Dr. Paul Horn

Executive VP & Director of Research, IBM

Dr. Paul M. Horn oversees the world’s largest and most prolific research organization dedicated to information technology, with 3,000 researchers at eight labs worldwide. Under Horn’s leadership as senior vice-president and director, IBM Research has produced an unmatched string of technological breakthroughs, including the chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue, the world’s first copper chip, the giant magneto-resistive head (GMR) and strained silicon (a discovery that allows chips to run up to 35 percent faster). A solid state physicist by training, Horn has also led IBM Research into a distinctly cross-disciplinary Grand Challenge with Blue Gene– a $100 million dollar effort to build the world’s first petaflop-scale computer for the express purpose of helping to understand how human proteins fold.

In addition, Horn has implemented a unique management system that views the need to conduct exploratory research and the delivery of marketplace-ready technology as inextricably linked. As a result, IBM Research consistently speeds the flow of innovation through IBM’s product groups to the market while pursuing research areas likely to yield groundbreaking or even disruptive technologies in a number of key areas including semiconductors, data management, servers and middleware.

Horn is currently focusing the division on several crucial areas of research: the ongoing grand challenge for the I/T industry to build “autonomic computing systems,” delivery of the technologies to support IBM’s on demand strategy, and the exploration of novel modes of storage, processing and computing, such as nanomechanical devices, atomic-scale manipulation, carbon nanotube structures and so-called “superhuman speech systems.”

In 2002, Horn announced the formation of On Demand Innovation Services, an organization within IBM Research where scientists work directly with clients as consultants to gather real-world requirements and problems to fuel research projects.

And in May of 2004, Horn hosted the “Architecture of On Demand Business” summit, inviting professors from many of the top universities to join IBM researchers in a discussion about the need for establishing Services Science as a cutting-edge area of bona fide scientific inquiry. Horn views this as the vanguard of the next exciting area of research for the company, the industry and for the world economy.

Horn was previously vice president and lab director of IBM Research’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, where he was credited with tightly linking research innovation with the corporation’s storage and database development operations.

Horn graduated from Clarkson College of Technology and received his doctoral degree in physics from the University of Rochester in 1973. Prior to joining IBM in 1979, Horn was a professor of physics in the James Franck Institute and the physics department at the University of Chicago. Dr. Horn is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow from 1974-1978. He is a former associate editor of Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters and has published over 85 scientific and technical papers.

Horn has received numerous awards, including the 1988 Bertram Eugene Warren award from the American Crystallographic Association, the 2000 Distinguished Leadership award from the New York Hall of Science, the 2002 Hutchison Medal from the University of Rochester, and the 2002 Pake Prize from the American Physical Society. In 2002, he was also named as one of America’s top technical leaders by Scientific American Magazine. He is a member of numerous professional committees, including the Clarkson Industry University Board of Trustees, the University of California - Berkeley Industrial Advisory Board, the Gallaudet University Advisory Board, and is a trustee of the New York Hall of Science and the Committee for Economic Development.