Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: I think the most important thing that’s happened in computing in the past 10 years is the improved, and improving, ability to encode knowledge. I remember working with knowledge-based systems in the '80s at a large northwest aerospace company. We’ve come a long way since then.
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 to that?
A: What? Am I already at the end? If we can figure out how to better address the human-systems integration issues, intelligent systems will be our colleagues and companions. I, along with a number of people smarter than me, are exploring what I call knowledge logistics, what some refer to as the “last mile” problem of knowledge. Can we make all that we know available and accessible to everyone? How can someone know what we already know?
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: Abraham Lincoln. When I was 10 years old, my family visited Washington, DC. I was awestruck standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. That moment began a lifelong curiosity with Lincoln and his accomplishments.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: If I weren’t working the computer science field, I’d likely be working in the field, literally. That was the career path, so to speak, for the young men in my family. My grandfather was a farmer. He took my dog and I out into the fields one day to work with him. Longest day in my life. Inspired me to go to college.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: I appreciate opera and classical music the most, but I do admit that enjoyed the songs in the movie, Baby Daddy.