Moore’s Law and Today’s Technology #IS311

The ability to capture, process, store, and present information is faster and less expensive today than it was 50 years ago. Gordon Moore, an engineer at Intel, predicted in 1965 that computing would dramatically increase in power while decreasing in relative cost, roughly every two years (Intel, n.d.). According to a recent article in The Economist, this maxim has stood the test of time over the past 50 years. However, the traditional method of shrinking the size of the transistor to pack more of them onto a processor is reaching its fundamental limit (2016). This technical limit has led engineers to move beyond the principles of classical physics which rely on mathematical rules by using clearly defined binary physical states (Burd, 2016, p. 24). In order to continue to improve processing capabilities, quantum physics is being used by combining classical physics with matter at the subatomic level such that matter can be in multiple states at the same time in a qubit (Burd, 2016, p. 24-25). This nascent technology is still being prototyped, and is far too expensive to hit the public market at this time.

As new architectures for computing are developed, engineers will need to pay particular attention to memory addressing. Today’s Intel processors maintain backwards compatibility for the original 8086 microprocessor which makes it difficult to process an increasing number of bits using faster methodologies (Burd, 2016, p 89-90). This was evidenced at the turn of the millennium when larger computer classes began using 64-bit addressing. The change in architecture caused software compatibility issues despite Intel providing memory addressing based on either 32-bit or 64-bit addressing.

While new advances in processor technology are developed, the average citizen has access to a wide array of consumer electronics that rely upon the classical processor. These microcomputer devices can include smartphones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, and desktop computers. These devices typically support tasks such as browsing the web, creating documents, editing spreadsheets, curating photos, using apps (or applications), or performing business functions using accounting software packages (Burd, 2016, 35). This class of computers sometimes challenges the definition of a workstation which it commonly referred to as a more powerful desktop computer. Workstations are often found in use for applications that require additional primary memory (RAM) for simultaneously running programs, graphics capabilities for applications such as AutoCAD, or multiple CPUs for statisticians who require faster processing capabilities. It may be argued, in support of Moore’s Law, that the capabilities of a workstation may resemble the specifications of the next generation of desktops.

Even though it may be easy for an average consumer to purchase off-the-shelf computing devices for casual personal use, it requires deep technical understanding of the technology to implement, test, and deploy systems for use in the enterprise. Understanding how these components interoperate is critical to a project’s success. In order to manage computing resources effectively, one must stay abreast of future technology trends through unbiased sources, such as those from professional organizations that are funded by memberships rather than specific vendors (Burd, 2016, 8-9).


50 Years of Moore’s Law. (n.d.) Retrieved September 12, 2016, from

Burd, S.D. (2016). Systems Architecture 7e. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. (2016, March 12). The Economist (US)

Feb 3, 2017: Opportunities for I.S. Students #MillikinIS

Happy Friday,
There have been a lot of events/opportunities for information systems (I.S.) students floating around this week, so I wanted to recap on what is going on in the near future. There are numerous ways for you to be engaged outside of the classroom. Let me know if you have interest in any of these.
Have a great weekend,

ISCPA CareerFest in Tinley Park on Wednesday, Feb 15 – 10am – 3pm

Over 90 employers. If you are a senior and are still looking for employment after graduation, YOU NEED TO GO TO THIS.
Transportation provided by Career Center
$10 cash for early registration. Sign up in Career Center by February 8 (Shilling Room 103)
A list of employers, many of which are tech-related:

Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, April 12 and 13 in St. Louis, Union Station

There is an opportunity to hear from some of the best and brightest at companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and Twitter at this year’s Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. It’s hosted by University of Missouri–St. Louis and includes a networking/career fair. To learn more:

  • April 12 & 13, 2017
  • Registration for students is $50

If this interests you, please fill out the short form linked here:
Once we know who is interested, more information will be sent from Dr. Carrie Trimble.

Current Trends in Supercomputing Webinar: Tues, Feb 8 11am

If you are interested in learning more about what is happening in the world of supercomputing, this webinar just came across my inbox that looks interesting. I have class at 11 and I know some of you do too, but for those that don’t, it might be worth a listen.
This webinar is sponsored by ACM (Association of Computing Machinery). It’s a good professional organization for students and professionals with all things related to IT, computer science, etc. I have info on how to start a student chapter, if you’re interested.

Peer Tutor Opportunity for I.S. Classes

The Office of Student Success is looking for work study eligible students who are interested in serving as a peer tutor for I.S. classes. Assistance is typically needed for IS130, IS270, IS240, and IS221. Peer Tutors make themselves available through appointment to assist those in needed grasping difficult concepts or with lab exercises. If interested, please contact me. You need to have received a high grade in the class (B+ or better) to be eligible.

Argonne National Laboratory Cyber Defense Competition: March 31 – April 1 (all day) (Need to know by Monday!)

Are you interested in designing foolproof networks, fending off cyber attacks and developing systems that keep information secure? Join Argonne National Laboratory in our Second Annual Cyber Defense Competition on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Collegiate teams (Blue Team) come together to design and defend their network against the attackers (Red Team), who attempts to infiltrate the network and disrupt services. Create a team from your college or university and be a part of this growing tradition. Each team is comprised of up to 6 participants with a minimum of 3 students to compete. Each team must also have at least one faculty member as the institutional representative. More information can be found here:

REU Interdisciplinary Research Experience in Computational Sciences

The Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) hosts a ten week Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program where students work collaboratively on a wide variety of computational science projects. Each student receives a stipend of $5,000, free housing in university dormitories, and up to $600 in travel expenses to and from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Ten students will be selected.
Undergraduate, community college student, or high school senior attending college in the fall, interested in a major that is within the computational sciences umbrella (leaves out few majors as it includes all sciences, mathematics, engineering, finance, statistics, etc.) with at least a 2.75 GPA, considering a career in research and/or graduate school in your major, being a US citizen or permanent resident, and graduating at least one semester after completion of the REU.
Important Dates:
March 1, 2017: Application deadline.
April 1, 2017: Notification of decision.
May 22, 2017 through July 30, 2017: Program dates.
The research activities of the CCT are organized into five Focus Areas: Core Computing Sciences, Coast to Cosmos, Material World, Cultural Computing, and System Science and Engineering. These are broad, and sometimes overlapping areas where faculty from diverse departments (Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Civil Engineering, Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computing Engineering, Music, Business, etc.) collaborate in multidisciplinary projects. Our REU students learn how to use some of the nation’s largest supercomputers, may participate in the setup and management of large-scale simulations, and may take on an important role in the analysis and visualization of the simulation results.
For more information and to apply, visit:
millikin university