College of Computing Virtual Ribbon-Cutting and Featured Post-Event Lecture

​Enjoy fun virtual activities, win prizes, and join our special guests at 1 p.m. on Friday, February 12 (Zoom link opens at 12:45 p.m.) for the virtual ribbon-cutting of the newly formed College of Computing at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Lance Fortnow, dean of the College of Computing, hosts special guests Chris Gladwin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ocient, Illinois Tech trustee, and chair of the Board of Advisors of the College of Computing; Sonja Petrović, associate professor of applied mathematics in the College of Computing; Rohit Prasad (M.S. EE ’99), vice president and head scientist of Alexa Artificial Intelligence at Amazon, Inc., Illinois Tech trustee, and College of Computing Board of Advisors member; and Victor Y. Tsao (M.S. CS ’80), co-founder of Linksys and College of Computing Board of Advisors member.

Learn more about the College of Computing’s unique educational model and its mission to fuel the diverse talent that will lead in today’s tech society.

To register for the event, please click here.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m., enjoy a featured lecture—“An Ethical Crisis in Computing?”—by Moshe Y. Vardi, University Professor and Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice University.

Lecture Abstract
Computer scientists often think of Ender’s Game these days. In this award-winning 1985 science-fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, Ender is being trained at Battle School, an institution designed to turn young children into military commanders against an unspecified enemy. Ender’s team engages in a series of computer-simulated battles, eventually destroying the enemy’s planet, only to learn that the battles were real and a real planet has been destroyed.

Many scientists got involved in computing because programming was fun. The benefits of computing seemed intuitive. We truly believe that computing yields tremendous societal benefits; for example, the life-saving potential of driverless cars is enormous! Like Ender, however, we realized recently that computing is not a game—it is real—and it brings with it not only societal benefits, but also significant societal costs, such as labor polarization, disinformation, and smart-phone addiction.

The common reaction to this crisis is to label it as an “ethical crisis,” and the proposed response is to add courses in ethics to the academic computing curriculum. Vardi will argue that the ethical lens is too narrow. The real issue is how to deal with technology’s impact on society. Technology is driving the future, but who is doing the steering?