Computer Systems Laboratory Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, April 6, 2005
HP Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B01


Can we avoid catastrophic failures of computer networks?

Professor Dr. Dr.h.c.mult. Hermann MAURER
Graz University of Technolgy
About the talk:

The number of viruses and other computer threatening software is increasing at alarming speed. Even if we act decisively, (which we don't) the likelihood of a large scale and long-term failure of all computers and computer networks is high. Such failure will not be caused by some super-hacker, but rather by a well-planned cyber-attack. The consequences of a serious failure are catastrophic. Since our dependency on computers and computer networks is steadily increasing, consequences will be worse the later such a breakdown occurs!

In this talk we argue why a failure is likely and what it will cause if we do not take precautions that involve technical, economical and political decisions that are fairly far-reaching.

About the speaker:

Born in Vienna, Austria, Maurer studied mathematics and computer science at the Universities of Vienna and Calgary, and was Assistant and later Associate Professor for Computer Science at the University of Calgary 1966-1971. He then took on various positions as full professor at a number of universities, and is now at the Graz University of Technology specializing in networked multimedia systems and their applications to knowledge management, learning, digital libraries, museums, and societal implications of new developments in computers. As hobby he is writing a series of Science Fiction novels.

Some of his main accomplishments include: Dean of Faculty of Computer Science with about 200 researchers and 2500 students, head of two research institutes in Graz Published some 600 papers and 20 books, half of them technical, the most recent on “Learning Support Systems for Organizational Learning“ (2004) and the others Science Fiction

Supervised some 500 M.Sc. and 40 Ph.D. theses'>BR> Founded 16 companies and a number of international conferences and journals
Two honorary doctorates, member of two academies of science, many distinctions
Project leader of some 20 multimillion-dollar projects

Contact information:

Hermann MAURER
Inffeldgasse 16c
A-8010 Graz