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September 9, 1999
Reddy To Co-Chair Presidential Infotech Advisory Panel
A P Kamath in Pittsburgh
One of the most distinguished computer science professors across the world, Dr Raj Reddy has guided students and fellow scientists at the Carnegie Mellon University for nearly three decades.
Now, with Dr Irving Wladawsky-Berger, who served at the IBM Corporation in several capacities, including general manager of the Internet division from December 1995, Dr Reddy will be the co-chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee.
PITAC was funded with a $ 1 billion initial investment by the federal government.
Dr Reddy, 62, is also a speaker in much demand at top-level conventions. Several years ago, he delivered a speech at the annual convention of AAPI, outlining to Indian doctors the marvels of telemedicine and detailing how hospitals of the future in technologically-developed countries could help run hospitals in remote parts of the world without their doctors having to step out.
Established by President Clinton in February, 1997, the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee provides the President, and federal agencies involved in computer technology, with advice on all areas of high performance computing, communications, and information technologies.
Dr Reddy, the dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, has been with PITAC from its inception.
An alumnus of the University of Madras, Dr Reddy, who spent his childhood in Pondicherry, received his M Tech degree from the University of New South Wales and his Ph D from Stanford University.
At Carnegie Mellon, he has served from 1979 to 1991, as founding director of the Robotics Institute. Additionally, from 1992, he has been a Simon University professor of computer science and robotics at the School of Computer Science. From 1960 to 1963, he worked as an applied science representative for IBM in Australia.
Dr Reddy is the recipient of several awards: The ACM Turing Award in 1994; the IBM Research Ralph Gomory Fellow Award in 1991; and the Legion of Honor awarded by President Mitterand of France in 1984.
A PITAC report released early this year with input from Dr Reddy and other scientists notes that the growth in today's information technology sector leads all other sectors of the economy.
The Federal Reserve reports that during the past five years production in computers, semiconductors, and communications equipment quadrupled. This was at a time total industrial production grew by 28 per cent. These three industries account for one-third of the total growth in production since 1992. As America approaches the 21st century, the opportunities for innovation in IT are larger than they ever have been -- and more important.
The report stressed the importance of the Clinton administration's initiatives in computing and communications such as the next generation Internet, the department of energy's DOE 2000 distributed computing program, and the National Science Foundation's Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence emphasis.
This year, President Clinton has proposed record increases for civilian research and development to keep America at the cutting-edge of science and technology.
Recognizing the critical role that federal research has played in developing modern computing, the Internet, and other Information Age technologies, the committee urged the President to ensure that this momentum is maintained.
It called for sharply increased support for basic research, giving highest priority to research on computer software. They also stressed the importance of allowing the research community to "live in the future" and tackle long-term high-risk research challenges.
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