11th Annual Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence
Professor Rick Stevens
Associate Laboratory Director of Computing, Environment and Life Sciences
at Argonne National Laboratory
University of Chicago Senior Fellow and Computer Science Professor in the Computation Institute
The Future of Computing and its Impact on Science and Society
Join us for a discussion with Dr. Rick Stevens addressing the current and future state of computing and its expected impact on science and society during the next 10 to 20 years.
Since the 1940s, computers have shaped big questions in science and made significant impact on everyday life, from routine weather forecasting to the Internet. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, computing is poised for a broader and more fundamental transformation of human society. From the reality of self-driving cars to the wonder of ubiquitous AI and utility of the Internet of Things, the next generation of computing technologies will change the way we work, the way we live and how we think about education and health. Individuals will have access to the computing and analysis capabilities of entire research labs of the past and possess the ability to work on problems, create teams and build businesses anywhere in the world.
The widespread deployment of these emerging computing technologies will displace millions of jobs yet open up countless opportunities for those able to adapt. The way we approach scientific research—and even what it means to know something—will change, our relationship with machines will evolve, and our underlying view of the world will be altered.
Dr. Stevens believes these changes can help us improve the lives of people everywhere if we are prepared and have a clear vision. Advances in computing will drive and build on advances in genomics, biotechnology, 3D printing, energy storage, materials science and quantum information to yield a technological landscape that will challenge our imaginations. And yet, with sufficient work, he believes this new and amazing landscape will yield a vast array of benefits for humankind.
Since 1999, Rick Stevens has been a professor at the University of Chicago and, since 2004, an associate laboratory director at Argonne National Laboratory. He is internationally known for his work in high-performance computing, collaboration and visualization technology and for building computational tools and Web infrastructures to support large-scale genome and metagenome analysis for basic science and infectious disease research. He teaches and supervises students in the areas of computer systems and computational biology. He co-leads the Department of Energy national laboratory group that has been developing the national initiative for Exascale computing.
At Argonne, Stevens leads the Computing, Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) Directorate, which operates one of the top supercomputers in the world. Prior to that role, he led the Mathematics and Computer Science Division for 10 years and the Physical Sciences Directorate. He and his group have won R+D100 awards for developing advanced collaboration technology. He has published more than 200 papers and book chapters and holds several patents. He lectures widely on the opportunities for large-scale computing to impact biological science.
More information on Stevens is available here.
The Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence program was created by a gift to Parker in honor of engineer, industrialist and philanthropist Robert A. Pritzker ’44. This program aims to expand science education opportunities at Parker and foster an ongoing dialogue among students and teachers about current issues in science. Previous recipients include Dr. Leon M. Lederman, Dr. Paul Sereno, Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Christina Mittermeier, Dr. Edward “Rocky” Kolb, Dr. Ka Yee Lee, Dr. Don Hillebrand, Dr. Matthew Tirrell, Dr. Elizabeth Gerber, Dr. Sian Beilock and Dr. Wendy Freedman.