The Future of Computer Science
Let me begin with the remark, taken from the recent NRC Study “Roles of Industry and University in Computer Research and Development 1,” that two basic ideas, namely Babbage’s stored program concept and its triumphant transistor/microcircuit implementation, continue after thirty years to drive the computer field as a whole. These ideas have proved so rich in consequence as to ensure the practical success of our field, independent of any other accomplishment. Since, as Turing emphasized, the Babbage/Von Neumann processor is computationally universal, any computational paradigm is accessible to it, so that it can be improved in speed and size only, never in fundamental capability. Nevertheless, the successes of microcircuit technology have enabled computer speed and size to grow in an astounding way, confronting workers in the field with a continually widening range of opportunities. For example, discs have led to databases, communication technology has led to ARPANET, and microchips to interest in distributed computing.
KeywordsEditing Sonal Plague
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