CRAY Colloquium: Stephanie Forrest

The computer science colloquium takes place on Mondays from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. This week's speaker, Stephanie Forrest (Arizona State University), will be giving a talk titled "The Biology of Software".


Computer programmers like to think of software as the product of intelligent design, carefully crafted to meet well-specified goals.  In reality, large software systems evolve inadvertently through the actions of many individual programmers, often leading to unanticipated consequences.  Because software is subject to constraints similar to those faced by evolving biological systems, we have much to gain by viewing software through the lens of evolutionary biology.  The talk will highlight research applying the mechanisms of evolution quite directly to software, including repairing bugs and runtime optimization of GPU codes.  These results have implications for how we think more generally about engineering complex systems that are subject to evolutionary pressures and engineering constraints.


Stephanie Forrest is Professor of Computer Science at Arizona State University, where she directs the Biodesign Center for Biocomputation, Security and Society.  Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the intersection of biology and computation, including cybersecurity, software engineering, and biological modeling.

Prior to joining ASU in 2017, she was a Distinguished Professor at the University of New Mexico and served as Dept. Chair. She is a member of the Santa Fe Institute External Faculty and past co-Chair of its Science Board and Interim VP for Academic Affairs.  She spent 2013-2014 as a Jefferson Fellow at the U.S. Dept. of State as a Senior Science Advisor for cyberpolicy.  She was educated at St. John's College (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science).

Some of her awards include: The 2020 Test of Time Award from the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium; The 2019 Most Influential Paper Award from the International Conference on Software Engineering, the Santa Fe Institute Stanislaw Ulam Memorial Lectures (2013), the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award (2011), and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1991).  She is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the Computing Research Association Board of Directors.

Start date
Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, 11:15 a.m.
End date
Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, 12:15 p.m.