Лекция: Major computer applications


A student learns French by playing a computer game in which the

object is to successfully rent an apartment in Paris.

Instead of building a physical model, an aerospace engineer saves millions of dollars and thousands of hours by testing an airframe concept on a computer.

His electronics-industry counterpart, using powerful computer-aided-design (cad) tools, creates a computer that would have required the work of 40 engineers two decades ago.

A production manager uses an off-the-shelf expert system to help her troubleshoot a complex piece of machine-tool manufacturing equipment.

A marketing executive stores thousands of data points from a massive survey of consumer preferences and correlates them with a list of product characteristics.

A publishing executive has begun a survey of computer technology be­cause he senses a market for new kinds of information products.

Each of these people (and thousands more like them) has a vital interest in knowing what computers can (and cannot) do: if these managers and professionals are to succeed, they also need to know when the various rich promises of the technology will be realized in usable programs and devices. For the electronics and aerospace engineers improvements in computer speed are extremely important. The production manager would like to know when she will have a diagnostic system that can learn different malfunction patterns as they evolve. The publishing executive faces a question of when and how to get on the technology curve: he must decide whether to convince skeptical and traditionally minded colleagues to embark on the development of software products for hardware that has only just begun to reach the market.

The answers to these questions and many other challenges will unfold as computer science evolves. But that is too late for the men and women in business, government, the professions and academic life who must make plans now for how computers will be used. After all, these managers and professionals, although generally aware of the potential of computers, are not computer experts or even literate in the simplest computer lan­guages and uses.

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