Events at Reed

August 26, 2014

Lecture: Ivan Sutherland, "Computers Yet to Come"

Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

Ivan Sutherland, visiting scientist at the Asynchronous Research Center, Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, Portland State University, will briefly review his history in computer graphics—a history that spans five decades—and will offer ideas about the structure of computers for the near future. Many of today's computers already have special purpose hardware for graphics and for scientific computations. Sutherland suggests that an increasing number of such special-purpose computing devices will be necessary to augment the power efficiency of future computers. What might such devices do? Sutherland will speculates about two special-purpose devices that might prove useful. This talk will also touch upon his current work on self-timed systems that offer more flexible timing than currently available. More flexible timing is necessary because today's logic is so fast that it outstrips the speed of communication both on chip and between chips. Sutherland is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He holds the 1988 Turing Award and the 2012 Kyoto Prize. He has made contributions to computer graphics, to robotics, and to the design of integrated circuits. Sutherland is the recipient of the 2014 Howard Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology. The Vollum Award was created by Reed College in 1975 as a tribute to the late C. Howard Vollum, a graduate of the class of 1936, a Reed trustee, and a lifelong friend of the college. Originally suggested by the science faculty of Reed College, the award is intended to recognize and celebrate the exceptional achievement of a member of the scientific and technical community of the Pacific Northwest.