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Lunch & Learn: Why Your Humble iPod May Be Holding the Biggest Mystery in All of Science with Bernard Chazelle

chazelle1.jpgIn 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors placed on an integrated circuit would double approximately every two years. That prediction, notes Bernard Chazelle, Computer Science Professor at Princeton, if anything underestimated the results during the past half century and should continue for at least another decade. Moore’s Law, he posits, is responsible for most of the desktop and hip-pocket wonders of the computer age, notably remarkable improvements in processing speed, memory capacity, and network bandwidth.
Moore’s Law correctly predicted revolutionary technological and social change in the late 20th century. But by 2020 if not before, as transistor features approach just atoms in width, Moore’s Law will have run its course. New technologies may replace integrated circuit technologies to extend Moore’s Law for decades; Chazelle argues that the years ahead will usher in the era of the “Algorithm,” a notion which, he contends, may prove to be the most disruptive and revolutionary scientific paradigm since quantum mechanics.

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