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 t
Contact: Raymond Dessy