Featured in Five is a monthly section where we pose five questions to a Computing Reviews featured reviewer. Here are the responses from our April featured reviewer, Gertrude "Trudy" Abramson (Nova Southeastern University, Florida).
Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: There are so many “mosts,” but I vote for the impact of big data on e-medicine. The areas impacted include clinical decision-making and health policy, personalized medicine in which drugs are matched to DNA, and the explosion of personal and medical health records.
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 do not like to think about ending; there are many exciting things taking place simultaneously. About 40 years ago, I started speaking about computing as an extension of one’s mind. Now it is becoming an extension of one’s mind and body.
What I would like to do is to be part of a grant initiative that develops and facilitates a universal medical health record (MHR) system that incorporates everything about a person (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, health records). The complete MHR could be included in a person’s wearable technology such as an Apple watch, or whatever comes next. I guess this is part of the body aspect of computing.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: History is vast. I would like to reword the question to be favorite computer education person. The answer is Dr. Sylvia Charp, who created the T. H. E. Journal. She was a remarkable visionary, the first US district coordinator of computer science (in Montgomery County, PA), a consultant to UNESCO, and the best mentor any academic could want.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: I am not a computer scientist; I am an academic who uses computing applications to improve wide ranges of things. The past 20 years as doctoral dissertation advisor is a job I would not change for anything.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: Imagine! I enjoy something other than working. I love opera bands such as Amici Forever and Il Divo.