IAS Distinguished Lecture

Reflecting on the Digital Revolution: From a Historical Perspective to a Call for Action


Digital technologies changed the world. They produced a paradigm shift in science that spread to all aspects of society and human life. Other singularity points occurred in the history of humankind, generating similar revolutionary changes. The first part of the talk follows a historical perspective, and looks at some of these change points, trying to understand both the similarities and differences with the digital revolution, in terms of speed, breadth, and depth of changes. It will dig more specifically into a specific crucial technology –software– which is at the heart of all changes. Software, which includes AI, defines and embeds the rules of the new digital world. The second part of the talk reflects on how we can direct technological advances towards development of an “open, free and secure digital future for all”, as hoped for by the UN’s Global Digital Compact initiative. In particular, it focuses on the responsibilities of academics in research, education, and outreach.

About the Speaker

Prof. Carlo GHEZZI received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 1969. He joined his alma mater in 1981 and has been the Chair of Software Engineering, Rector's delegate for research, member of the Academic Senate and of the Board of Governors, and Department Chair. He is currently the Emeritus Professor of Software Engineering in the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering.

Prof. Ghezzi’s research has been focusing on software engineering and programming languages. He is especially interested in principles, methods, and tools to improve dependability of software and its ability to self-adapt and evolve, in the context of ubiquitous/pervasive computer applications. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology in 2001-2007. He had also served on the editorial board of Communications of the ACM, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, and Science of Computer Programming, to name a few.

Prof. Ghezzi's contributions to computer science have been widely recognized with several honors and awards. He is an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, a member of the European Academy of Sciences, and of the Italian Academy of Sciences—Istituto Lombardo. During 2012-2015, he was the President of Informatics Europe. He has also received several prestigious awards, including the Distinguished Education Award from the IEEE Technical Community on Software Engineering in 2018, the Outstanding Research Award from the ACM Special Interest Group in Software Engineering (SIGSOFT) in 2015 and the Distinguished Service Award from the ACM SIGSOFT in 2006.

For Attendees' Attention

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