Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Distinguished Lecture

The Story Behind the Result

Richard Lipton

Storey Chair of Computer Science
Georgia Institute of Technology
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
4:30pm - 5:30pm
EECS 1500

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About the Event

In this talk I will try to explain how various results of mine and others came into being. Understanding the history of advances in our area, computer science, is the key to future advances. Or as Trent says in the movie (1996) Swingers:

"Look at this, okay? I want you to remember this face, here. Okay? This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy."

So we will talk about the story behind the story behind the story . . .


A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Lipton's professional career has been primarily in academia. He has held faculty appointments at Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley and Princeton University before joining the faculty in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. In addition to his computer science academic appointments, Dr. Lipton was the founding director of a computer science research laboratory for the Panasonic Corporation and is currently a chief consulting scientist at Telcordia (formerly known as Bellcore).

Dr. Lipton's research is primarily, but not exclusively focused on theory. In a recent paper which explored the power of automata-based proof systems, he explored one way to address the NP=co-NP questions which considered the length of proofs of tautologies in various proof systems. In this joint work with A. Viglas he considered proof systems defined by appropriate classes of automata. Dr. Lipton found that in general, starting from a given class of automata, it was possible to define a corresponding proof system in a natural way. One new and more powerful proof system was based on the class of push down automata. In this work, Dr. Lipton presented an exponential lower bound for oblivious read-once branching programs that resulted in a proof system more powerful than oblivious regular resolution.

Dr. Lipton has also made important contributions in the areas of program testing, software engineering and most recently, DNA computing. This latter area combines molecular biology and computer science. It is generally acknowledged that Dr. Lipton was one of the original pioneers in the field of DNA computing, along with Len Adleman.

Additional Information

Sponsor(s): CSE

Open to: Public

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP2F2KIfVJ4