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 technical/professional activities.

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 Reviews.

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.