The HPC Asia 2009 keynote speech, given by Dr. Peter Arzberger, gives us deep understanding into Dr. Arzberger’s vision for the successful integration of HPC with cross-cultural and international collaboration. He also describes the beginnings of the PRAGMA institute he started several years and currently chairs along with its organizational structure. Dr. Arzberger’s goes on to give us his insight into how to better educate students of science so that they will be better prepared to do research in the global science community.
Part1| Part2 | Part3 | Part4 | Part5 | Part6 | Part7 | Part8 [PDF Download] [Video]
Part 7: The “Burden of Knowledge”
Another perspective from the field of economics this time is this concept of “burden of knowledge.” if you believe that as technology moves forward you are creating more knowledge, then how do you overcome that burden of more knowledge as you reach those frontiers? Innovators, which are what this person was looking at, aren’t born out of frontiers of knowledge; rather, they have to move there. That distance to the frontier varies according to the discipline.
There are a couple of other very interesting observations that this paper raised such as things that were increasing over time, and this was just taking a look at patents that were put out, “the age at first invention,” the “measure of specialization,” the amount of team sizes were all increasing. It’s not unreasonable to expect that if you have to know more and more in order to get to the frontier, you’re ‘gonna have to do this either by specializing or working in teams. Unfortunately, there is some trouble in the model here. Even if we spend more money, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will increase innovation. Now there are a couple of escapes that maybe technology will help overcome some of these boundaries to get us to the frontier more quickly as we go forward. But maybe we need to change our education and how we can create and help new people more to that frontier more quickly.
And so building upon PRAGMA in 2004 (incomprehensible) and I started a program to send undergraduates overseas to give them both the research experience and an immersive cultural experience. We now have sent 71 students overseas. We have another batch of 56 applications and we’re hoping to get 30 of those funded this year. We also have a number of sites some of them here in Taiwan. We diversified from four sites originally.
These students actually do publish papers. They actually conduct the research as you can see from a number of these examples here. And they also are exposed to some very interesting cultural activities. Students that went to Malaysia last year actually had the opportunity to work with students in a rural village and I think they began to understand the value of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and what that can do for students and how that can advance a society.
There’s also that notion that there’s nothing like, if you will, people copying what you do to give you a good feeling. Osaka University copied what we did and put it into their curriculum and actually invited speakers to come and give talks to students in order to get them motivated to do research. More recently, Monash University in Australia said, “Well, we like that concept but let’s use IT to bring the speakers in using HD cameras. And so this year, in fact, just last week we ended the stay of four students that were there to do research and they did a final presentation. We had hoped to do this with sending two HD screens, one back to Monash and on back to NICT in Japan to show that we could take advantage…..we’d already done the one; we wanted two……we failed. I think there’s a huge challenge for anyone who wants to do multicasting in any sort of way that makes it easy. But what we did do is to have two streams, one HD and one Polycom, and you can see this is the view from San Diego. But this is the view from Monash and there’s not a whole lot of difference in the quality of what you can see because HD really does change the way you can interact.