The Fourth Global Forum on the Development of Computer Science (GFDCS) was held in a hybrid online and offline format at Tsinghua Sanya International Mathematical Forum on January 20, and was live-streamed worldwide in both English and Chinese. The live stream was watched by more than 10,000 viewers worldwide.
With the theme of "The Role of Computer Science in University Development Strategies", the forum invited Jack Dongarra, Turing Award winner and professor at the University of Tennessee, Arvind, Dean of the School of Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Yannis Ioannidis, President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Professor at the National and Kapodistria University of Athens, along with other deans and heads of computer departments from dozens of world-renowned universities such as the National University of Singapore, Yale University, University of Edinburgh, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Peking University, and Harbin Institute of Technology to gather together and discuss the nature and development of computer science.
This year’s forum opened with a morning session followed by two parallel afternoon sessions. The morning session began with opening remarks by Chen Yuan, Vice Chairman of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Li Luming, President of Tsinghua University, Zhou Hongbo, Secretary of Sanya Municipal Party Committee, and Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, winner of the Turing Award and Dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences at Tsinghua University, also attended the forum and delivered opening remarks. The forum was hosted by Andrew Yao and Yin Xia, Dean of the Department of Computer Science at Tsinghua University.
Chen Yuan pointed out that the world today has entered the era of university sciences, and universities should organize and promote strategically oriented systematic and cutting-edge exploratory basic research, optimize the layout of basic discipline construction, and build a high-quality discipline system with comprehensive and balanced development. It is hoped that this forum can explore new paths for computer science to empower high-quality development of universities, strengthen multi-disciplinary cross-integration innovation, and create new momentum and new advantages for the development of higher education.
Li Luming congratulated the successful convening of the 4th Global Forum on the Development of Computer Science. He said that the current strategic supporting role of computer science in scientific and technological innovation in other disciplines has become increasingly prominent. The development of computer science requires global cooperation and joint efforts. He conveyed his hope that through the forum, participating experts and scholars will jointly discuss how computer science empowers the high-quality development of universities.
Zhou Hongbo extended a warm welcome to the forum on behalf of the Sanya Municipal Party Committee. He said that Sanya is making every effort to promote the formation of science and technology innovation, high-tech industry, and a modern service industry, and that computer science plays a crucial role in supporting these new industries. He welcomed suggestions from all academicians and experts attending the forum for the development of these industries in Sanya along with sharing their wisdom and academic achievements.
Andrew Yao congratulated the forum and elaborated on the challenges facing universities today. He noted that the pace of progress in computer science continues to accelerate, creating exciting prospects for deeper innovation and changes in the world but also leading to the need for universities to adapt to this new landscape. At the same time, computer science has matured from simply a tool for the sciences to a leading component, requiring a re-evaluation of the relationship between computer science and other fields, including industry.
Following the opening remarks, Professor Arvind, Jack Dongarra, and Professor Jane Hillston, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, gave keynote speeches on the evolving nature of computer science research and the wide-ranging effects on computer science education and industry. Afterwards, the morning session concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Professor Yao and attended by Harry Shum, Council Chairman of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in addition to the three keynote speakers.
The theme of the first afternoon session was “The Development Trend of Computer Science”. This session was chaired by Professor Hillston and included keynotes by Professor Holly Rushmeier, Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Yale University, Professor Josep Fernandez, Dean of the School of Informatics at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Professor Asif Gill, Head of the School of Computer Science at the University of Technology Sydney, and Professor Xiaofang Zhou, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. A panel discussion followed the keynote speeches.
The theme of the second afternoon session was “Interdisciplinary Opportunities in Computer Science”. This session was chaired by Professor Wenwu Zhu from Tsinghua University and included keynotes by Professor Kian-Lee Tan, Dean of the School of Computing at the National University of Singapore, Professor Amey Karkare, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Professor Zhenjiang Hu, Dean of the School of Computer Science at Peking University, along with two virtual keynotes delivered by Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Professor Yannis Ioannidis. A panel discussion was also held following the keynote speeches.
The Global Forum on Development of Computer Science is a high-level international forum on discipline development held by Tsinghua University. The forum aims to explore the nature of the computer science discipline and promote its development worldwide. In 2018, the First GFDCS was initiated by Tsinghua University during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Department of Computer Science and Technology. The Second and Third Global Forums were held in September 2021 and October 2022, respectively.