Saturday, July 04, 2009

Does COMPUTER SCIENCE research really help the industry in India ?

This is a guest post by one of my cool friends Ratnajit Mukherjee. He's really a lover of technology and has a flare for photography. He wanted to share his information on the impact of computer science research.

Well my friend I had a unique experience a few days when I met one of the my teachers who taught me .net in Globsyn technologies and we were discussing how research goes on and how things are different at a research level and in the industry! I was actually flabbergasted to hear from him that research hardly helps the IT industry. I regret to say that it is quite appalling for a person who has worked so many years in the IT industry to say something like that. Obviously he is not alone many in the IT world actually feel like that even some of you who will read this article feel like that but in this article I present my views about how research affects IT industry and how it has affected it and how it will in the near future. Off course you are welcome to differ in opinion but I am always ready to accept comments. Thanks for reading this in the first place. Now lets cut the crap and come to the point.

  1. The whole IT industry owes its existence to one thing global e-business solutions to everything from managing Olympics to a simple online bookstore but who in the world made it possible. ANS)COMPUTER SCIENCE research how ? a)Communication technology, the internet, cryptography, the web technologies used to build the whole array of soft wares and technologies now used in everything in the IT Industry. Mind you J2EE, ASP.NET or the RSA Algorithm or GUI based designs were all research projects my friend. But do you ever think this while writing the program in Java or j2EE no why ? because they are so very ubiquitous to us.
  2. One of the most prolific clients to the IT industry is the banking sector which now proudly announces the core banking systems. ATMs are already connected to each other. You can have a Debit card of one bank and use other bank's atm to withdraw cash at the press of a few buttons but do you ever think how much money, time, effort and research went to make a system so intertwined with our lives.
  3. Lets take an even more obvious example which we all use in our lives in fact somebody or anybody who has used computers ever can't live without it now and it is in fact so integral part of our lives that we hardly know what to do without it !!! Yes my friend I am talking of GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE ! Almost everybody who has ever placed a hand on the computer has used this seemingly simple, humble thing called Google search where you can search and get answers about everything under and the sun and above it. But have you ever given a thought what amount of research has gone behind this. Before Google there was a yahoo search engine and an MSN search engine but they are nowhere now why because Google came with an algorithm which made search not only faster, simpler more effective and exhaustive but it actually changed the way we think, gather information and use the Internet to our own use.
  4. Another leading research fields like VLSI has changed the way we think about Computer Science processors. We strut our stuffs like a Core 2 Duo or a Core 4 Duo but do you ever think how scientists came up with the idea of multicore processors why the single core processors could not cater to the needs and how multicore processor actually speeds up things.
  5. Ok lets talk about some other stuffs which affected our lives. We all know how useful wireless networks are in terms of robustness reaching places where wired connectivity is not only difficult but impossible but do you know that it was actually a research project which spawned in University of Hawaii. If you think you have heard enough how about cell phones. How many people thought 30 years that all of us will be able to talk on a small gadget which can be moved anywhere in the world and you can still connect to anybody in the world. Well very people thought so and it is due to these people that we all have a handset in our pockets no matter what form/shape size it takes.
  6. A direct implication of Wireless networking is Mobile Networks. Did you ever think that it would be possible to move around the whole world and talk around the whole world at the same point of time with such seamless integration of technologies.
  7. I can give you a more ubiquitous example. Operating Systems. Everybody of use uses a Windows OS or Linux or some other OS of your choice but have you ever given it a thought how OS actually came into being. Yes it started from a garage but the people who actually worked in a the garage were actually doing some research on control systems and they required a system which could handle multiple other sub systems and this idea finally took the shape of an OS.
  8. There are many many examples like this small things which have become so, so very obvious in our lives that have taken them for granted. They have become present everywhere in our lives and we can't think life without them. Here are a list of topics which are being looked at as interesting lines of research for further development of the IT industry like:
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Complex and Neural Networks
  • Embedded Technologies & VLSI Design
  • Machine Learning
  • Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
  • Mobile Computing & UMTS Networks.
I am not going to the details of these topics but any of you interested in these must check out what these are in order to realize that how some of our opinions about computer science research is horribly wrong. India is fast becoming service only country with little or no effort into research. This is a very harmful trend as this will one day help to abate our values as development partners. We are known as terrific service providers but when do you learn to create something new. It is very important to us now since it is time we start something new on our own and there is always a chance of failure no matter how cautiously we proceed.

Anyway I will be returning with some interesting facts and figures and how each labs are working related to the topic, we were talking about !!!
Please give it a thought till i return with some more interesting facts and how it affects the IT industry I would say the whole IT industry survives because there is research to take design newer and better technologies which is the IT industry helps in implementing on everyday basis.

2 comments:

  1. U know what any kind of research requires money and support from govt. & Industry and in context of India the Industry doesnot have that much size to be able to invest in research and govt. of India is focused other scientific fields like space, Information Technology etc . yet we have C-Dac developed Param 10000 -indigenous built supercomputer ...its just the might of the US corporations than the Indian ones thats why we don't have any research visibly happening in India...

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