code 2016 retrospective

hi all, 2016 was another banner year for computer science. its been on a phenomenal roll the last few years and there seems to be no end in sight. dont really know what is causing all the wave, its likely a variety of factors. one large factor is the headline-grabbing success of AI in the last few years and that areas momentum shows no signs of abating. another neat factor is that president Obama has been a major friend of coding/ CS. it will be a big vacuum in authoritative support after he leaves office, its hard to think of a more enthusiastic or high profile position/ proponent/ advocate of coding. wrt this (and ofc other ways) he will surely be sorely missed.[d2][d3][d4]

some other trends. it looks like gender balance/ diversity considerations are still strong in the field but maybe peaked the prior year.[b] thats not to say its going away, just that maybe some of the intensity is not so strong any more and now its a widely recognized/ acknowledged area and basic awareness is more widespread.

one topic that seemed to reach critical mass prior and this year is looking at algorithmic fairness and how algorithms can be inherently discriminatory.[i]

there were lots of great profiles on the greats.[a] alas, some personal heroes shuffled off the mortal coil. notably/ personally meaningfully, Shannon died last year. some of his pioneering research into circuit theory/ complexity was highly inspirational to me even at a young age.[a12] also, read Kernighan & Ritchie as a late teenager myself.[a20] the idea that a programming language could have a sort of minimalist/ hacker design philosophy (almost like how elite cars have different design styles) was inspiring to me also. its also neat to see Kardashian in the news with a CS-related angle after the phenomenal success of her app. it looks like wired almost singlehandedly rediscovered the achievements of Hamilton re moon landing.[a18][a19] it was very cool/ fascinating to see a neat profile on the inventor of autotune, normally somewhat unknown/ unheralded.[a2]

another very strong area covered in cyberspace is educational aspects of CS.[d] here is a remarkable field where its fundamental nature and expression tend to blend together in one medium, cyberspace. its great to hear of all the innovation and energy in this area, it would appear that its definitely thriving.

this is a fun compilation to track all year long & hope you enjoy this content just as much.


a. greats/ leaders/ moguls/ profiles
b. gender
c. algorithms
d. edu
e. dark side
f. 1sthand
g. os/ linux
h. languages
i. fairness
j. corp
k. advance/ future/ trends
l. cs/ bio/ science
m. contests

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