the Future —of the field and of
Predictions are hard, and oft futilous —
The best I can do, the best I can say,
Is that we will continue to lead the way.
Predicting the future of computing is as hard
as predicting the weather in Ithaca two hours from now. In 1957, a professional
Editor predicted that data processing was a fad that wouldn’t last more than a year.
In 1977, the president of DEC saw no reason why anyone would want a computer
in their home (where is DEC now?). No one predicted the Internet even
a year before it started. The only thing we can really say is that there
will be change, and the only thing that hasn’t changed is the price
of a computer —since the 1940’s, $300–$500 per pound.
Predicting the future of the department is easy. We will continue to
lead in research and teaching as long as we adhere to basic principles:
First, maintain a comfortable, collegial environment in which everyone
can prosper. Second, hire only the best young faculty, (almost) regardless
of area, and welcome them as full members of the department. Third, when
the opportunity arises, hire a brilliant senior person to help move us
in a desired direction. Fourth, admit only the best graduate students,
for they are a vital component of the research arm