Title: Computational Sustainability

Speaker:  Prof. Shrisha Rao, IIIT Bangalore


This talk underscores the critical imperative for sustainability, emphasizing the development of computational solutions to address pressing environmental issues.  Delving into the intricacies of the carbon cycle, the talk elucidates how human activities have disrupted natural balances, resulting in escalating atmospheric CO2 levels and contributing to climate change and ocean acidification.  The core concept of computational sustainability is introduced, defined as the utilization of models and algorithms to harmonize environmental, economic, and human needs, encompassing areas such as "green IT" and the application of computing to sustainability challenges.

There is a brief discussion of various aspects of computational sustainability, covering renewable energy integration in computing, data center efficiency metrics (PUE and RenPercent), and algorithms optimizing computing job schedules for solar power utilization. Shifting focus to electric vehicles, the talk explores certain computational issues with their use.  The talk also briefly delves into the ethical considerations surrounding sustainability efforts, envisions a "post-carbon" future, and cautions against companies engaging in "greenwashing" without substantial change.  Ultimately, it advocates for the urgency of working for sustainability, and suggests the potential of emerging computational approaches to provide effective solutions.


Shrisha Rao is a professor and Dean (Faculty) at IIIT Bangalore.  He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Iowa, and before that his M.S. in logic and computation from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Rao was an ACM Distinguished Speaker from 2015 to 2021, and is presently an IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor.  He is a member of the ACM, and a Senior Member of the IEEE.  He is also a life member of the American Mathematical Society and the Computer Society of India.

Dr. Rao is on the editorial boards of Sādhanā, The Knowledge Engineering Review, and PLOS ONE, and has had editing assignments for the IEEE Systems Journal and Frontiers in Public Health.   He has been a reviewer for many journals of several major publishers, and has served as a program committee member for several international conferences.  Dr. Rao has also been a reviewer for the Fulbright Fellowships, and has also reviewed proposals for the NWO and other scientific bodies. He has also been a regular reviewer, with over 90 published reviews, for the ACM Computing Reviews journal, which reviews a sample of the latest publications related to the computing sciences.

Dr. Rao is a contributing member of the LITD 14 (Software and System Engineering) sectional committee, a national mirror committee of the ISO/IEC sub-committees JTC 1/SC 7 Software and System Engineering, and JTC 1/SC 38 Cloud Computing, of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), as well as the LITD 31 (Cloud Computing and Distributed Platforms) and TED 28 (Intelligent Transportation Systems) sectional committees of the BIS.  He is also an expert committee member for the Technology Development Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.  Dr. Rao is also a member of the Expert Committee on Technology for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) which comes under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.