Cornell University Department of Computer Science
John E. Hopcroft is the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics in Computer Science at Cornell University. He received his BS (1961) from Seattle University and his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) in electrical engineering from Stanford University. His research centers on theoretical aspects of computer science. He served as dean of Cornell University’s College of Engineering from 1994 until 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, of the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association of Computing Machinery, and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In 1986 he was awarded the A. M. Turing Award for his research contributions. In 1992, he was appointed by President George Bush to the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation, and served through May 1998. He received the IEEE Harry Goode Memorial Award in 2005, the Computing Research Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007, the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award in 2009, and the IEEE Von Neumann Medal in 2010. He has honorary degrees from Seattle University, the National College of Ireland, the University of Sydney, St Petersburg State University, Beijing University of Technology, HKUST and is an honorary professor of the Beijing Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Chongqing University, and Yunnan University. He serves on the Packard Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, Microsoft Technical advisory board for Research Asia, and the advisory boards of IIIT Delhi and Seattle University’s College of Engineering. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has designated him as an Einstein professor.
Over the last 40 years, computer science research was focused on making computers useful. Areas included programming languages, compilers, operating systems, data structures and algorithms. These are still important topics but with the merging of computing and communication, the emergence of social networks, and the large amount of information in digital form, focus is shifting to applications such as the structure of networks and extracting information from large data sets. This talk will give a brief vision of the future and then an introduction to the science base that needs to be formed to support these new directions.