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University of Hartford, April 16-17 2010

Keynote Speakers

Fran Allen

IBM Fellow Emerita
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
Recipient of ACM’s 2006 Turing Award

Is Computing at a Tipping Point?
A Personal Perspective

Over the last 60+ years computing, communications, and information, originally emerging from disparate disciplines, have evolved into an unimagined set of capabilities influencing, directly or indirectly, nearly every person, every institution, and every endeavor in much of the world. These capabilities form a global infrastructure for a world where time and place are often irrelevant, access to information is instantaneous, and knowledge widely shared.

The talk will address the following question: Will the field continue to evolve from where we are or has it reached a tipping point? I will draw on my experience with languages, compilers, and high performance computing to suggest a few answers.

Short Biography

Fran Allen’s specialty is compilers and program optimization for high performance computers. Soon after joining IBM Research as a programmer in 1957 with a University of Michigan masters degree in mathematics, Fran found the technical goal that would drive her career: Enable both programmer productivity and program performance in the development of computer applications. One result of this goal was that Fran was the recipient of ACM’s 2006 Turing Award: “For pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution.”

Fran is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Engineers, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, ACM, IEEE, and the Computer History Museum. Fran has several honorary doctorate degrees and has served on numerous national technology boards including CISE at the National Science Foundation and CSTB for the National Research Council. Fran is an active mentor, advocate for technical women in computing, an environmentalist and explorer.

Alison Young

Chair of Department of Computing
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology

Computing and Sustainability: An ICT Project in the High Andes

Supported by ACM/SIGCSE

This address will describe an ICT research project that is context specific and achieved economic and social turnarounds where other ICT projects have failed. The message for computer science educators and professionals is that desired impact has less to do with science and technology and more to do with understanding context and culture. Evaluating implementation options to advance educational and social needs is applying intelligence to technology. Technology without context is a chasm.

The ancient Incan culture, through the Quechuan people of Antabamba Peru, a remote indigenous society high in the Andean Mountains has over 700 years of proven social, environmental and economically sustainable practice. Until only 10 years ago Antabamba was a time capsule which was isolated from the world by several days walk from the nearest road. When the road was built in 1995 the multinational products, television, marketing and western philosophies of business practice soon followed. Within 10 years the population of Antabamba was worse off than in anytime in the previous 700 years and risked losing what the developed world is in search of: sustainable practice.

Starting in 2003 the Unitec project spent a year learning what had underpinned this ancient culture. Yesterdays wireless technologies, internet, web design, No. 8 wire, aluminum foil satellite dishes and some basic tools were grounded in the traditional Incan methodologies of sharing, learning and understanding. Unparalleled results were achieved. Together with the local communities, the Unitec project developed a methodology called "Community Centric Empowerment" (CCE) which has been attributed by OSIPTEL, the Telecommunications Authority in Peru and the Latin American telecommunication council representative as the deciding factor that has separated this project from other "telecenter" projects in Latin America.

Additional studies focusing on the ability of ICT to reduce poverty and exploitation in third world countries by FITEL, the Rural development wing of OSIPTEL in Peru, support the notion of the importance of how, rather than what, when it comes to ICT use for poverty reduction (Bossio 2005) (Newman 2006). These studies showed the usage patterns and impact of the Unitec project to be quite distinctive compared with any other poverty alleviation project using ICT.

In keeping with the phenomenological methodology of the initial study, this address will describe the story of the Peruvian project to demonstrate to CS educators and professionals that how we implement ICT is as important as what we implement, when social and economic sustainability are our objectives. It lays down a challenge to CS educators and professionals to reconsider the priorities in our teachings and philosophies.

Short Biography

Alison Young is a Chair of Department of Computing at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Christchurch, New Zealand. She was previously Chair of Department of Comuting at Unitec Institute of technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Alison has an academic and professional career that has involved academic leadership in research, scholarship, teaching and curriculum development, nationally and internationally. She is an invited international keynote speaker, Vice Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), member of the international ACM Educational Council and a Fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society and National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications. Alison has a strong background in teaching, research and curriculum development and implementation of computing and information technology qualifications from certificate to doctorate level. Alison’s research interests include Women in Computing, Computing Education, Oral histories, ICT4D and the development and implementation of e-learning.