Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Explaining Why Computing is Important

December 30th, 2011 / in resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

Computing: The Human Experience by IBM Fellow Grady Booch [image courtesy Grady Booch].IBM Fellow Grady Booch, co-creator of UML and object-oriented programming, has launched “a transmedia project” seeking to engage “audiences of all ages in the story of technology that has changed humanity.” He’s hoping to put together a multi-part television documentary, together with a book, e-book, website, app, and educational curriculum to tell the story about computing to the general public. The goal, he says, is to “teach the essential science of computing, present the stories of the people, events, and inventions of computing, examine the strong connections among computing, science, and society, [and] contemplate the future.”

According to the project website:

Why is Computing Important?


Because the story of computing is the story of humanity.


Computing is a story of ambition, passion, invention, creativity, vision, avarice, and serendipity, powered by a refusal to accept the limits of our bodies and our minds. From the abacus to the iPad, from Gutenberg to Google, from Enigma to GPS, we have created computers to count the uncountable, remember beyond our own experiences, and see the invisible as well as the unforeseeable. To explore computing is the 21st Century equivalent of Cousteau exploring the sea, of Hughes exploring modern art, and of Burns exploring the American experience through the Civil War, baseball, and jazz.


In just one or two generations — an imperceptible time in the timeless sweep of the universe — we have created a technology that has the power to extend us, to transform us, to define us, perhaps even to destroy us.


How Will We Tell the Story of Computing?


Computing will eventually become a multi-part documentary series. It will be broadcast (via traditional media as well as web streaming, if all goes as planned), but also online: on your iPad in an interactive format; as an e-book on your Kindle or phone; as a social network and website, getting people connected to their interests and to each other; as a series of educational games for kids and teens; and as a platform for getting more girls and minorities excited about becoming our next generation’s Mark Zuckerberg-ses and Steve Jobs-es.


So, yes, while Computing will teach the essential science of computing, its main focus is on making us all THINK about our relationship to controlling or being controlled by our own future and our own creations. And that’s something no documentary project in this subject area has ever done (and certainly not with the insider-insights, interactivity, and attitude we plan).

To learn more, click here — or check out the project on Kickstarter.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Explaining Why Computing is Important