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Week 35

07.01.02

It's COMPUTER SCIENCE WEEK at Schism Matrix, because I just spent about a week in a rural retreat in northern Virginia with 70 or so of the nation's most distinguished computer scientists.

http://www.cra.org/Activities/challenges/

Our home away from home.

http://www.airlie.com/

It's not real easy to organize computer scientists. Dr. Anita Jones got to be our Den Mom.

http://www.cs.virginia.edu/brochure/profs/
jones.html

Here's Dr. Anita at the South Pole, an easy chore by comparison.

http://www.cs.virginia.edu/brochure/
classics.html#anita_south

 

07.02.02

Prof. Seth Goldstein.  He hankers to link up zillions of microscopic objects — "smart dust," "smart paint."

Here's the pitch on a Goldstein project involving "reconfigurable nanotechnology," i.e., a huge unstable swarm of ubiquitous stuff that just keeps trading data no matter what you do to it.

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~phoenix/

Of course, this requires some unusual computer architecture.

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~phoenix/
reconfigurable.html

Check out the weblinks in this course Seth teaches on "electronic nanotechnology."  No more o' that lame sci-fi handwaving nonsense; this is the hard-case stuff here, folks.

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/academic/
class/15849c-s02/www/schedule.htm

 

07.03.02

Robin Murphy is from Florida's "Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue."

http://www.csee.usf.edu/~murphy/

I'd never allege that the learned Dr. Murphy is "a cool chick with a hard-as-nails attitude," but she is certainly the toughest-minded computer scientist I've ever met. She is way on top of her brief, and she has got disaster-stories like you wouldn't believe.

http://www.csee.usf.edu/robotics/USAR/
faq.html

"135 rescuers died in the Mexico City effort, 65 of them when they got trapped in a confined space and the area flooded and they couldn't get out. There's all sorts of other dangers: secondary collapses, like when the nurse at Oklahoma City fell and died, toxic gases, etc. So lots of cheap, expendable robots are a solution." Somebody should pry open that brand-new 9/11 Homeland Defense checkbook and give Dr. Murphy a truckload o' robo-bucks.

 

07.04.02

Steve White from IBM Research is into massively distributed systems. "Computing will change everything on the planet in our lifetime."

http://domino.watson.ibm.com/Comm/
bios.nsf/pages/
4373CE9CF60D9A0F852565950059694D.html

Steve has also got his own blog, called "Plurp."

http://www.stevewhite.org/log/current/

Among other interesting things, Plurp featured this link to a Lovecraftian form of chess.

http://www.chessvariants.com/other.dir/
nemoroth.html

 

07.05.02

When it comes to weird, out-there (but reputable and publishable) computer science, man, nobody beats Jordan Pollack. This guy is the cat's pyjamas.

http://www.jordanpollack.com/

http://www.cs.brandeis.edu/~pollack/

Check out the videos here and prepare to have your mind blown.

http://www.demo.cs.brandeis.edu/golem/

 


Bruce Sterling is a science fiction writer and 105% vision thing. He also talks. For the text of his talk at the CRA, check out Viridian.

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