has served on the National Advisory Committee for the College of Engineering, the Alumni Association board of directors, the Red Bank (NJ) Board of Education, the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting, and several other civic and not-for-profit organization boards. In 2007, he returned to Michigan, where he resides with wife and daughter. He recently published the book, Proving Ground.