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Predictions from the past | Chasing Men Who Stare at Arrays

Predictions from the past

In 1998, Dennis E. Shasha and Cathy A. Lazere wrote a book called  Out of Their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists. This book has become my most useful guide and reference.  In the postscript, Shasha and Lazere make some predictions about the upcoming 25 years.  As we are almost half way to the 25 year mark right about now, I’ve been giving their predictions some thought.  In particular, I’m contemplating three points with respect to the Array Processing Language family, namely:

Specialized languages that can meld components written in different languages will become popular (page 252).

Software design that will make parallel processors behave like a single very fast and very reliable computer presents… [a great challenge] (page 250).

… [New] programming languages will always catch people’s attention.  But like beautiful images, the innovative and influential ones will remain rare (page 251).

I’m also getting ready to speak at Ryerson University on Thursday at the Undergraduate Computer Science Program awards ceremony!  All the while, praying to the technology gods to please help me be entertaining, smart and a worthy array language ambassador to the next generation of Computer Scientists.


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4 Responses to “Predictions from the past”


  • Thanks for the book reference, Catherine. Interesting comments. It sounds as though the computer industry is halfway there. And I agree with your implication that each of these comments certainly bring APL to mind.
    Best wishes to you with your Ryerson talk. That sounds great. If you speak to them the way you blog to us (and I know you will), you’ll be great. Entertaining, smart and a worthy — I think you’ve got it covered. Tell us all about it.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Jon, you are a rock! You totally rock! Thanks for all the support, on air and off.

  • Have a great time tomorrow night! You will inspire – don’t forget to bask… You have earned this recognition!

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    High praise, indeed, from a true Jedi spirit and no less.

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