Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham has named MIT President Charles M. Vest to head the Task Force on the Future of Science Programs at the Department of Energy.
The high-level task force will examine science and technology programs across the department and consider future priorities for scientific research.
"I'm grateful that Chuck Vest has agreed to chair this important task force," Abraham said. "I want to ensure that the Department of Energy remains on the frontier of research as we address our evolving missions in the future."
The task force will present its final report next summer to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, the highest external advisory board in the Department of Energy.
Vest also serves on the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and is vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness. He is the former chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station and former chairman of the Association of American Universities.
Among the other members of the 12-member task force is Robert Birgeneau, president of the University of Toronto and formerly MIT's dean of science.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 8, 2003.