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Innovation and Obstacles: The Future of Computing
January 1998 (vol. 31 no. 1)
pp. 29-38

In this multidisciplinary glimpse forward, some of this decade's key players offer opinions on a range of topics- from what has driven progress, to where innovation will come from and to obstacles we have yet to overcome.

In this excerpt from "Visions for the Future of the Fields," a panel discussion held at the 10th anniversary of the US Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, experts identify critical issues for various aspects of computing.

In the accompanying sidebars, some of the same experts elaborate on points in the panel discussion in mini-essays:

  • David Clark, CSTB chairman, looks at the changes needed, as computing science research comes of age. The current context of computer science, Clark states, is shaped by past successes and chronic trouble spots.
  • Mary Shaw, Carnegie Mellon University, examines challenges for software system designers. Shaw states that disintermediation-the direct connection of users and their software-has created new problems for software system designers.
  • Robert Lucky, Bellcore, looks at IP dial tone, a new infrastructure for the Internet. Lucky states that data traffic will soon eclipse voice traffic, portending not just a revolution in technology but in the very basis of telecommunications economics.
  • Donald Greenberg, Cornell University, rounds out the essays with an outlook on computer graphics. Greenberg states that by 2025 we will have the technology to produce realistic real-time images at resolutions up to or beyond the limits of our visual perception.
  • Finally, in an interview with William Wulf, president of the US National Academy of Engineering, Computer explores the roots of innovation and the broader societal aspects that will ultimately drive innovation in the near term.

    Citation:
    David D. Clark, Edward A. Feigenbaum, Juris Hartmanis, Robert W. Lucky, Robert M. Metcalfe, Raj Reddy, Mary Shaw, "Innovation and Obstacles: The Future of Computing," Computer, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 29-38, Jan. 1998, doi:10.1109/2.641975
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