What are your impressions from visiting the Department of Computer Science and Engineering?
– I enjoyed getting to know a lively and energetic department. I had interesting conversations with leadership on how to build academic excellence, and I enjoyed learning from faculty and graduate students about their research directions. This may lead to further collaborations.
– I also enjoyed seeing my past student, Nir Piterman, now flourishing as a professor.
The topic of your talk as an honorary doctorate was technology and democracy?
– I chose to talk about the negative impact of technology on democracy. For many years, computer scientists like me focused purely on the technical aspects of computer science and left the discussion of societal impact of information technology to other disciplines. Over the past decade, I have come to the conclusion that this is not morally defensible. Technologists must accept that technology has both beneficial and adverse consequences. We must accept our social responsibility, I believe.
What did it mean to you to be appointed honorary doctor?
– Science is a social activity. Scientists want to change the world by influencing the thinking of the scientific community. An honorary doctorate is strong signal from the scientific community to a scientist: "Yes, what you have accomplished is significant".
What are your plans right now?
– While I continue to engage in research on automated reasoning with my students, my main focus is on convincing the computing-research community to accept responsibility for the adverse impacts of information technology.