Philosophical Society of Washington

Supporting U.S. Innovation and Prosperity in the 21st Century

William A. Wulf
University Professor, University of Virginia
President Emeritus, National Academy of Engineering

This year's Retiring President's lecture is sponsored by Dr. Bill Spargo, LLC.

2231st Meeting Abstract
Friday, January 11, 2008 at 8:30 PM


In 2005 Congress asked the National Academies “what does the U.S. need to do to prosper in the 21st Century?” The Academies response was a report entitled Rising Above the Gathering Storm. Together with Tom Freidman’s book and about a dozen reports from the likes of the Council on Competitiveness and the National Association of Manufacturers, this report identified innovation as a prime competitive strength of the U.S. and recommended ways to enhance that strength. After quickly reviewing the situation laid out in these reports, this talk will go on to point out a number of other areas where the laws, policies, regulations and institutions that support innovation need to be rethought in terms of how they do (or don’t) match the needs of future technologies.

William A. Wulf

About the Author:

William A. Wulf recently returned to the University of Virginia as University Professor. He is also President Emeritus of the National Academy of Engineering, having served as President from 1996 to 2007. Together with its sibling, the National Academy of Sciences, the NAE is both an honorific organization and an independent, authoritative advisor to the government on issues involving science and technology.

Earlier, Mr. Wulf was AT&T Professor of Engineering at the University of Virginia. Before that he was an Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation, Founder and CEO of Tartan Laboratories, and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia and Carnegie Mellon University. He received his B.S. in Engineering Physics and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.

He is a is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Corresponding Member of the Academia Espanola De Ingeniera, a Member of the Academy Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the IEEE, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Association for Women in Science (AWIS), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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