Keynote Talks

Bob Metcalfe just entered his 6th career: COMPUTATIONAL ENGINEER. He’s been appointed Research Affiliate in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT, his alma mater. For 11 years Bob served as Professor of Innovation at the Cockrell School of Engineering, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the McCombs School of Business, and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at The University of Texas at Austin. Bob retired from UTAustin as Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “My work here, on the Texas/Austin/UTAustin startup ecosystem, is done.” Bob was an Internet pioneer beginning in 1970 at MIT, Harvard, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Parc), Stanford, and 3Com. He invented Ethernet at Parc on May 22, 1973. Today Ethernet is the Internet ‘ s standard plumbing, each year adding billions of ports, if we let Bob count Wireless Ethernet (Wi-Fi). Bob remains a champion of Ethernet and connectivity in general, according to Metcalfe’s Law (V~N^2). The Internet turned 50 in 2019, just in time for COVID-19. The most important new fact about the human condition is that, and it ‘ s mostly good news, we are now suddenly connected. Among many other honors, Bob has won the Bell, Hopper, Japan C&C, Marconi, McCluskey, Shannon, and Stibitz Prizes. He has been inducted into the Internet, Consumer Electronics, and Computer History Museum Halls of Fame. He is Emeritus Life Trustee of MIT. Bob received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Medal of Honor in 1996 and the National Medal of Technology in 2005 for leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet. Bob founded Internet startup 3Com Corporation in Silicon Valley on June 4, 1979. 3Com went public on March 21, 1984. Bob &quot retired” from 3Com in 1990. In 1999, 3Com revenue was $5.7B, and its market capitalization peaked momentarily at an inflation-adjusted $52 billion, of which Bob didn’t even get half. 3Com was acquired by HP Enterprise in 2010. During the 1990s, Bob was CEO/Publisher/Pundit at IDG/InfoWorld Magazine. His Internet column, FROM THE ETHER, was read weekly by a million? information technologists among IDG ‘ s 90 countries. In his column he was famously wrong in predicting the Internet would suffer a gigalapse in 1996. Read all about this prediction in Bob ‘ s book, INTERNET COLLAPSES, still available on During the 2000s, Bob was a limited, venture, general, and now emeritus Polaris Partner in Boston.

Dhiraj Murthy a Professor of Journalism and Media Studies (in the Moody College of Communication), Sociology (by courtesy), and School of Information (by courtesy). He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Cambridge 

His research explores social media, digital research methods, race/ethnicity, qualitative/mixed methods, big data quantitative analysis, diversity and community inclusion, and virtual organizations. Dr. Murthy has edited 3 journal special issues and authored over 80 articles, book chapters, and papers. Murthy wrote the first scholarly book about Twitter (second edition published by Polity Press, 2018). He has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities, National Science Foundation, and by Good Systems at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Dr. Murthy founded and directs the Computational Media Lab at UT Austin, a large lab with over 20 graduate and undergraduate students (and several high school interns). He is co-editor of the high impact journal Big Data & Society (IF=8.731). Dr. Murthy has chaired and co-chaired international social media conferences and serves on the advisory board of MediaWell, an initiative by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).

David Rand is the Erwin H. Schell Professor and Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. David’s research combines survey experiments and social media field experiments to understand human decision-making online. His work focuses on illuminating why people believe and share misinformation and “fake news”; understanding political psychology and polarization; and promoting human cooperation.

He has published over 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals such Nature, Science, PNAS, the American Economic Review, Psychological Science, Management Science, New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Political Science, and his work has received widespread media attention. David regularly advises technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter in their efforts to combat misinformation, and has provided testimony about misinformation to the US and UK governments. He has also written for popular press outlets including the New York Times, Wired, and New Scientist.

He was named to Wired magazine’s Smart List 2012 of ” 50 people who will change the world,” chosen as a 2012 Pop!Tech Science Fellow, awarded the 2015 Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Research, chosen as fact-checking researcher of the year in 2017 by the Poyner Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, awarded the 2020 FABBS Early Career Impact Award from the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, and selected as a 2021 Best 40-Under-40 Business School Professor by Poets & Quants.

Papers he has coauthored have been awarded Best Paper of the Year in Experimental Economics, Social Cognition, and Political Methodology.