There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an
idea whose time has come. -Victor Hugo
(Blacksburg, Va., Aug. 23, 1999) -- This year marks the 25th anniversary of the
ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry. The division will celebrate the event,
during the 218th American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans, Aug.
22-26, with a symposium that will look at the past and future of computer use in
chemistry. The program will feature presenters who have had an impact in that
period, including Raymond E. Dessy, professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech,
author of the "WebWorks" column in Analytical Chemistry, and recipient of the
first ACS National Award for Computers in Chemistry.
Dessy will talk about the evolution of computer use in the initial stages of
research -- to record a scientist's notes and data, for 'mining' information in
institutional databases, and for large scale testing of compounds during the
advanced stages of new drug discovery. He will also explore mistaken
predictions, the challenges of human adaptation, and technology on the horizon.
His presentation, "Some call the world a dreary place" (Comp 30), is Monday,
Aug. 23, at 10:30 a.m. in Convention Center room 225-227.
"It is a fascinating period," says Dessy. "In 25 years, we have gone
from computers with 4K of memory -- which wouldn't hold today's screen savers --
to the ability to process huge volumes of data."
In the 1970s, computing centers were not addressing the needs of
chemistry, he recalls. "Industrial scientists were champing at the 'byte'
because they knew computer power was central to their jobs. When PCs were
introduced, many scientists realized they were the solution for the lab. But
most scientists didn't know how to use PCs, let alone how to interface with lab
equipment." Between 1972 and 1992, Virginia Tech and the American Chemical
Society provided week-long courses for 5,000 scientists, giving tPage: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Related biology news :1
Contact: Raymond Dessy
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