[unisog] Seeking info on Emerging Technology Research

galitz galitz at uclink.berkeley.edu
Wed Apr 9 05:08:53 GMT 2003

My answers are below, but be aware that I function
at the college level (College of Chemistry) and not
at the campus level (UC Berkeley).

>I've been selected to chair a committee here at the University which will
>be investigating Future Technologies.  I'm interested in feedback from
>anyone in the group on how they deal with this issue.  Useful information
>would be:
>*what are organizations doing to stay ahead of the curve, keep abreast
>of new technologies and determine whether or not they would be useful to
>their organization

Lost of web surfing.  Going to seminars and lectures given
by the EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences) 
department.  Running and being a member of various special
intersest groups, particurlarly ones that span a single 
organization or university.

>*how much funding is being allocated to this type of investigation
>*is this function being addressed specifically, as a whole departmental
>focus (such as an Emerging Technology division within the school) or
>throughout the whole school within every division

In my particular case, the answer to the above two questions
is that this role is built into my job description which is at
the college (department) level.  Some deparments also have people
with similar roles, some do not.  As for at the campus level, 
I cannot answer that question.

I spend money on this as part of my overall budget.  I have
one equipment budget to pay for any hardware.  Obviously this
means I have to plan responsibly, but all sysadmins/engineers
should have that ability anyways.  If the amount of money ran
into the tens of thousands, then I might get a seperate budget
for that.  I find that I can get demo units either for free or
through the cooperation of a target research group that may 
have need of said technology.  This is possible because I 
work directly with the research groups here at chemistry.  
A comittee might have a harder time coordinating something like this.

>*are there specific magazines, newsletters or websites that can be used as
>a good reference for this topic

Not to my knowledge. In my experience, seeking user groups or
special interest groups is the best payoff.  Perhaps ACM publications
may be good place to look, though.  Browsing the magazine rack
at a book store might not be bad from to time to time.  Too bad
there are no Powell's books where you are.

I'd also strongly encourage you to work directly with any 
scientific research groups you have there.  You may find
that the grad students and post-docs are on the bleeding 
edge and they don't know it themselves.  That is where I
picked up a lot of my clustering knowledge.

As I said above, I speak only for my role in the chemistry
unit and not for the campus as a whole.

Good luck,

Geoff Galitz, galitz at uclink.berkeley.edu
Research Computing, College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

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