In the same way that the printing press heralded the start of the Renaissance and the study of physics helped to foster the Industrial Revolution, technological advances in computation and communication in the 20th century have set the stage for the “Age of Information." Yet, scientific and technological changes are accelerating so fast they are outpacing existing institutions such as schools, media, industry, and government—structures originally designed for the needs of the Industrial Age.

The Information Science and Technology (IST) initiative at Caltech is an institute-wide effort that seeks to provide a new intellectual framework enabling ideas from computation and the information sciences to integrate into and transform disciplines across Caltech and beyond, from physics and biology to economics and the social sciences.

Caltech has a unique and remarkable history of creating new “CS+X” fields at the interface of the information sciences and diverse areas in science and engineering—it is the place that gave birth to VLSI, quantum computing, DNA computing, synthetic biology, neural networks, algorithmic game theory, computer music, and many more. The goal of the IST initiative is to support and magnify these efforts by bringing together faculty and students from diverse areas on campus for seminars and workshops, creating of unique courses and educational programs in “CS+X”, and seeding research and centers in emerging CS+X areas too new to receive support from external grants. [Read more]