Innovating for Society: Realizing the Promise and Potential of Computing

March 7, 2012
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Nelson Auditorium, Anderson Hall


The computing discipline is at the center of an ongoing societal transformation. The explosive growth of scientific and social data, wireless connectivity at broadband speeds for billions of mobile endpoints, and seamless access to computational resources in the "cloud" are transforming the way we work, learn, play, and communicate. Advances in computation and data-enabled techniques will continue to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and engineering innovation, with the impact becoming more pervasive throughout society for decades to come.

I will focus my talk on some of the technological and societal trends that are shaping our future and providing new opportunities for foundational research and education. I will describe how these advances influence the portfolio of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at NSF and, therefore, also serve as key drivers of economic competitiveness and are crucial to achieving national priorities.

Farnam Jahanian serves as the National Science Foundation Assistant Director for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate. He guides CISE, with a budget of over $635 million, in its mission to uphold the nationís leadership in computer and information science and engineering through support of fundamental and transformative advances that are a key driver of economic competitiveness and that are crucial to achieving national priorities.

Dr. Jahanian is also co-chair of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology, providing overall coordination for the activities of 15 government agencies. Dr. Jahanian is on leave from the University of Michigan, where he holds the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professorship. Dr. Jahanian holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.