Some Positions and Opinions
I have been known to express an opinion now and then, so I have tried to
collect a smattering of them here -- these are all of the "quasi professional"
sort. That is, they are not technical per se, but they are related to my
Concerning Our Discipline
Computer Science is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting "places
to be" that I can imagine right now. I believe that in a hundred years
historians will look back on these times as profoundly more important than
the Industrial Revolution, for example. Yet, because we're a young discipline
I suppose, there is an unusual angst among us about who we are and how we
relate to other disciplines. One of the more unproductive discussions in
this vein is whether Computer "Science" is a science at all; for
my view see an article that I wrote for Computing
You can find a grab-bag of my views on"our field", expansively
defined, in the keynote address that I gave at SuperComputing
'95. The text is anedited version of the talk.
Concerning the Impact of Information Technology
I am convinced that information technology is going to have a far more profound
impact on universities than most of us imagine -- but I don't necessarily
know what that impact will be. I tried to sketch my thoughts on the issue
in the Summer '95 issue of Issues in Science and Technology, the quarterly
publication of the National Academy of Science.
An earlier version of that paper, that I call the "buttons"
paper, is available here.
Concerning Federal Funding of Research
There are several reasons why federal funding of research will decline over
the next decade, but a major one is the pressure on the "discretionary"
portion of the budget. Consider the attached figure which depicts the fraction
of the budget (which eliminates a need to worry about inflation adjustment)
going to four simple catagories:
The "everything else" catagory includes just about everything
one associates with the government, but specifically includes funding of
research. As you can see, that catagory is now below 10% of the budget and
is shrinking rapidly.
- payment to individuals (social security, veterans benefits, medicare,
- interest on the debt, and
- everything else!