Thursday, October 20, 2011

An Interdisciplinary Puzzle For You To Figure Out

Today I am going to give you something to ponder for a few days - see if you can figure it out. Then, next week I'll tell you all about an exciting project I learned about this week.

What do biological, physical, social, engineering and financial systems have in common?

Toss in Computer Science. Computing is key to solving the puzzle of what this mystery project is.

A concrete example of where it all comes together involves one of the most prevalent objects in the developed and developing world: the automobile.

Think about how many feet of wiring runs through your car. How many feet do you think there are on average, front to back? Have you ever thought about that?

What does the wiring in your car accomplish and what are the critical factors in its proper functioning (don't forget about temporal issues)?

Wiring: kind of Old School technology don't you think?

Let's say you remove the wiring (or most of it) from your car. What advantages might you get from eliminating the wiring?

WHY DO WE CARE? (hint: economic productivity is one answer)

Hopefully some ideas are popping into your head - crazy ideas are fine. Crazy ideas are very good. Innovation comes from so-called crazy ideas and that is rarely a bad thing.

I leave you with a parting final hint: Claude Shannon.

If you come up with the solution before I post about it you gain enormous brownie points and public acknowledgement of having a highly productive brain. All ideas welcome.

Enjoy your mental percolations.

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