2005 Visions of Computer Sciences Research Lecture Retrospective


UTCS hosted the annual Visions Lectures, the latest in a series of lectures by CS faculty who have been recognized by their community for notable achievements in research, teaching, or service. Honorees and speakers were Dr. Alan Cline, who has been accepted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT Austin and Dr. Simon Lam, winner of the 2004 Software System Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

This year's Visions Lectures took place on October 6, 2005, from 5-6 p.m. in the ACES Avaya Auditorium, ACES 2.302. Speaking to a packed lecture hall, both speakers enjoyed the rapt attention of faculty, staff, students and invited guests. Below is an abstract of each talk.

Speaker: Professor Alan Cline
Title: “The Disregard of Science and the Responsibility of Scientists”

Professor Alan Cline
Professor Alan Cline
Abstract: In various ways, science is under attack. Political leaders ignore science or reject its conclusions. Funding agencies reduce money for university-based scientific research. News media either ignore science or attempt to give equal weight to science and anti-science. Religious leaders fight science and castigate scientists. Elementary school teachers present science as simply sets of facts to be memorized. Regular citizens have little understanding of what science is, how the scientific method works, or what value it has for them. Meanwhile the reaction of scientists is a perplexed befuddlement coupled with a hope for better times. I will present evidence of the misunderstanding and rejection of science from many quarters. I find that the scientific community itself bears a significant portion of the blame. I will discuss steps to be taken toward the reversal of the trend – notions that require more than simply hope.

Professor Simon Lam
Professor Simon Lam
Speaker: Professor Simon Lam
Title: “Opening and Closing Problems in Security Protocols Research”

Abstract:The problem of authentication protocols for computer networks was opened by Needham and Schroeder in a 1978 paper. It was motivated by the ARPANET and by the invention of public key cryptography two years earlier. In the "tree" of security research, Needham and Schroeder initiated what turned out to be a very large subtree. This subtree has two major branches, one on the verification of security protocols and the other on the design and implementation of authentication services for computer networks. In this talk, I review some of our past and current efforts on network security research and place them within the subtree of security protocols research for computer networks.

Audience reacting to Professor Cline's speech, Professor Lam, front left
Audience reacting to Professor Cline's speech, Professor Lam, front left

For more information about the honorees:

Professor Alan Cline is accepted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT Austin, July 11, 2005
Professor Simon Lam receives the 2004 Software System Award
Professor Simon Lam’s web site

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