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Café X: Symbiosis or Annihilation? How Humans and  Technology Coevolve

Café X: Symbiosis or Annihilation? How Humans and Technology Coevolve

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Gerald Hatch Centre Room 324, McMaster University

Dr. Edward A. Lee, Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor, EECS Department, UC Berkeley


With the explosion of interest, hype and fear around AI, data science and robotics, it is essential that we better understand how it is that technology and society evolve. Prof. Edward Ashford Lee from Berkeley talks about his book, Plato and the Nerd, as it emphasizes the creative partnership and the coevolution of human culture and technology.

About Edward A. Lee:

Edward A. Lee is the Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has been on the faculty since 1986.

He is the author of Plato and the Nerd – The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology (MIT Press, 2017), a number of textbooks and research monographs, and more than 300 papers and technical reports. Lee has delivered more than 170 keynote and other invited talks at venues worldwide and has graduated at least 35 Ph.D. students. Professor Lee’s research group studies cyber-physical systems, which integrate physical dynamics with software and networks. His focus is on the use of deterministic models as a central part of the engineering toolkit for such systems. Professor Lee is the director of the nine-university TerraSwarm Research Center, a director of iCyPhy, the Berkeley Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center, and the director of the Berkeley Ptolemy project. From 2005 to 2008, he served as chair of the EE Division and then chair of the EECS Department at UC Berkeley. He has led the development of several influential open-source software packages, notably Ptolemy and its various spinoffs.

Professor Lee received his BS degree in 1979 from Yale University, with a double major in Computer Science and Engineering and Applied Science, an SM degree in EECS from MIT in 1981, and a PhD in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1986. From 1979 to 1982 he was a member of technical staff at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, in the Advanced Data Communications Laboratory. He is co-founder of BDTI, Inc., where he is currently a Senior Technical Advisor, and has consulted for a number of other companies. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, was an NSF Presidential Young Investigator, won the 1997 Frederick Emmons Terman Award for Engineering Education, and received the 2016 Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems (TCRTS).