Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.


Akamai Chief Scientist Talks Theory

June 10th, 2011 / in big science, conference reports, research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

MIT150 - MIT's 150th Anniversary CelebrationOver the past few weeks, we’ve been highlighting on this blog several of the excellent talks from the “Computation and the Transformation of Practically Everything” symposium held at MIT earlier this year. The symposium — part of MIT’s 150th anniversary celebration — described how computer science is changing the world.

This week, we showcase another talk, this one by Tom Leighton, the Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Akamai Technologies — a global leader in web acceleration and performance — and a Professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT. Leighton described the history of theoretical computer science, including key advances like the RSA encryption protocol, the Viterbi algorithm (which is used today in cell phones, digital TVs, etc., and led to the creation of Qualcomm), linear programming (which was invented during World War II to optimize military planning), Google’s PageRank algorithm, and Akamai’s content delivery network.

It’s a great history lesson on the theory subfield — and I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it:

MIT Tech TV

And don’t forget that you can find many of the other fabulous talks from the MIT150 Symposium right here.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Akamai Chief Scientist Talks Theory