James H. Morris

James is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the West Coast campus of Carnegie Mellon University. He is a CMU graduate who received a Ph.D. in computer science from MIT. He taught at the University of California at Berkeley, worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and is a founder of MAYA Design Group.

Was Herbert Simon the 20th Century’s Galileo?

In the mid-1980s a journalist visiting Carnegie Mellon from France suggested that a statue of Herbert Simon should join those of Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Galileo and Bach in front of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute. At the time, I considered this a bit of Gallic hyperbole, but now I don’t. Simon came to Carnegie Tech in 1949 along …

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Herbert Simon: 20th Century Galileo

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the School of Computer Science as well as the Silicon Valley campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. Although he was less approachable …

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Raj Reddy: Modern Circumnavigator

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the School of Computer Science as well as the Silicon Valley campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. Raj Reddy began life in …

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Allen Newell: The Lone Ranger

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the School of Computer Science as well as the Silicon Valley campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. After succumbing to Alan Perlis’s …

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Robert Taylor: Demanding Coach

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the West Coast campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. As I struggled with the rigors of being an assistant professor at University …

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Alan Perlis: The First Computer Scientist

I was a teenager in 1957 when the Russians launched Sputnik. In the national reaction to it I was inspired to pursue science. I was all set to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the California Institute of Technology to become a physicist, when the Carnegie Institute of Technology offered me a full …

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Uncharted Territory

Science and technology march along, year after year, making gradual progress in transforming our lives. Every now and again, however, a public event is staged—the moon landing, a computer playing a chess champion, decoding the human genome—that gives the public the appearance of a breakthrough. Just such an event happened in October, when a group …

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How to Profit from the Coming Singularity

Singularity” is a term that futurists have borrowed from mathematics to describe an event so profound that nothing is the same afterwards. Noah’s flood would be an example. There are four singularities on the horizon, and each offers many opportunities to make money. The internet swallows the world In “Mirror Worlds: Or the Day Software …

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Steel City vs. Silicon Valley

In 1890, when my great-grandfather returned from San Francisco to take over the family farm on Shady Side’s Ellsworth Avenue, the value of Allegheny County real estate ranked sixth in the country. With its river connections, access to coal and access to Wall Street, Pittsburgh was becoming America’s most vital manufacturing center. Entrepreneurs such as …

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Google Knows How to Flirt

You hate to wait through an advertisement on television. But you enjoy the look and feel of an ad in your favorite magazine. You hate pop-ups on the Internet. Yet you like finding what you need on Google. Our likes, dislikes and habits in this changing world are becoming critically important to companies that want …

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The Software Business Manual

As the computer and Internet business emerges from the collapse of the bubble, the most successful companies seem to be following a new set of rules. Some rules are old and obvious, but the combination is striking. As a professor at Carnegie Mellon, the world’s premier educator of software engineers, I have been trying to …

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