Featured in Five is a monthly section where we pose five questions to a Computing Reviews featured reviewer. Here are the responses from our July featured reviewer, Harry Strange (Aberystwyth University, UK).
Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: Ubiquity. Computers, in all their shapes and forms, are becoming more and more a part of our daily lives without our realizing it. The rise of smartphones, smart watches, and tablets has meant that we are never far away from a computer; the rise of wireless hotspots has meant that we are never far away from connecting these devices to a wealth of information. It is interesting to note that 10 years ago, using a computer or using the Internet was still something of an “event”; now, it is simply an extension of our lives and the way that we interact with the world around us. This shift in the way that we use computers and the way that they have integrated so seamlessly and so readily into our day-to-day lives has provided a shift in the way that we interact with and view the role of computers in our lives. This is particularly evident in the way that the younger generations interact with computers.
Q: By the end of your career, where do you think computer science will have taken us? What are you working on that might contribute toward that?
A: I think that computer science will have helped to make computers more and more useful in every area of our personal and professional lives, but in a more and more inconspicuous way. I am hoping that my research within the medical imaging field will help to achieve this by providing experts with a fast and reliable second opinion on their diagnoses without them needing to obviously interact with the system.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: I think it would either be Jesus or Tolstoy. It is fairly obvious why I would chose Jesus, but Tolstoy may require an explanation. I have always enjoyed Tolstoy’s books, but it wasn’t until I read A. N. Wilson’s biography that I really appreciated what a complex and fascinating man he was.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: This is a question that I often ask myself when my computer crashes for the second time in a day! I think I would want to work in the healthcare sector in some way, most probably as a doctor. I initially intended to study medicine when I applied for university; however, a last minute change of heart saw me going down the path of a computer scientist instead!
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: This changes depending on my mood, but generally I listen to experimental or classical music. If I had to only listen to one composer for the rest of my life, it would probably be Arvo Pärt; his Berliner Messe is one of the most enchanting choral pieces ever written.