Home » 2015 » April

Monthly Archives: April 2015



Brian McAdoo, Andrew Bettiol, Lerwen Liu?, ?

WRITING COMPONENT.  I think we should strive to have a deliberate writing component in all of FoS.  Let's work with Heidi Stalla of the writer's centre to make this work.

Seemingly random events that displace an established community/technology/ ideology and resculpt landscapes happen all the time. An earthquake occurs, killing a quarter of a million people. A device the size of your hand, with 1,300 times the processor speed and 1.5 million times more memory than the Apollo spacecraft’s guidance computer that you use to call your mom. Technology that is on the scale of one-billionth of a meter that will revolutionize medicine and make your socks less stinky. These stochastic/chaotic disruptions are constantly changing everything in our world. How do these disruptions create opportunities for change? How have humans been involved in processes of disruption using technology and innovation? What are some of the up-coming disruptive technologies and/or natural events that will change they way humans live from here on out? How can some of those technologies help us and other organisms survive on Earth?

Grand Challenges

  • Disruptive Technologies are the game-changing innovations that make products faster, more dynamic, and more efficient. While a lot of these technologies are truly remarkable, do they in fact make the world a better place? If so, for whom? How might disruptive technologies aid in, say, disease prevention, increased food supply, or Disaster Risk Management? Write a proposal to develop a new, green disruptive technology that will change the landscape of our environment and will benefit society.
  • The End of Moore's Law.  Since the invention of the transistor in 1947, technology has been developing at an almost unimaginable pace. In your lifetime, several classic analog technologies (film, vinyl records…) have been replaced with digital counterparts. The number of transistors in an integrated circuit has doubled every 2 years since the 1960’s. The current Apple A8X processor in your iPhone 6 has over 3 Billion transistors packed onto a 20 nm chip.  Will we continue to develop at these rates? By 2020 the chip dimensions in an integrated circuit could be down to 5 nm- this means that each transistor gate will be roughly 10 atoms wide. Is this even possible? How can we ignore quantum effects? Is it necessary to even have so many transistors? It is clear that Moore’s Law will soon fail and new materials and technologies are needed to further develop computers and other digital devices that we have become so dependent on. Is this the end of the silicon age? Is this the end of the age of electronics? What disruptive technology will replace our existing materials and devices? It may very well be a combination of photonics, plasmonics, spintronics, quantum computation etc. This needs to happen in the next 5 years!