Friday, September 18, 2009

National Medals of Science, Technology and Innovation Winners Announced




As you may have heard, watched, or read from a number of broadcast media, yesterday President Obama announced the recipients of the 2008 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation which is the nation's highest honors for science and technology research. Details can be obtained from this source.

National Medal of Technology and Innovation as a company was given to IBM. What was the specific reason IBM won this highest honour for technology? It was the BLUE GENE! What is so special about BLUE GENE? Isn't it another piece of computer hardware? Well ...as mentioned in a press release by Reuters yesterday titled "President Obama Honors IBM's Blue Gene Supercomputer With National Medal Of Technology And Innovation"...

"Blue Gene's speed and expandability have enabled business and science to address a wide range of complex problems and make more informed decisions -- not just in the life sciences, but also in astronomy, climate, simulations, modeling and many other areas. Blue Gene systems have helped map the human genome, investigated medical therapies, safeguarded nuclear arsenals, simulated radioactive decay, replicated brain power, flown airplanes, pinpointed tumors, predicted climate trends, and identified fossil fuels - all without the time and money that would have been required to physically complete these tasks.

The system also reflects breakthroughs in energy efficiency. With the creation of Blue Gene, IBM dramatically shrank the physical size and energy needs of a computing system whose processing speed would have required a dedicated power plant capable of generating power to thousands of homes.

The influence of the Blue Gene supercomputer's energy-efficient design and computing model can be seen today across the Information Technology industry. Today, 18 of the top 20 most energy efficient supercomputers in the world are built on IBM high performance computing technology, according to the latest Supercomputing 'Green500 List' announced by Green500.org in July, 2009.
". IBM's perspective on this can be obtained from this link.

I congratulate all other winners and would like to see great contributors changing our lives in a positive way, a better way, for the incoming years.

What important science, technology and innovation projects would you nominate for 2009?

Regards,
Mehmet

Dr. Mehmet YILDIZ || IBM || IT Philosophy || Future|| Leadership || My blog || Twitter || Linkedin || Yasni ||Google || Naymz|| Superfan

Breakthrough progress: World's smallest semiconductor

Great to find out about another breakthrough research from the University of California, Berkeley.

They have reached a new milestone in laser physics by creating the world's smallest semiconductor laser. This will be capable of generating visible light in a space smaller than a single protein molecule. They not only successfully squeezed light into such a tight space, but found a novel way to keep that light energy from dissipating as it moved along, thereby achieving laser action. The achievement helps enable the development of such innovations as nanolasers that can probe, manipulate and characterize DNA molecules; optics-based telecommunications many times faster than current technology; and optical computing in which light replaces electronic circuitry with a corresponding leap in speed and processing power. Professor Xiang Zhang said: "This work shatters traditional notions of laser limits, and makes a major advance toward applications in the biomedical, communications and computing fields." Details here...

What possibilities and implications do you see for this progress?

Regards,
Mehmet

Dr. Mehmet YILDIZ || IBM || IT Philosophy || Future|| Leadership || My blog || Twitter || Linkedin || Yasni ||Google || Naymz

Monday, December 1, 2008

Agile is popular and efficient

What does "Agile" mean"?

In ordinary dictionaries it is defined as "moving quickly and lightly ", in Encarta it is defined as "able to move quickly and with suppleness, skill, and control".

A brief statistical overview may provide us an indicative mental picture on frequent use of this word. For example:
-Google found 20,200,000 entries on "Agile".
- Technorati found 7173 blogs on "Agile"
- Ecademy blogs search resulted in 151 blogs with the word "Agile" in it and/or in title.

When I browsed the literature including mainly technology and science publications online, I found hundreds of phrases indexed. The following are only a number of them to give you an idea:
agile alliance
agile applet
agile application
agile business process platform
agile communications
agile data method
agile development
agile enterprise
agile management
agile manufacturing
agile methods
agile modeling
agile processes
agile product
agile programming or software development
agile project management
agile property
agile software corporation
agile testing

I believe "Agile" will be used a lot in the future, particularly for the "Web 3.0" a.k.a. "Semantic Web" development, if we want to be ready within 2 years or so.

My point is to understand how important "Agile" is for your business. I'd like to obtain your views and insights on this very popular concept:
1. Do you have certain phrases related with "Agile" that you use in your business?
2. What does "Agile" mean to you?
3. What is it? Is it an important concept, function or process in your business?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Do you use and trust machine translators?

Computational linguistics is a comprehensive area. As a brief background, machine translation (MT) is a sub-field of computational linguistics. It investigates the use of computer software to translate text or speech from one human language to another. MT performs simple substitution of words in a language for words in another. They use some advanced techniques such as corpus technique. These techniques help with:
-phrase recognition,
-better handling of differences in linguistic typology,
-translation of idioms, proverbs, metaphors, analogies and
-the isolation of anomalies.

Recently I met a co-networker from Germany with limited English skills. And my German is very limited too. His profile is in German and was looking for translators to help him. As a technologist, I used the Google's online translation applet for it and it really helped us to create the profile in a few minutes time with over 90% accuracy. I use translation software specifically for scientific documents written in other languages; at least the abstract. Even though they are not 100% accurate yet, I still find them useful. They are faster than finding a friend who can help in desperate times. They make good progress with new techniques and inventions. Considering the emergent technologies being tested, I believe we will have great translation programs soon.

I would like to obtain your views on this concept and available commercial tools:
1. Do you ever need to translate any documents from other languages? Which languages mainly?
2. Have you ever used; or do you use any machine translators (translation software)? If so, which ones?
3. Do you know what is the gap in this area?
4. What would you add to your wish list in this area?
5. How important are they for our business considering globalisation?

Any other comments are welcome.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who says technology has no emotion?

They say technology has no emotions. It is mechanical and only logic works! I disagree with respect.

Technology carries a lot of emotions around itself. Technology is not something happens by itself. There are millions of people who experienced sleepless nights, missed lunches, and challenging hours in their lives. Whilst creating, designing, implementing, deploying, selling and maintaining technology, many emotions are involved. For example, frustration in code writing, bug fixing; anger for crashing codes; fear of not meeting deadlines, fear of understanding complexity and so on. As a person in technology for many years, I experienced anger, fear, sadness, excitement, disappointment, and love of course.

1. What are your emotions related to technology either as a technology person or a user of technology at work?
2. How do those emotions affect you and impact positive change in our business and our lives?
3. How can we turn negative emotions to positive ones for a better mental health, ie fear and anger to love!

Paradox of Open Social and Professional Networks: Conservative vs Diverse

It is interesting to observe two kinds of typical networking patterns in a number of social and professional networking sites.

1. Conservative: those members who want to connect only with the similar, familiar people from the same circle. They are uncomfortable with people from different backgrounds. Common ground is essential for them. They have tighter filters. A small network is sufficient for them.

2. Diverse: those members open to connections from different people, different personalities, different characteristics, new ideas, different cultures, different visions etc. They have more flexible filters and more tolerant to ambiguity. They see each connection as an opportunity. They prefer large, diverse network of people.

I believe our values, expectations and experience with people have a deciding factor for the category we choose.
My personal preference is diverse. I would like to know which category you are or you prefer. Diverse, Conservative or both? Or other combination? What are your key expectations from online social/professional networking?