Chrysostomos L. Nikias, Ph.D
President Emeritus and Professor of Electrical Engineering
Malcolm R. Currie Chair in Technology and the Humanities
Director, The Institute for Technology Enabled Higher-Education
University of Southern California
Title: Semiconductor Chips in the Center of Geopolitical Competition
Abstract: Semiconductor chips are the “brains” behind everything of today’s economy. They have become the world’s most critical industry. The single most important factor affecting semiconductors is a “cold war-type tensions” that has slowly developed in recent years between the U.S. and China that are rooted in the starkly different systems of governance of the world’s two largest economies: democracy versus autocracy. We will address the current geopolitical tensions that are disrupting the crucial global semiconductor industry even as the artificial intelligence applications and cloud computing revolutions fuel a surge in demand, the complexities and multinational nature of the supply chain, the challenges with 5G telecommunications hardware, the importance of educating this industry’s highly skilled workforce, the role that democratic societies around the world can play, and make some predictions on what the future holds.
CV: Dr. Chrysostomos L. Nikias is currently President Emeritus and Life Trustee of the University of Southern California (USC), Professor of Electrical Engineering, and the holder of the Malcolm R. Currie Chair in Technology and the Humanities. He has been at USC since 1991, and in addition to his work as a professor, has served as research center director, dean of engineering, provost, and president of the university. Dr. Nikias is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, an associate member of the Academy of Athens, a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE). He is the recipient of the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal for exceptional achievement in systems engineering, the Academic Leadership Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the UNICEF’s Spirit of Compassion Award, and six honorary doctorates.