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Potentials, IEEE

Issue 3 • Date Aug.-Sept. 1994

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Displaying Results 1 - 10 of 10
  • Mix-and-match high performance computing

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 6 - 10
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (582 KB)  

    Scientific researchers who perform large numerical simulations often put great demands on the processing power of even the fastest computers. High performance computers (HPCs), such as massively parallel processors, supercomputers, and graphical workstations, each have unique characteristics that make them well suited for a particular aspect of a large computer simulation. Often, however, no one individual HPC has the ideal combination of raw computing power, memory capacity, and graphics capability to best address all aspects of a large simulation. We show an example of how mix-and-match computing was used to perform a large-scale 3D numerical simulation, one that models the convection of magma in the earth's interior, using a set of specialized high performance computers.<> View full abstract»

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  • AI for air traffic

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 11 - 14
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (508 KB)  

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) system operates the US airspace for all users (commercial, corporate, government, military, and general aviation). The system includes such elements as the central flow control facility, en-route centers, flight service stations, terminal facilities, and airport towers. The example presented describes an application of a knowledge-based system for nationwide air traffic management operations.<> View full abstract»

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  • Software reuse issues and perspectives

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 15 - 19
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (704 KB)  

    Software reuse could be implemented at several levels including the specification level, design level, program/subprogram library level, code level, and object-code level. However, reuse has a distinct definition for each of the above-mentioned levels. Moreover, the techniques applied to organize and manage reuse is different from one level to another. What's more, the complexity of the reuse methods and techniques increases as it moves from the specification level to the code and object-code levels. On the positive side, the time and space efficiency resulting from the application of reuse techniques improves in the same direction. Specification and design levels are at higher levels of abstraction than the other reuse levels, therefore their potential for accommodating reuse is greater and their adaptation to new applications can be simpler. However, the reuse process of the specification and design levels ultimately involves coding (be it system-generated or manual), testing, and debugging. On the other hand, reuse at code and object-code levels essentially eliminates coding and overall testing, hence it is more economical where a large collection of reusable software is organized in a software library.<> View full abstract»

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  • Patent, copyright and trade secret protection for software

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 20 - 24
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (656 KB)  

    Crucial to the value of computers has been the development of software. Software development can require many hours of programming work. Typically, complex software is developed by a team of engineers and computer scientists working on separate modules, later assembled into the complete routines of a program. The development of computer programs requires the investment of considerable human, technical, and financial resources. Just as clear is the fact that programs can be copied for a fraction of the cost needed to develop them independently. Thus, legal protection is important not only to facilitate commercialization of software, but also to discourage unauthorized counterfeiting and modification of programs. Essentially there are only three ways to protect computer software under the law: patent it, register a copyright for it, or keep it as a trade secret. Each of these separate types of legal protection creates a "monopoly" that is, an exclusive right to use or to prevent others from using the protected subject matter.<> View full abstract»

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  • Wearable computers

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 36 - 38
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (806 KB)  

    Since 1980, technology has reduced the size and the weight of personal computers; without substantially changing the way users interact with their computing environment. Conventional input/output devices place an ultimate limit on the size and the weight of personal computers. Size is limited by the conventional typewriter-like keyboard whose dimensions have not really changed this past hundred years. Both size and weight are limited by displays the size of notebook paper intended to be viewed from several feet away. Since the size of the display places a lower bound on the personal computer's energy consumption, weight is dictated primarily by the weight of the energy storage devices, such as batteries.<> View full abstract»

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  • Catching the wave [gravity wave communication]

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 44 - 46
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (384 KB)  

    In 1873, when James Clerk Maxwell published his treatise unifying electromagnetic theory, he stated that light was electromagnetic in nature and he predicted that electromagnetic waves of greater length might exist. A dozen years later, Heinrich Hertz constructed apparatus with which he generated and received these longer waves, and he demonstrated that their behavior was identical to that of light. In the century following Hertz, these longer waves, which we now call radio waves, have been utilized to provide a vast worldwide communication system. In his theory of general relativity, published in 1915, Albert Einstein postulated the existence of gravity waves that propagate at the speed of light. If these waves could be used for communication purposes, they would open a whole new spectrum for exploitation, independent of the electromagnetic spectrum. Why is it that today, three quarters of a century later, we don't have gravity-wave transmitting and receiving stations? The article examines the reasons for this and then determines quantitatively how far we are from adding gravity waves to our communications repertoire.<> View full abstract»

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  • Space-borne tethers

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 47 - 50
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (450 KB)  

    The astronauts onboard the Space Station are busy conducting experiments with the Station's tethered nano-gravity facility-a mobile platform which can be moved up and down a tether to fine-tune the amount of gravitational force present in their experiments. The tether itself is an insulated conducting wire which connects the station to a remote facility orbiting in tandem 50 km above the Station. All is going well until a malfunction in the solar arrays mounted on the Station causes its power system to fail. The batteries will not last until the next Shuttle visit. Without the tether, the astronauts would most likely have to abandon the Station in its emergency escape vehicle. However, the specialist onboard changes the tether configuration to allow it to generate power from its motion across the Earth's magnetic field. In this configuration, the tether provides the Station with large amounts of power, enough to run the station as well as most of its experiments. The extra drag on the station due to this power generation is counteracted by its reboost module.<> View full abstract»

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  • SETI [Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence]

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 51 - 54
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (489 KB)  

    Some critics of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) like to bolster their arguments with what they call the Fermi Paradox. Legend has it that one day at Los Alamos, shortly after the Alamogordo test (when the first atomic bomb was exploded in the desert about 50 miles northwest of this town on July 16, 1945), Enrico Fermi abruptly broke the meal-time silence with the question: where are they? Meaning, of course, that since advanced extra-terrestrials presumably have long had nuclear power, why haven't we been visited? Today this so-called paradox-really a syllogism in fuzzy probabilities, is stated this way:(a) interstellar travel is easy, at least for advanced extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI); (b) if the Galaxy is rife with ETI, at least one civilization would have colonized it by now; (c) we see no evidence of this. Therefore, say these impeccable logicians, ETI must be rare or, even better, perhaps we are the only intelligent life after all. There are of course many other explanations for our absence of evidence.<> View full abstract»

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  • Electrical education in Argentina

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 55 - 56
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (224 KB)  

    Schooling begins when people are six years old. For a long time, education was considered almost the government's obligation to fulfill. In the last thirty years, however, private schools have helped shoulder this responsibility. Electrical engineering is taught in several universities. Most universities are part of the government system and are located all around the country. In general, each university has an engineering faculty with an electrical or an electronic department. Education starts with an introductory course in physics, chemistry and mathematics. The course's final examination determines whether the student will be enrolled in the basic cycle. This introductory course is mandatory and depends on each university.<> View full abstract»

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  • Looking back [Ernst Berg ideas on Heavyside's calculus]

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 57 - 60
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (470 KB)  

    Quite recently, in a major American journal on electrical engineering education, a rather forceful suggestion was made for (re)integrating Heaviside's operational calculus in the training of electrical engineers. The author stressed the better physical motivation of this method, its conceptual parallelism to the well-known complex number method in AC circuit analysis, less mathematical intricacy and the particular appropriateness to initial value problems. In the light of this proposal, it might merit some interest to look at the "first wave" of the revival of Heaviside's calculus some 70 years ago.<> View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

IEEE Potentials is the magazine dedicated to undergraduate and graduate students and young professionals.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
David Tian
Carnegie Mellon University
david.tian@ieee.org