Featured in Five is a monthly section where we pose five questions to a Computing Reviews featured reviewer. Here are the responses from our March featured reviewer, Chenyi Hu (University of Central Arkansas).
Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: Among countless important things in computing that have happened during the past 10 years, I would choose mobile computing as the most important one. Very broadly used mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have changed the landscape of computing from hardware to operating systems, from application development to solution deployment, and so on. People nowadays can communicate and retrieve information anywhere via the cloud with mobile devices, without what was called a “computer” ten years ago.
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, by the end of my career, the line between computing and human intelligence will be even harder to distinguish than it is today, and people will rely more on computing in decision making than they do now. I am working on using interval methods for knowledge discovery from big data in the cloud. With expectations of improved effectiveness and reliability in knowledge processing, the boundary between human and computer intelligence could be blurred even further.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: My favorite historic figure is the unknown inventor of the Chinese abacus. The idea of creating a piece of equipment for arithmetic operations over 1,000 years ago was probably a first in human history. By the way, I learned how to use an abacus in elementary school, as required in late-1950s China.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: Very truthfully, I have not thought about this since I wrote my first ALGOL 60 program in the early 1970s. Computing has made theories come alive and has made unprecedented positive impacts on almost every area of human life in the modern world. In addition, it pays well. Why not do it? If I could not work in the field of computer science, I would probably still work in mathematics, given my formal training in that area.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: Classical and country music are my favorites.