Distinguished Lecture - Computing and Mass Mobilization

Location: 2150 Torgersen Hall
Date: Friday, October 15, 2010
Time: 11:15am-12:30pm
This talk is open to the general public.

Slides: PDF

Video: video

A Meet-the-Speaker session will be held 4:00pm-5:30pm in McBryde 106.

Peter Lee
Microsoft Research


Traditionally, computing has been all about automation. But in recent years, the ability to create communities has emerged as an equally important outcome of computing technology. As the DARPA Network Challenge (aka, “the hunt for red balloons”) showed, it is possible to mobilize thousands or even millions of people to tackle problems on a global scale. Examples like this have now inspired many researchers to think about applications and methods for mass mobilization. At Carnegie Mellon, then DARPA, and now Microsoft Research, I have been encouraging deeper exploration of these possibilities. In this talk, I will discuss some of the ideas that have most influenced my thinking, and suggest some directions for the future.

Peter Lee joins Microsoft as a Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research Redmond (MSRR). MSRR drives scientific and engineering advances in computer science and engineering and related areas, many in cross-collaboration among Microsoft’s worldwide labs. Working closely with Microsoft's business groups, MSRR seeks to bring innovations to new and existing products and services.

Peter Lee comes to Microsoft from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he served as the founding director of the Transformational Convergence Technology Office. DARPA is the principal agency within the U.S. Department of Defense for research, development and demonstration of high-risk, high-payoff projects for the current and future combat force. In this role, Peter was responsible for developing and implementing the strategic vision and technical plans for a new office in support of DARPA’s mission: to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming national security by sponsoring revolutionary research, bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use. Prior to DARPA, Peter served as professor and head of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), having also served briefly as the Vice Provost for Research. He joined the CMU faculty in 1987, immediately after completing his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan.

Peter is an active researcher, educator, administrator, and servant to the academic community. His research contributions lie mainly in areas related to the foundations of software reliability, program analysis, security, and language design. He is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association and its Government Affairs Committee. He is the author of two books, authored or co-authored more than 50 refereed papers, and has advised or co-advised 14 completed Ph.D.’s. Peter has received numerous awards for his research, including the Special Interest Group on Operating Systems Hall of Fame Award for the most influential paper from OSDI; the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Programming Most Influential Programming Language Design and Implementation Paper; the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence in Computer Science for Proof-Carrying Code; and the 1994 Herbert A. Simon Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.