The following is a special contribution to the CCC Blog by Stephanie Forrest, professor of computer science at the University of New Mexico — and until recently, a member of the CCC Council. Stephanie attended the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Annual Meeting earlier this year, and she writes about her experiences here.
U.S. computer science and engineering was well represented at January’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Several academic computer scientists were invited to participate in sessions known as Idea Labs, each of which was organized around a single theme and institution. Tomaso Poggio and Alex Pentland participated in a session titled “Worms, Machines and Brains with MIT”; Justine Cassell, Pradeep Khosla, Tom Mitchell and Manuela Veloso comprised a session on “Leveraging Human-Machine Collaboration with Carnegie-Mellon University”; and I spoke in the session titled “Managing Complexity with the Santa Fe Institute.” Each 75-minute session consisted of a short introduction, usually by the university’s president, followed by (very) short talks from each presenter, and then breakout sessions following up on the talks.