Morgenstern seminar: Dennis Shasha (NYU) “The Changing Nature of Invention in Computer Science”

Colloquium Jacques Morgenstern, Jeudi 2 avril, 11h, Amphithéatre Gilles Kahn, Inria Sophia Antipolis.

The Changing Nature of Invention in Computer Science

Dennis Shasha

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Zenith team, Inria, LIRMM & IBC, Montpellier

What drives inventions in computing? Necessity seems to play only a minor role. Anger at the way things are is much more powerful, because it leads to easier ways to work (the invention of new computer languages). A general dissatisfaction with the practical or theoretical structure of the world can open up whole new approaches to problems (complexity theory and cryptography). Finally, a genuine collaboration between people and machines can lead to an entirely new kind of engineering for devices that will travel to far-off planets or to hostile environments. The talk will discuss the work of several inventors in computing and engineering, their inventions, and how they came up with them and how they plan to come up with more in the future. The ensuing discussion will address the fundamental nature of invention in a world partly populated by intelligent machines.

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