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The Future of Computing: Grand Challenges and the Next Killer Apps CMSC 100 Tuesday, December 1, 2009 Prof. Marie desJardins.

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Presentation on theme: "The Future of Computing: Grand Challenges and the Next Killer Apps CMSC 100 Tuesday, December 1, 2009 Prof. Marie desJardins."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future of Computing: Grand Challenges and the Next Killer Apps CMSC 100 Tuesday, December 1, 2009 Prof. Marie desJardins

2 The Future of Computing  What are the “grand challenges” of computing---our next generation of big problems to solve?  What are some technologies on the horizon that may be “game-changing”?  Quantum computing  Self-configuring robotics and “smart matter”  Nanotechnology  What is the next “killer app”?

3 Grand Challenges: CRA 2002  In 2002, the Computing Research Association held a conference to identify Grand Challenges for computing 1.Systems You Can Count On  Global, scalable, persistent, reliable, efficient networks 2.A Teacher for Every Learner  Scalable, learner-centered distance learning/collaboration 3.Ubiquitous Safety.net  Disaster prediction, prevention, mitigation, and response 4.Conquering System Complexity  Self-configuring, -optimizing, -maintaining, -healing systems 5.Build a Team of Your Own  Augmented cognition: human/machine “cognitive partnerships”

4 Grand Challenges: UKCRC 2009  The UK Computing Research Committee has identified eight Grand Challenges for computer science 1.In Vivo  In Silico (virtual organisms) 2.Science for Ubiquitous Global Computing 3.Memories for Life (storing/searching pictures, video, ,...) 4.Architecture of Brain and Mind 5.Dependable Systems Evolution 6.Journeys In Non-Classical Computing (biological/natural) 7.Learning for Life 8.Bringing the Past to Life for the Citizen

5 Quantum Computing  Bits can’t get any smaller  But electrons can be in multiple quantum states simultaneously (“superpositioning”)  qubit: can be in 2 states at once  2 qubits: 4 states at once  n qubits: 2 n states at once!   In effect, we can build massively parallel computers!  SciAm Special: How Do Quantum Computers Work?  Images: ams.org

6 Self-Configuring Systems  ckBot (University of Pennsylvania)   More nifty self-configuring robots:  Image: discovermagazine.com

7  “Nano” refers to the scale of these systems:  1nm = meters = one billionth of a meter  Carbon-carbon bonds are about.15 nm  A DNA molecule has a diameter of about 2nm  The smallest cellular life form is about 200nm across  “Nanotechnology”: Devices that are smaller than ~100nm  First mention of nanotechnology (not by that name):  Richard Feynman, 1959 talk  First nanotechnology:  Fullerenes (discovered in 1985) – carbon molecules forming a hollow structure (sphere, ellipsoid, tube)  “Buckyball” – spherical fullerene (both named after Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome)  These are actually used today in manufacturing Nanotechnology Images: godunov.com, answers.com

8 Approaches to Nanotechnology  Self-assembly  Like the self-configuring systems we saw at the macro level!  Top-down design of “molecular machines”  We could theoretically program these nanomachines!  Nanorobotics  Programmable matter  Claytronics:  Applications: manufacturing, environmental remediation, medical treatment...

9 Killer App  A “killer app” is a paradigm-shifting technology application  Lots of things have been referred to as “killer apps”:  Spreadsheets   The Web  Google  Word processing Images: celecus.com, logic.stanford.edu, google.com

10 What’s the Newest Killer App?  A Google search on “Next Killer App” reveals the following “killer apps” from the last few years:  Technology Source 2003:  RSS (Rich Site Summary) – news feeds for the masses  Popular Mechanics 2005:  VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): Skype, etc.  WiMAX (next-generation WiFi: has a range of a couple of miles)  “Freecycling” (give away your junk online)  Desktop search  Business Week 2007  Paperless maps (GPS)

11 What’s the Next Killer App?  Here are some of the “next killer apps” as cited by 2009 sources:  Dave Winer (tech blogger):  A better twitter (more bloggy?)  TheNextWeb.com  Voice twitter  David Warlick (blogger):  eportfolios for students  Info Week reader poll:  Search/data retrieval  VoIP  Identity management

12 The Next Killer App: Google Earth?  [Google Earth demo]  Google Earth application: Security watch   Google Earth 5 – 3D Mars!   Google Earth Zooms Too Close video: 


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