People who create this type of technology must be able to build teams, work in teams, and integrate solutions created by other teams. The number of students taking Advanced Placement exams in computer science is growing dramatically, but the 58,000 students taking the AP Computer Science A (APCS-A) test last year still pales in comparison to the 308,000 who took the AP Calculus AB test. Few U.S. high schools now go beyond the core training necessary to prepare for the APCS-A exam, though we have a few stunning success stories -- Stuyvesant High School in New York City, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, and TAG (The School for the Talented and Gifted) in Dallas, among others. As with science and math, we need governmental standards driving K-12 computer science education, along with textbooks, courses and ultimately a highly trained national cadre of computer science teachers that are tied to those standards.
At the same time, computer science departments nationwide have begun initiatives to enlarge the base of non-traditional students studying computer science. Beyond teaching particular useful skills, computer science teaches ways of thinking that are necessary in order to be an effective and engaged citizen. Perhaps most importantly, computer science teaches optimism in the face of enormous complexity. The great political scientist, economist, psychologist, sociologist, and computer scientist Herbert Simon pioneered the research area of "general problem solving," studying how people solve problems and exploring the degree to which general problem solving expertise could be encapsulated in a computer program.
So, I saw a great opportunity for the computer science community to teach future generations how computer scientists think. Most gratifying to me is President Barack Obama's pledge to provide 4 billion in funding for computer science education in U.S. schools as part of the Computer Science for All Initiative (http://1.usa.gov/21u4mxK) he announced on Jan. 30. That initiative includes 120 million from the National Science Foundation, which will be used to train as many as 9,000 more high school teachers to teach computer science and integrate computational thinking into their curriculum. SC16 marks the beginning of a multi-year emphasis designed to advance the state of the practice in the HPC community by providing a track for professionals driving innovation and development in designing, building, and operating the world's largest supercomputers, along with the system and application software that make them run effectively.
In the future, smart agents will remove the burden on organizations to train up tech-literate people by enabling people literate-tech. They will converse with these smart advisors, or virtual personal assistants, in their natural language via touch, speech, keyboards, written text, gestures and other mechanisms. Mr. Austin added that we are witnessing evidence of smart agents driving this transformation and not just with conversation aids like Siri and Cortana. IPSoft's Amelia offers virtual customer assistants that learn from observing person-to-person interactions, and IBM's Watson offers a broad suite of natural-language processing and generation capabilities.