Posted in Articles: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Computers baffle me. For questions large and small—from how to rid my screen of yet another pop-up ad to whether the advent of Heartbleed means I might as well tweet all my financial data—I must ask others. When it comes to people who should be asked about computers, Wojciech Szpankowski is very near the top of the list. Szpankowki is Saul Rosen Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University and director of the Center for Science of Information (CSoI), an NSF organization which brings together leading researchers from around the world. In April 2014, I had the opportunity to interview him. We made something of an odd couple: A paper-and-pen loving graduate student in English and a renowned mathematical theorist whose work with a wide variety of algorithms has made him a leader in information science. But it worked. I focused my questions on the cultural impacts of developments in computer science. Szpankowski's answers illuminated the ways which the work at CSoI is futuristic, far-reaching, and yet already woven into the fabric of every day life.
In alphabetical order