KEYNOTE – Tuesday 19 February, 9:00 am


Economic growth is driven by the evolving interplay between innovation and automation: the former providing new products and services and the latter enabling cost-competitive and timely production and delivery.

Information technology plays an increasingly central role in this process–a role that is only going to accelerate in the next decade as a result of advances in cloud and multicore computing.

I discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in a hyper-connected, hyper-automated world, with a particular emphasis on what they mean for the wonderful country of New Zealand.


Ian Foster is the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago and an Argonne Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory. He is also the Director of the Computation Institute, a joint unit of Argonne and the University. His research is concerned with the acceleration of discovery in a networked world. Foster was a leader in the development and promulgation of concepts and methods that underpin grid computing. These methods allow computing to be delivered reliably and securely on demand, as a service, and permit the formation and operation of virtual organizations linking people and resources worldwide. These results, and the associated Globus open source software, have helped advance discovery in such areas as high energy physics, environmental science, and biomedicine. Grid computing methods have also proved influential outside the world of science, contributing to the emergence of cloud computing. His new Globus Online project seeks to outsource complex and time-consuming research management processes to software-as-a-service providers; the goal here is to make the discovery potential of massive data, exponentially faster computers, and deep interdisciplinary collaboration accessible to every researcher, not just a select few “big science” projects.

Dr. Foster is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the British Computer Society. Awards include the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal, honorary doctorates from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and CINVESTAV, Mexico, and the IEEE Tsutomu Kanai award.