July / August 2002


The face behind the Grid

The entertainment industry is used to double acts; Sonny and Cher, Tom and Jerry, Batman and Robin, and so on. Carl Kesselman of the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California has become famous as part of a double act with Ian Foster of Argonne National Laboratory.

They are the coordinators of The Grid - an ambitious project to give scientists around the world access to huge computing resources over high-speed networks, like Web services on steroids.


Integration is LIMS inspiration

For software manufacturers, blessings come in the form of fast-moving application areas. In the case of LIMS, biotechnology is still in the driving seat, inspiring the developers to maintain consistently rapid and creative levels of innovation.

The current season's advancements are no exception. Integration and linking initiatives are still popular and much of the activity appears to be coming from a very productive minority.


Development through gaming

Given the importance nowadays of cellular automata across a wide range of scientific computing disciplines, it's easy in hindsight to dismiss as short-sighted the 1974 Time magazine article that complained of the 'millions of dollars of valuable computer time wasted' by enthusiasts of the first popular CA, John Conway's Game of Life. Mainstream observers, however, commonly underestimate the role of fringe activities in propelling science and technology.