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ROLES OF INDUSTRY AND THE UNIVERSITY IN COMPUTER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT A Report Prepared by the Ad Hoc Panel to Study the Conduct of Basic Research in Computer Science and Its Interaction with Applied Research and Development Computer Science and Technology Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1982
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NOTICE: m e project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. m e Computer Science and Technology Board gratefully acknowledges the support of the Division of Mathematical and Computer Sciences of the National Science Foundation (Grant Number MC-78228116) for the conduct of this study. Available in limited quantity from Computer Science and Technology Board 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America
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AD HOC PANEL TO STUDY THE CONDUCT OF BASIC RESEARCH IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ITS INTERACTION WITH APPLIED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Michael Hammer, Laboratory for Computer Science, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, Cochairman Milton E. Rose, Director, Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, Cochairman Bruce Buchanan, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University Edgar T. Irons, Interactive Systems Corporation, Estes Park, Colorado J. Egil Juliussen, Technology Staff, Texas Instruments Corporation, Dallas Richard M. Karp, Computer Sciences Division, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley Philip Lewis, General Electric Research and Development Center, Schenectady, New York M. Douglas McIlroy, Bell Laboratories, Computer Science Research Center, Murray Hill, New Jersey Herbert Schorr, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York Harold Stone, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Giovanni Wiederhold, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University Peter M. Will, Schlumberger Well Services, Houston, Texas · · ~
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COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD Jacob T. Schwartz, New York University, Chairman Ruth M. Davis, The Pymatuning Group, Inc. Bob O. Evans, IBM Corporation David A. Fisher, Western Digital Corporation Michael A. Harrison, University of California, Berkeley Albert R. Meyer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology John M. Scanlon, Bell Laboratories Robert D. Schmidt, Control Data Corporation Harold Stone, University of Massachusetts Willis H. Ware, The Rand Corporation Peter M. Will, Schlumberger Well Services NRC Staff Donald C. Shapero, Executive Secretary Jacob Blackburn, Executive Secretary through July 1982 TV
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COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND RESOURCES Herbert Friedman, National Research Council, Cochairman Robert M. White, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Cochairman Stanley I. Auerbach, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Elkan R. Blout, Harvard Medical School William Browder, Princeton University Bernard F. Burke, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Herman Chernoff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Walter R. Eckelmann, Exxon Corporation Joseph L. Fisher, Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia James C. Fletcher, University of Pittsburgh William A. Fowler, California Institute of Technology Gerhart Friedlander, Brookhaven National Laboratory Edward A. Frieman, Science Applications, Inc. Edward D. Goldberg, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Konrad B. Krauskopf, Stanford University Charles J. Mankin, Oklahoma Geological Survey Walter H. Munk, University of California, San Diego Norton Nelson, New York University Medical Center Daniel A. Okun, University of North Carolina George E. Pake, Xerox Research Center Charles K. Reed, National Research Council Batten S. Yoder, Jr., Carnegie Institution of Washington Raphael G. Rasper, Executive Director v
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PREFACE m e charge to the panel was to ". . . investigate the present distribution of research capabilities within computer science and engineering . . . ~ and to review its major research subareas, viewing ". . . each research subarea . . . as developing and exerting its influence on technology in an environment created by the interaction of four components of activity: 1. Basic computer science and engineering 2. Developmental computer science and engineering 3. Developments in device technology and device physics 4. Technological advance (development of new products and applications). n The panel was further charged to ". . . glean information concerning prevailing research styles and paradigms in each subarea, and the institutional factors that influence the successful performance and exploitation of basic research. In particular, industrial laboratories and universities were to be compared with respect to a broad range of factors including ability and effectiveness in carrying out research and development leading to computer products. On the basis of the studies and comparisons made, the panel was charged to describe and analyze the interactions among the important components of computer science and engineering research, and between academic research and industrial laboratories. To conduct its study, the panel used several approaches: (1) a series of papers devoted to various aspects of the general area to be studied were prepared by the panel members and discussed by the panel in a series of meetings (see Part TI); (2) a statistical questionnaire concerning research activities was prepared and circulated to firms in the computer industry, and comparable information on government- sponsored research activity was collected for comparison from available public documents; and (3) interviews with research executives in a small assortment of firms held to be typical for various aspects of the computer industry were conducted under the direction of one of the panelts cochairmen (see the Appendix). mese approaches provided the panel with the insights into the interactions between computer science and development work that are presented in this report. · e V11
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CONTENTS PART I. OVERVIEW Conclusions and Recommendations Introduction '1 Industry and the University in Nine Subareas of Computer Science 8 Research and Development in Computer Science PART II. A REVIEW OF NINE CHARACTERISTIC SUBAREAS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE Introduction 1. Systems Software: m e Problems Keep Changing 13 19 21 23 2. Integrated Circuits: A Developmental Area Dominated by Industry 30 3. Theoretical Research: Its Purposes and Influence 37 4. Compiler Writing: Maturation of an Area of Pragmatic Importance 43 5. Artificial Intelligence: Sustained University Pioneering Wins Industrial Acceptance 6. Robotics: The Interplay of Industrial and Academic Activity Opens a Major New Field of Research 47 51 7. Scientific Computing: A Scientific Group of Mixed Background Attempts To Cope with a Broad Spectrum of Problems 60 8. Research in Data Processing: The Primacy of Practice 9. Software Development APPENDIX: INDUSTRIAL ATTITUDES TOWARD RESEARCH ix 67 71 75
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