Technology expert kicks off RENCI Distinguished Lecture series

CHAPEL HILL, NC, December 18, 2006—A renowned technology expert from IBM who is responsible for identifying emerging technologies and marketplace developments critical to the future of the IT industry will launch the Renaissance Computing Institute’s (RENCI) Distinguished Lecture Series with a talk at 2 p.m. Feb. 8, 2007 at the Friday Center for Continuing Education, 100 Friday Center Drive.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president for technical strategy and innovation at IBM, will present a lecture titled “At the Threshold of a 21st Century Business Revolution.” He will examine how powerful new technologies, combined with open standards and the Internet, are building a global information infrastructure and giving business unprecedented access to worldwide resources. “Technologies such as social and business networks and highly visual, interactive interfaces are creating a new collaborative, resource rich environment,” says Wladawsky-Berger. “It is the kind of fundamental change that promises to transform business and social institutions.”

Wladawsky-Berger has been developing IBM’s responses to emerging technologies since 1995, when he was charged with formulating the company’s strategy for the Internet and developing and bringing to market leading-edge Internet technologies that could be integrated into IBM’s mainstream businesses. He has led a number of IBM’s company wide initiatives, including use of the Linux operating system, autonomic computing, grid computing and the On Demand business initiative. Wladawsky-Berger began his career at IBM in 1970 at the company’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. In addition to his work at IBM, he co-chaired the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee during the Clinton administration and was a founding member of the Computer Sciences and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council.  He holds an M.S. and Ph. D. in physics from the University of Chicago and recently was appointed visiting professor of engineering systems at MIT’s interdisciplinary Engineering Systems Division. A native of Cuba, he was named Hispanic Engineer of the Year in 2001.

“The RENCI Distinguished Lecture Series is an effort to bring bold, creative thinkers to our region to share their ideas,” said RENCI Director Dan Reed. “Irving Wladawsky-Berger is someone who takes original approaches, who is willing to work with and learn from others, and has the courage to take risks in order to achieve meaningful results. He personifies our renaissance ideal and is an excellent speaker to launch our series.”

The lecture, in the Redbud room at Friday Center, will last about one hour and will be followed by a short question and answer session. It is free and open to the general public. For more information, please see For directions to the Friday Center, please see RENCI Distinguished Lectures will be held three times a year, with a second lecture scheduled for April 12, 2007.  Check the RENCI website for the most up-to-date information on the lectures.

RENCI, Catalyst for Innovation
The Renaissance Computing Institute brings together computer and discipline scientists, artists, humanists, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, state leaders and educators for collaborations designed to reshape science, the economy, the state of North Carolina and the world. RENCI leverages its expertise and resources in leading edge computing, networking and data technologies to ignite innovation and find solutions to previously intractable problems. Founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization.  For more, see