Archive for January, 2006

More on math and science education

Monday, January 30th, 2006

The arguments pointing to math and science education deficiency in this country are getting another boost with this article in USA Today. Since the President is expected to touch upon the dwindling US dominance in science and technology in his State of the Union address tomorrow night, it will be interesting to hear how he plans to address it. The National Science Education Incentive Act of 2005 (HR 450), currently in the House Committee on Ways and Means (one of several Acts currently in Congress specific to improving science and math education), lists 10 specific findings by Congress regarding science education in this country.

Genome research on TeraGrid

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

With the announcement of a $24 million award to create the Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is establishing a new computational infrastructure to explore marine microbial genome sequencing. The effort establishes the UCSD - Venter Institute partnership, which is charged with CAMERA development. CAMERA will leverage the already established TeraGrid HPC computing facility and create a link between the two partners via the OptIPuter model of high-performance, computational collaboration.

The OptIPuter was described briefly back in the Introduction of the May 2005 issue of the CTWatch Quarterly. As a first real test case for this collaboratory model, it will be interesting to see how the effort progresses. We’ll check in with Larry Smarr, the PI on both CAMERA and OptIPuter, later in the year. More info on the OptIPuter project can be found in this article from R&D Magazine.

IT in the future

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Whether or not you’re a fan of Ray Kurzweil, he has made some interesting predictions for the future of IT in this article from Computerworld. As a self-proclaimed futurist, Kurzweil is no stranger to making bold predictions. In this article he states that

[In the late 2040s], one cubic inch of nanotube circuitry will be 100 million times more powerful than the human brain.

In a 1999 article titled “When Machines Think” published by Maclean’s, Kurzweil said

By 2019, a $1,000 computer will match the processing power of the human brain–about 20-million-billion calculations per second.

You do the math. Accurate or not, these predictions are pretty telling about the evolution of computing power.

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