Opening Remarks at Techniche 2011, Guwahati India

Stephen P. Morse, San Francisco


Opening remarks that I delivered at Techniche 2011
to the students of the Indian Institute of Technology
Guwahati, India, August 31, 2011

When I obtained my engineering degree 50 years ago:
Computers were the size of a room.
Only designated people had access to them.
Then minicomputers came along and individuals were able to access them.
Then microcomputers and we could build our own computers.
Then personal computers and anybody (non engineers) could own one.
Then laptops and we could take our computer with us.
Then iphones and ipads, and we could put our computer in our pockets.
I never could have imagined a computer in my pocket
   that was more powerful than the computers we had when I started
Your future will be the same:
The technology of 50 years from now is unimaginable today.
And you will be part of it.
Your career will take many unexpected but good turns:
I started as an electrical engineer by training.
My doctoral thesis was in computer graphic analysis.
My first job after that was in interactive computer graphics.
I went to France and worked in computer languages because that is what they needed.
After that computers were getting smaller and I started doing pioneering work on micro computers.
Next the language Ada came along and I merged the two;
   I did development work on an Ada compiler for a microprocessor-embedded system.
Next the Internet came along and I got involved with browser development.
Most recently I developed a personal interest in genealogy and applied computer applications to it.
None of this could I have imagined when I decided to be an electrical engineer.
Follow your passion:
I chose engineering because technology (specifically electricity) was my hobby.
In engineering school I made the discovery that people were going to pay me to do my hobby.
So I've been playing with my hobby my whole career and never "worked" a day in my life.
If you can say the same 50 years from now, you will have had a successful career.
And you can
I'll show more evolution.
I'll show how the microprocessor went from a curious toy to the center of today's computer world.
I hope you'll be able to attend.
© Stephen P. Morse, 2012