Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: From its beginning, computing has been a field of constant development. Each decade shows new power and possibilities from hardware and software as well as in communications. Hence, it is difficult to distinguish communications from computing since they are interdependent—the development process brings changes to both. The last decade has undoubtedly been an era of cloud computing, accompanied by solutions for big data in the cloud and new developments in scalable computing. Further, we have seen the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), which uses the power of networking within TCP/IP v6. It also marks an extraordinary increase in nomadic and wireless mobile computing and communications, providing the basis for ubiquitous and pervasive computing (including wearable computing) in business, industrial, and consumer activities. In addition, the creation of the innovative reprogrammable quantum computer is changing computers as we know them; it is opening new horizons in computing since quantum computers are noticeably more powerful than today's 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 to that?
A: In past decades, we witnessed the convergence and finally the integration of computers and communications. In the next decade, human participation in this integration process will not only involve using computers and communications—humans will be an integral part of the technology. For example, wearable computing will be more sophisticated, with technology integrated into clothing fabrics and even human bodies. The human body consists of cells and atoms and can be thought of as a kind of biological computer. With the new bottom-up approaches to computing using individual atoms or molecules, we will see more advances in nanotechnology needed for specialized system-on-a-chip solutions. The prediction that computers will be able to successfully imitate humans will be the reality, especially when talking about artificial intelligence that will prosper through virtual and augmented reality systems. This process also includes the further development of natural language (and voice) conversations with computers and technology including wider development of affective computing. Some forms of deep learning that we know today will be additionally improved with feature learning, creating the algorithms that together with artificial neural networks will shape computers to function as a human brain. The future will bring new forms of quantum computers and big data systems that will help build large neural networks. The increasing inclusion of computing into all aspects of our lives will be so dominant that it will demand serious attention. Changes in computing are happening so quickly that it is unclear what computing will look like in the next decade. Thus, I am conscious of my role in increasing a sense of responsibility on the part of those in information technology to ensure that its development is for the greater good.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: Although Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein are great historical figures that changed science, as well as the ways we are living today, most of today's paradigms within science, technology, and society are integrated into the personality of Galileo Galilei. He was a glorious reformer and the founder of modern science. He presumably can be seen as a pioneer of the scientific method with his systematic development, implementation, and description of a scientific method predicated on evidence-based research. He constantly followed his own individual sense of rightness, in the face of the disapproval of others.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: I think I would be involved in an activity that is still within the science field involving computing, no matter the level of involvement.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: I am always inclined to listen to classical music, jazz, and blues/soul.