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COVID-19 Information and Guidance

Webinar: Lessons from Covid-19: Efficiency vs. Resilience

In both computer science and economics, efficiency is a cherished property. In computer science, the field of algorithms is almost solely focused on their efficiency. In economics, the main advantage of the free market is that it promises “economic efficiency.” A major lesson from Covid-19, however, is that both fields have overemphasized efficiency and underemphasized resilience. 

In this webinar, University Professor Moshe Vardi, a Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice, argued that the property of resilience must be considered alongside efficiency and discussed how the fields of computer science and economics can broaden their focus to make resilience a primary consideration.

This webinar was sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Science and Technology Policy Program. Follow @stpolicy on Twitter and join the conversation with #BakerScience.

Click here for Dr. Vardi's PowerPoint presentation


1:00 p.m. — Presentation
1:30 p.m. — Q&A

Featured Speaker

Moshe Y. Vardi is a Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and University Professor at Rice, where he is leading the Technology, Culture and Society Initiative. His interests focus on automated reasoning, a branch of artificial intelligence with broad applications to computer science, including machine learning, database theory, computational-complexity theory, knowledge in multi-agent systems, computer-aided verification, and teaching logic across the curriculum. Vardi is the recipient of three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal, the IEEE Computer Society Goode Award, the EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award, the Southeastern Universities Research Association's Distinguished Scientist Award and the ACM SIGLOG Church Award. He is the author and co-author of over 600 papers, as well as two books: "Reasoning About Knowledge" and "Finite Model Theory and Its Applications." He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Mathematical Society, the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In addition, he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the European Academy of Science and Academia Europaea. Vardi holds six honorary doctorates as well as a B.Sc. in physics and computer science (summa cum laude) from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel; and an M.Sc. in computer science from Feinberg Graduate School, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovoth, Israel.


Neal Lane, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute; Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus, Rice University 




Wed, Aug. 12, 2020
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central


Zoom webinar