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CASC Remarks Garrison Walters. September 23, 2009. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Then Computing and the Economy. US lead in technology Computer technology-driven zero PCs in 1980 to 50 million in 1990 (BLS hadn’t a clue) applied in ways no one expected

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CASC RemarksGarrison Walters

September 23, 2009

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education


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ThenComputing and the Economy

  • US lead in technology

    • Computer technology-driven

      • zero PCs in 1980 to 50 million in 1990 (BLS hadn’t a clue)

      • applied in ways no one expected

        • IBM’s initial marketing of the PC

      • Telecom revolution of the ‘90s amplified computer impact

    • HPC role rapidly increasing in importance over quarter century

      • Accelerating product development cycle

        • Toyota Avalon—no mules

        • Jaguar XK—at least a year shorter

      • People more important than hardware (but we had both)


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A Note on Computers and the American University

  • First electronic computer

  • First spinoff company

  • Entire new discipline

  • Huge numbers of grads

  • Vast numbers of innovations: UNIX, RISC, etc.

  • Who says universities are slow to change?


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NowComputing and the Economy

  • U.S. no longer most educated

    • Especially weak at younger levels (means we’ll fall further soon)

    • Especially weak in science and technology.

  • Yesterday’s HPC= today’s mainstream?

    • Offers the potential of huge increases in productivity and competitiveness

    • We’d like to think that will happen, but will we have the talent?

      • Hardware not an issue--available everywhere

  • Making HPC mainstream means two things:

    • Enough people to take HPC-type solutions to medium-sized and smaller business

    • Progress in restructuring code for greater parallelization

      • Will require scale of understanding as well as central R&D


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The FutureComputing and the Economy

  • Standard solution to talent problem: do more of what we’ve been doing and hope we get a different result

  • An alternative approach

    • Replace all required K-12 mathematics instruction with math embedded in computer/ computational science

      • Easily cover all the important topics

      • Pure mathematics an elective

    • Outcomes

      • Make today’s HPC mainstream

      • And also

        • More people ready for science, not just computer/computational

        • More people graduating from high school and college

          • Math now is a barrier to graduation and a filter to science


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Conclusion

  • US recognizes the problem of competing on knowledge, but not doing much.

  • Renewed emphasis on computer/computational science is a key part of a successful solution.

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

Garrison Walters


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