The evolution of computers: Chats with Kelly Gotlieb, "the" Internationally Renowned Pioneer in Computing

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P. has the second of his exclusive interviews with computing pioneer, Calvin C. (Kelly) Gotlieb, C.M., M.A., PhD.D. (University of Toronto), D. Math. (Hon., University of Waterloo), D. Eng. (Hon., Technical University of Nova Scotia), Fellow CIPS (FCIPS), Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the British Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Calvin GotliebKelly Gotlieb is currently Professor Emeritus in Computer Science and in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto (UT). He is a computing pioneer, whose innovations and accomplishments helped lay the foundation of an entire worldwide industry, educational stream, and profession. His contributions are so profound and their impact so diverse and in so many areas that the lasting value cannot be comprehended. Have a look at this blog to find out more:

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on some selected interviews can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.

DISCUSSION: Kelly Gotlieb shares his views and insights on the evolution of computers over the past fifty plus years.

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

00:41: Kelly shares stories and insights about the technical challenges in the late 1940's and the solutions.

03:36: Kelly explains what was like to set up the first computational center in 1948 at University of Toronto.

04:57: Back in the 50's there were no university credit programs towards a career in computing. Kelly talks about the challenges and lessons learned when setting up credit programs in computing in the 1960's.

06:06: Kelly comments on the book he wrote on the social issues of computing and which issues still apply, other new issues and also how his views have evolved.

08:17: Expanding on social issues of computing, what does he think the social issues of the future will be?

12:45: In which ways has his views changed since he wrote the book, "The Economics of Computing?"

16:29: Kelly Gotlieb was one of the first prognosticators indicating the value to business of computers and the unlimited applications of computers in many environments.

17:30: In the early days of computing Kelly was instrumental in pioneering methodologies and the body of knowledge to create this whole field of computing and all the different applications and programs and ways it could be used including games, music, etc.
:20:14: "It doesn't matter what artificial intelligence can do, it matters what a mind plus a computer can do. I don't think it's threatening that computers are getting more intelligent, they won't have the intelligence of people and personality. The interesting thing is what does a person plus a computer do?"

21:29: High speed computing has undergone significant transformation over the last five decades. Kelly profiles this evolution and where he sees it heading in the future.

23:58: Kelly's take on people's comments about computing being included as a basic science. Almost all sciences done now, (environmental,medical or forensic science, etc.) collect huge volumes of data which requires handling, catagorizing and analyzing, etc. which requires data management which is central to computing.
"So it puts computing into the top tier of sciences because anybody who is a scientist, (eg. biologist or mineralologists,etc.) would have to have some courses in handling data which is essentially one of the main pillars of computer science."

25:55: During his illustrious career, Kelly worked as a consultant for the United Nations and with the Canadian Government. He comments on these times.

27:44: As a founding member of the Canadian Information Processing Association (CIPS), Kelly describes CIPS' evolution and contribution to the computing industry, international cooperation and to the computing profession.