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2011 Symposia

A Ubiquity symposium is an organized debate around a proposition or point of view. It is a means to explore a complex issue from multiple perspectives. An early example of a symposium on teaching computer science appeared in Communications of the ACM (December 1989).

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Ubiquity Symposium: What is Computation

Table of Contents


  1. What is Computation, Editor's Introduction, by Peter J. Denning

  2. What is Computation, Opening Statement, by Peter J. Denning

  3. The Evolution of Computation, by Peter Wegner

  4. Computation is Symbol Manipulation, by John S. Conery

  5. Computation is Process, by Dennis J. Frailey

  6. Computing and Computation, by Paul S. Rosenbloom

  7. Computation and Information, by Ruzena Bajcsy

  8. Computation and Fundamental Physics, by Dave Bacon

  9. The Enduring Legacy of the Turing Machine, by Lance Fortnow

10. Computation and Computational Thinking, by Alfred V. Aho

11. What is the Right Computational Model for Continuous Scientific Problems?, by Joseph Traub

12. Computation, Uncertainty and Risk, by Jeffrey P. Buzen

13. Natural Computation, by Erol Gelenbe

14. Biological Computation, by Melanie Mitchell

15. What is Information?: Beyond the jungle of information theories, by Paolo Rocchi

16. What Have We Said About Computation?: Closing statement, by Peter J. Denning



  • Big data: big data or big brother? that is the question now.

    This ACM Ubiquity Symposium presented some of the current thinking about big data developments across four topical dimensions: social, technological, application, and educational. While 10 articles can hardly touch the expanse of the field, we have sought to cover the most important issues and provide useful insights for the curious reader. More than two dozen authors from academia and industry provided shared their points of view, their current focus of interest and their outlines of future research. Big digital data has changed and will change the world in many ways. It will bring some big benefits in the future, but combined with big AI and big IoT devices creates several big challenges. These must be carefully addressed and properly resolved for the future benefit of humanity.