Section Notes 4: Nuclear Shadows
Summary: Sally invited Casey to join her on a visit to Los Alamos where she needed to work on family ties. Casey would drive and guide as they added historical and scientific memories to their respective pasts. Sally’s niece, Marilyn, needs career return advice and her son, Bob, deserves recognition for his high school science exploits.
At a Lab museum tour, their paths cross with a Millennial entrepreneur, Matt, which leads to a multi-generational conversational dinner that bonded them into a team with a WWW mission. The National Laboratory brings shadowy awareness of technology’s world-changing events and after-effects. They all feel the forces of computing expand beyond apps and social media and the cloudy Dawn of Web Time.
Casey has found her flock to guide throughout the summer.
Keywords: scientific computing; wildfire simulation; multi-sensory data; teen maze; software testing; nanosecond; VLSI; Venn diagram; missile defense.
History: Manhattan project; Admiral Grace Hopper;Lynn Conway; William Kahan, numerical computing auto-pilots, Air France; software testing theory; Sputnik; ;Strategic Defense Initiative (Reagan Star Wars”).
- The famous location is illustrated by Overview of Los Alamos New Mexico and Bradbury Museum at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- The Southwest climate and terrain are often ravaged with Los Alamos wildfire history motivating a A large-scale wildfire simulator. The science fair simulator is expanded with features from a geologist’s experience with graphs in audio and touch.
- A “teen maze” experiential game motivates Matt’s ‘Life Launcher’ app.
- Book “Unlocking the Clubhouse” by Fisher and Margolis explains educational obstacles to women in computing. AnitaB org organizes recruitment and retention actions.
- *ParaLog is based on logic programming language Prolog which rose and fell in the 1980s according to essay “Who Killed Prolog?” from van Emden “A Programmer’s Place”.
- A dramatic (but lost) story Faulty calculators,and inconsistent calculations?)was shown by Turing award winner William Kahan for numerical standards.
- Fundamental Theorem of Test Data Selection formalized and illustrated key concepts of software testing. Aside, this paper memorialized a canonical example, a text justification program, for demonstrating testing methods.
- Lynn Conway’s web site with professional career and trans-sexual background honors a computing innovator.
“Children of the Magenta” Automation Paradox (podcast) on Air France pilots and crash, a harbinger of Boeing 737 MAx. MIT software safety expert Nancy Leveson explains complex system component interactions, including pilots and sensors.
- Grace Hopper’s famous appearance on Letterman with her nanosecond illustrates the real Admiral Grace Hopper biography.
- Venn diagrams based on sets display similar and dissimilar populations and features.
- Book “Arguments that Count” by Deborah Slatin demonstrates disputes of scientific expertise among physicists and computer scientists (David Parnas) that leave open whether missile defense works and how we would know.