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计算机行业的发展与教育-来自业界的观点

九月 2, 2011

The following excerpt is from Viewpoint: The Future of Computing Practice and Education by Nicholas Bowen and Jim Spohrer (IBM), a paper in Computer Magazine of the IEEE Computer Society.

The IT industry’s structure parallels both the functional components of computer systems and areas of application that these systems enable.

  • The earliest computers could be characterized as “calculating machines” built to solve specific problems.
  • The impact on the educational system was the emphasis on developing a solid foundation of understanding machine architeture, programming, and operating system techniques to support run-time programming.
  • From a technology point of view, the innovation was in creating modules and configurations that reduced the product’s cost.
  • Both computer technology and the IT industry have gone through dramatic changes, including upheavals brought on by innovation and standardization. A look at the systems stack from the processor through the OS to the application program clearly shows that the lower parts of the stack are undergoing industry consolidation and standardization.
  • As career opportunities shift up the stack, an important question is the depth of education required for a
    computer scientist on the lower parts. This may seem a lot like a question from an earlier era: How much do computer scientists need to know about hardware systems?

According to Carlota Perez, all revolutionary technology inventions have three distinct phases.

  1. An installation phase occurs in which early adopters deploy the invention.
  2. Irrational business desires leading to an economic crisis phase or “crash.”
  3.  A more mature technology is deployed in productive ways and often plays a transformational role in society.

Computing Education Impact

  • How IT is delivered and managed: It has been debated for some time that CS students can “move up the stack.” However, students should continue to have strong foundational skills in all elements of the technology stack.
  • Computation as a basic tool for other fields: This will clearly force the computer scientist to get a broader education. Modeling, analytics, and design jobs across all areas of business. (Computer Scientists must care about Computational Science )
  • Expanding business value in an instrumented world: This will require a skill we call “systems thinking.” Many of these new appl ications are extremely complex business and societal systems—diverse service systems that benefit both customers and providers.
  • Communication skills. Science and engineering graduates must collaborate globally across time zones,
    languages, and cultures with other business professionals on a seemingly never-ending stream of innovative projects.
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