Computation and the Next Boom

in Significant Bits
January 31st, 2012

In an op-ed piece in the January 30 Wall Street Journal, Mark Mills and Julio Ottino write about “The Coming Tech-led Boom” in the 21st century. They begin:

In January 1912, the United States emerged from a two-year recession. Nineteen more followed—along with a century of phenomenal economic growth. Americans in real terms are 700% wealthier today.

In hindsight it seems obvious that emerging technologies circa 1912—electrification, telephony, the dawn of the automobile age, the invention of stainless steel and the radio amplifier—would foster such growth. Yet even knowledgeable contemporary observers failed to grasp their transformational power.

In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution.

It’s interesting to note that computational techniques and computational science are behind all three of these, and intensified research and education for computational science is essential to driving the continued innovation necessary to create that economic growth.

Read the whole piece.