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Interviews are organized by the month and year in which they first appeared. To find an interviewee by name, use the search bar (at upper right).

Interviews

2008

  • An Interview with Randy Pausch: Immersed in the Future: On the Future of Education
    Before he became ill, Randy Pausch spoke with Ubiquity Editor John Gehl in 2005. The declining enrollments in computer science were already very much on his mind. At that time, they were down 23 percent. Pausch called this a "huge problem". He noted that, even for those committed to teaching programming from the outset, kids programming in Alice were far more engaged than those trying to find Fibonacci numbers. The enrollments have since declined another 25 percent and the problem is even "huger" than before. Randy's ideas about what turns kids on are even more important today. --Peter Denning, Editor
  • An Interview with Frans Johansson: The Medici Effect
    In this time of recession, innovation has jumped to the fore in many people's minds. How can we create new value through innovations and pull our individual companies out of the doldrums? In 2004, Frans Johansson published his book, The Medici Effect, in which he discussed how crossing community boundaries leads to innovations, and he said that the most effective way to create the crossing is to mix people from the communities in a common setting. John Gehl spoke with Johansson shortly after the book was published. Johansson's words are worth thinking about now as we reflect on what we all must do next.
  • An Interview with Michael Schrage
    It is November 2008 and much of the globe is in the throes of recession. Innovation is on many minds. We need new products and new services generating new value for our customers and our companies. It is more important than ever to innovate. The problem is that our collective success rate is abysmal -- 4 percent according to Business Week in August 2005. As we set out on new innovation initiatives, it is a good time to reflect on the illusions that drag our success rates so low. One illusion is that is innovation is a novel ideal or product, another is that those who spend more on R&D get more innovation, and another is that innovation is about great inventions. Michael Schrage of MIT has been challenging these illusions for a long time. He discussed them with Ubiquity editor John Gehl in February 2006. Now is the perfect time to reflect again on what Michael has to say to us about innovation. --Peter Denning, Editor
  • An Interview with Terry Winograd: Convergence, Ambient Technology, and Success in Innovation
    Terry Winograd is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he directs the program on human-computer interaction. His SHRDLU program done at the MIT AI Lab was one of the early explorations in natural language understanding by computers. His book with Fernando Flores, Understanding Computers and Cognition, critiqued the underlying assumptions of AI and much of computer system design, and led to completely new directions in those fields. He was a founder and national president of Computer Professionals for Responsibility. His remarks, made in 2002, are as relevant today as they were when first spoken.
  • An Interview with Richard A. Demillo
    Richard A. DeMillo is the Dean of Georgia Tech's College of Computing. He previously was Hewlett-Packard's chief technology officer and served as director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center. Under DeMillo's leadership, Georgia Tech's College of Computing has replaced the core curriculum for undergraduates with an ambitious and innovative Threads program, as he explains in this interview with Ubiquity's editor-in-chief John Gehl.
  • An Interview with Wei Zhao
    Wei Zhao is currently the Dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before he joined RPI in 2007, he was a Senior Associate Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University. Between 2005 and 2007, he also served as the Director for the Division of Computer and Network Systems in the National Science Foundation. He completed his undergraduate program in physics at Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China, in 1977. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1983 and 1986, respectively. During his career, he has also served as a faculty member at Amherst College, the University of Adelaide, and Texas A&M University. This interview was conducted by Ubiquity editor-in-chief John Gehl.
  • An Interview with Vaughan Merlyn on Management
    Vaughan Merlyn, who is a management consultant, researcher, and author, has had as his primary focus for more than three decades now has been the use of information and information technology for business value creation. He was interviewed about software consulting and management.
  • Interview with MIT's Robert Langer
    Dr. Robert Langers work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, DNA and RNAi, continuously at controlled rates for prolonged periods of time.
  • An Interview with Michael Schrage on Ubiquity
    Author of several acclaimed books and numerous articles in such publications as Fortune and Technology Review, Michael Schrage is also a world-traveling consultant to all businesses great and small. He has been at MIT for many years, and his new academic home will be in that institution's Sloan Management School.
  • An Interview with Dr. Yi Pan of Georgia State University
    Ubiquity is proud to publish this inspirational interview, which starts with a discussion of the creation of the computer science department at Georgia State University, and concludes with the heroic efforts an impoverished student from Tsinghua University in China overcame many obstacles to rise to a significant position at Georgia. The interviewee is Yi Pan, Chair and Professor of Georgia State University's computer science department, who provided us with these inspirational reflections on computer science, academic success, and true success. The interview was conducted by Ubiquity editor-in-chief John Gehl.