Renowned Computer Scientist Judea Pearl to Examine the Science of Cause and Effect

Brooklyn, N.Y.—Renowned computer scientist Judea Pearl will deliver the 15th Annual Lynford Lecture on Monday, November 4, 2013, on the campus of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for the limited available seating.

Pearl, the winner of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award, is an alumnus of NYU-Poly and currently a professor emeritus of computer science and statistics at UCLA. He also serves as the president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, an organization founded in memory of his son, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002.

Pearl will speak on the science of cause and effect, the field in which he did his Turing Award-winning work. He is widely lauded for building the representational and computational foundation for the processing of information under uncertainty, and his studies have not only revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence, but have also become an important tool for many other branches of engineering and the natural sciences.

“Though it is basic to human thought, causality is a notion shrouded in mystery, controversy, and caution, because scientists and philosophers have had difficulties defining when one event truly causes another,” Pearl has said. “We all understand that the rooster's crow does not cause the sun to rise, but even this simple fact cannot easily be translated into a mathematical equation.”

The Lynford Lecture will also feature a panel discussion moderated by Jeffrey Lynford and including Professor Katherine Isbister of the NYU Game Center and the NYU-Poly Computer Science Department as well as Dr. Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, president of NYU-Poly. For more information and to register, visit engineering.nyu.edu/lynford2013. The page includes links to submit a question for the speaker or panel or to watch a live stream of the event.

The lecture series, now in its 15th year, is made possible by the generosity of Tondra and Jeffrey Lynford and by NYU-Poly’s Institute for Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing (IMAS). Jeffrey Lynford is vice chairman of the NYU-Poly Board of Trustees, trustee of New York University, director of the Trust for Governors Island, commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and president of Educational Housing Services. The Lynfords were instrumental in bringing IMAS co-directors and mathematics professors David and Gregory Chudnovsky to NYU-Poly.

Each year, the lecture features a prominent thinker who explains complex information and important ideas with clarity and concision. Past speakers have included Nobel laureate in economic sciences Daniel Kahneman and Hillary Clinton.