Distinguished Lecture - Computing Systems Research and the Jevons Paradox

Location: Hancock 100
Date: Friday, November 11, 2016
Time: 11:15AM - 12:30PM
This talk is open to the general public.

Dr. Dimitrios S. Nikolopoulos
Queen's University of Belfast


The Jevons Paradox remains to date a highly controversial topic among environmental economists, many of whom dispute the need to increase the efficiency with which we use our natural resources. The talk hopes to stimulate thought about how and whether to consider the Jevons Paradox in computing systems research. The talk will provide experiential evidence from almost 20 years of research of the speaker in the area, but without aspiring to give definite answers: Is research in scalable computing systems futile because any improvement in efficiency will be outpaced by demand? Is the Jevons Paradox an indicator of slow or fast progress in the field? And should the Paradox be preempted, avoided, or forgotten altogether?


Dimitrios Nikolopoulos is Professor, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS), and Director of Research in High Performance and Distributed Computing at Queen¹s University Belfast. His core expertise is in system software and new computing paradigms at the limits of performance, power and reliability. He is best known internationally for his research in dynamic locality optimisation and execution-time program scaling. His research has underpinned industrial data analytics frameworks and parallel programming standards. The group of 30 researchers whom he leads works in all aspects of scalable computing. His research grant portfolio involves over 50 international academic groups and over 20 industrial partners. He is a member of the European Commission Advisory Board on Technologies for Cyber-Physical Systems. He has supervised to completion 13 PhD students, many of whom now have prestigious posts in academiaand industry. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, US NSF and DOE CAREER Awards, the IBM Faculty Award, and the first ever SFI-DEL Investigator Award. His research has also been recognised with seven IEEE and ACM Best Paper award and has been supported with over £40 million in competitive funding.