It’s All Computers These Days

An essay from Steve Lohr, responding to a National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board symposium. Most notably, an assertion that pretty much everything is computing these days: Computing, 2016: What Won’t Be Possible?. For example:

“Algorithms are small but beautiful,” Dr. Karp observed. And algorithms are good at describing dynamic processes, while scientific formulas or equations are more suited to static phenomena. Increasingly, scientific research seeks to understand dynamic processes, and computer science, he said, is the systematic study of algorithms.

Biology, Dr. Karp said, is now understood as an information science. And scientists seek to describe biological processes, like protein production, as algorithms. “In other words, nature is computing,” he said.