Computing Conversations
Never before has a major scientific field emerged and matured in a single generation, and with the Computing Conversations column/podcasts, we meet and talk with early pioneers and current visionaries to hear firsthand the stories of how they brought us the innovative technologies we rely on today.

Recent Episodes

By Charles Severance
Engineers at Living Computers: Museum + Labs have salvaged one of the world's first supercomputers.
By Charles Severance
Security guru Bruce Schneier talks about what it takes to think like a security expert.
By Charles Severance
Charles Severance visits the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington, to get back to his programming roots.
By Charles Severance
Security guru Bruce Schneier talks with Charles Severance about security from the perspectives of both the National Security Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
By Charles Severance
edX CEO Anant Agarwal talks with Charles Severance about what the online learning provider has achieved in its first three years and where it’s heading.
By Charles Severance
Computer scientist Anil Jain discusses the evolution of the biometric recognition field.
By Charles Severance
Roy T. Fielding reminisces about his PhD dissertation, which defined the Representational State Transfer architectural style.
By Charles Severance
jQuery creator John Resig talks with Charles Severance about the birth of the JavaScript library jQuery and how it came to play a key role in the browser software ecosystem.
By Charles Severance
Python creator Guido van Rossum talks with Charles Severance about the growing pains and rewards the programming language experienced as it evolved.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Ian Foster about how the Globus project helps move large amounts of data efficiently and safely, allowing scientists to focus on their research and not on IT problems.
By Charles Severance
John Resig and Pamela Fox discuss the addition of computer science to the topics covered by Khan Academy, where instructors upload short educational lectures on YouTube.
By Charles Severance
Guido van Rossum discusses the initial development of Python, which has increasingly become the programming language of choice for many scientific fields due to its extensibility and ease of use.
By Charles Severance
Guido van Rossum talks with Charles Severance about the birth of the general-purpose, high-level Python programming language.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Nii Quaynor about how the story of bringing the Internet to Africa is one of cooperation and collaboration for the common good.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Elizabeth Fong about how the standards were created for the Structured Query Language (SQL) database.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Andrew S. Tanenbaum about the motivation, development, and market impact of the MINIX operating system.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Nathaniel Borenstein about how email evolved from plaintext to multimedia.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Len Kleinrock about the Internet's humble beginnings.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance speaks with Doug Van Houweling about how the NSFNet went from connecting a few supercomputers to becoming "the Internet."
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Joseph Hardin about the development of the Mosaic browser at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and how it introduced the World Wide Web to the general public.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Massimo Banzi about the origins and evolution of the Arduino microcontroller.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Andrew Tanenbaum about how he came to write one of the key books in the computer science field.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Eben Upton about the design of the Raspberry Pi and the forming of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Andrew Tanenbaum about how he came to write one of the key books in the computer science field.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews John C. Hollar about the focus and exhibits at the Computer History Museum, including a working model of the Babbage Difference Engine, a recreation of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, and the IBM 360.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Len Kleinrock about his early work on packet networks.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance interviews Katie Hafner about how she came to write her book, Where Wizards Stay up Late, on the history of the ARPANET.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Gordon Bell about how the minicomputer served as a building block for computing-enabled innovation and the eventual evolution of computing applications.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Bob Metcalfe about the creation of the first Ethernet local area network 40 years ago at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine’s multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Larry Smarr about the birth and evolution of Mosaic at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Pooja Sankar about the Piazza online collaboration system that was developed to help students, particularly women, studying science and engineering subjects feel less isolated.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine’s multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Mitchell Baker about the Mozilla Foundation, the building of the Firefox and Netscape browsers, and open source software.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Van Jacobson about the advantages of content-centric networking for live streams of popular data.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Rasmus Lerdorf about the creation of PHP.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Brian Behlendorf about the Apache Software Foundation and its key role in the open source movement.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's multimedia editor Charles Severance interviews Rasmus Lerdorf about the creation of PHP.
By Charles Severance
Computer magazine's Multimedia editor Charles Severance speaks with Daphne Koller about Coursera, an online educational platform.
By Charles Severance
Author Charles Severance provides an audio recording of his Computing Conversations column, discussing his interview with Niklaus Wirth, creator of some of the field’s integral programming languages, including Modula, Pascal, and Oberon.
By Charles Severance
Computer's multimedia editor Charles Severance visits Bletchley Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth.
By Charles Severance
Computer's multimedia editor Charles Severance captures a video interview with Van Jacobson on the creation of the National Science Foundation network in the 1980s.
By Charles Severance
Computer's multimedia editor Charles Severance captures a video interview with Douglas Crockford on the creation of JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).
By Charles Severance
Computer's multimedia editor Charles Severance speaks with Monash Museum of Computer History Director Judy Sheard and Chris Avram of Monash University on the history and future of computing in Australia.
By Charles Severance
Computer's multimedia editor Charles Severance speaks with Mozilla Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich about how the latter created JavaScript in 1995.
By Charles Severance
Charles Severance, Computer's multimedia editor, reflects on how products from Steve Jobs, Apple, and NeXT often were an inspiration to creative technologists building entire new technologies over the past 30 years.
   About the Author
Charles Severance is a clinical associate professor and teaches in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, and served as Computer's multimedia editor until 2018.