How To Change the World Through Hardware? “Go With Your Passion”

| June 26, 2023

Distinguished Alum Bob Parker spoke about the early and impactful hardware advances made at ISI.

Photo Credit: Bob Parker / ISI

“I assert that a lot of the early hardware advances that ISI made have influenced technology that has touched almost every human on the planet,” said Bob Parker as he began his talk at ISI-East, the Arlington, Va. offices of USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI), a research institute of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering

On June 14, 2023, Parker, who had a long and distinguished career at ISI, spoke to a group of current ISIers about his days at the institute. Parker was one of the earliest ISI employees, the founder of ISI-East, and manager of the Hardware Development Lab in the 1980s. He was also the founding Director of the current Computational Systems and Technology division and Deputy Director of ISI. 

In this talk, he proves his initial assertion correct, highlighting hardware advances made at ISI that enabled technologies that have changed the world – technologies that have been disruptive (think: Zoom, WhatsApp, networked printers, and more).

He comments, “You’d be amazed at how long it takes for disruption to happen,” and suggests to young researchers that there’s no way to predict if what you’re working on will result in disruptive technology. Therefore, he ends the talk with the advice: “Go with your passion. Figure out what you’re good at. Push the envelope. Don’t be afraid to take the path less traveled.”

Published on June 26th, 2023

Last updated on May 16th, 2024

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