Princeton University, Computer Science Department Colloquium Series


Changing Paradigms: Comparing Chemical Engineering with Computer Science


Professor James Wei
Princeton University


Room 105, Small Auditorium
35 Olden Street, Computer Science Building
Princeton University


4:00 PM
Wednesday, October 11, 1995
(Tea served at 3:00 p.m., Tea Room (2nd Floor))


In the words of Thomas Kuhn, a "paradigm" is the central canon of an intellectual discipline, a set of generally agreed upon concepts and tools that are widely applicable in solving important problems, examples of triumphant solutions that should be taught to all the students, textbooks, professional societies, specialized journals, handbooks, and accreditation. The reviewers of a journal manuscript or a research proposal pass judgement on whether this is a legitimate research problem, and whether this is a legitimate solution, based on the paradigm. A more mature intellectual discipline such as Chemical Engineering has many of these attributes accumulated after one hundred years; a more youthful intellectual discipline such as Computer Science is beginning to accumulate them. For instance, Joel Moses said that "There is no such subject as Computer Science". However, the really big breakthroughs in a discipline are not investigations around the edges of known successes, but in starting a new paradigm and Springtime.

Host: Andrew Yao
Document last modified on October 4, 1995