Lessons from COVID-19: Efficiency vs Resilience with Moshe Vardi

In both computer science and economics, efficiency is a cherished property. In computer science, the field of algorithms is almost solely focused on their efficiency. In economics, the main advantage of the free market is that it promises "economic efficiency." A major lesson from COVID-19 is that both fields have over-emphasized efficiency and under-emphasized resilience. I argue that resilience is a more important property than efficiency and discuss how the two fields can broaden their focus to make resilience a primary consideration. I will include a technical example, showing how we can shift the focus in strategic reasoning from efficiency to resilience.

Moshe Vardi

Moshe Y. Vardi is a University Professor, and the George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. He is the author and co-author of more than 600 papers, as well as two books. Vardi is the recipient of several scientific awards, including the CRA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010, is a fellow of several societies, and a member of several honorary academies. He holds seven honorary doctorates. He is a Senior Editor of Communications of the ACM, the premier publication in computing, focusing on societal impact of information technology.