Technology

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

Work Disrupted

The past and future of work collide on a 178-​acre graded-​flat stretch of brownfield in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood.

What’s Right, What’s Left?

So much of modern culture seems bent on eliminating humanity from life itself. In many instances, this is identified as progress. But is it?

How My English Degree Helped Build a Tech Company

When I was 26, my dad got sick and asked me to take over as CEO of the tech company he started. I was armed with my English major from Allegheny College and a couple of years in a retail management training program. In other words, I didn’t have a…

Developing Young Minds

On May 1, 1969, a western Pennsylvania native with a relatively unknown children’s program testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Communication. Public broadcasting faced having its $20 million budget cut in half, and policymakers were skeptical about the educational benefit of children watching television — until Fred Rogers spoke of his year-​old…

What Drives Red Whittaker?

In January, Carnegie Mellon University professor Red Whittaker set a goal that had nothing to do with robotics: to best a field of competitors in an indoor rowing race. The ergometer competition, a 2,000-meter battle on stationary machines, marked the first time the 69-​year-​old Whittaker had rowed since his college…

Exploring Millennial Romance and the Brave New World of Dating Apps

You can find articles, video clips and nearly every type of media content deriding dating apps as the death of romance and the downfall of traditional dating. For some, that translates and escalates to a belief that millennials — the primary users of dating apps — have killed romance. A hefty claim, to be…

3 Not-​So-​Simple Questions, Part IV

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final part of a feature that began in the pages of the Fall issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly. We invited the heads of the region’s top independent schools to address three important questions, in 200 words or less for each. The final question is…

Will Someone Please Tell Me What This Bitcoin/​Blockchain Thing Is All About?

Everyone has heard of Bitcoin by now (by convention, it’s capitalized when used as a protocol and lower case when used as a unit of exchange, like a dollar), but very few understand the importance of the “blockchain” technology that underpins it. This article expresses no opinion one way or…

Examining Austin as a Boomtown — Lessons for Pittsburgh?

Today’s high in Austin is 104 degrees, with 106 predicted for tomorrow. Even the native Texans, proud and defensive of the State’s hardships, are complaining. It has become a standard topic of conversation between strangers in elevators and in bars. And still the masses make their way here.

Healthcare On Demand: There’s an App for That

We’ve all been there. You think you might have the flu, and you need to see a doctor, stat. You call your PCP but she’s booked solid for the next three weeks. So you hop in your car and fight the traffic to the urgent care clinic, only to find…
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