• October 2009
    M T W T F S S

Google CEO Imagines Era of Mobile Supercomputers.

InformationWeek (10/28/09) Claburn, Thomas

Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes the future of computing lies in smart mobile devices and data centers. “A billion people on the planet are carrying supercomputers in their hands,” Schmidt says. “Now you think of them as mobile phones, but that’s not what they really are. They’re video cameras. They’re GPS devices. They’re powerful computers. They have powerful screens. They can do many, many different things.” Schmidt says over the next few years mobile technology will continue to advance and consumers will be exposed to new applications that are unimaginable now. For example, Google’s Android phone division is working on an application that can take pictures of bar codes, identify the corresponding product, and compare prices online. Another Android application can translate a picture of a menu written in a foreign language. Cloud computing will provide the computational muscle for many of these future services, which Schmidt says is probably the next big wave in computing. He also believes that computing will continue to bring major changes to our society. “We’re going from a model where the information we had was pretty highly controlled by centralized media operatives to a world where most of our information will come from our friends, from our peers, from user-generated content,” Schmidt says. “These changes are profound in the society of America, in the social life, and all the ways we live.”


Professor Working to Advance Computing as a Science .

UA News (AZ) (10/28/09) Everett-Haynes, La Monica

University of Arizona professor Richard T. Snodgrass has received a U.S. National Science Foundation grant to promote computation as a true science. Snodgrass, an ACM Fellow, says the process of computational thinking is universal and highly valued in subjects such as physics, biology, and chemistry. “The problem with computer science is that a few people think it equals programming,” he says. “But that doesn’t emphasize the great ideas behind computer science, and that’s what we want to bring out in this grant.” Snodgrass and Peter Denning, director of the Cebrowski Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, will use the three-year, $800,000 grant to elevate the status of computing and encourage students, particularly girls and women, at the K-12 level to enter the field. The grant will enable them to develop and organize the “Field Guide to the Science of Computation.” The guide will feature various levels, from beginner to graduate students and professionals, and provide an organized body of information on computing, including theoretical frameworks and models related to automation, communication, evaluation, design, and other topics. ACM’s education board and the Computer Science Teachers Association also will collaborate on the three-year project. Snodgrass said the grant came just before the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution endorsing the need to support computer science education at the K-12 level. The resolution designated the week of Dec. 7 as National Computer Science Education Week.