Messages from the Director

Director Richard N. Taylor

Social media thrives on immediacy.  Whether a tweet, a Facebook update, or a post to a Google+ stream, the focus is “what’s going on now.”  The seductive character of immediacy, or at least of social media, unfortunately often seems to foster shallow relationships and shallow thinking.  Students walking around campus today are often less aware of their surroundings, and of each other, for many seem glued to staring at their “smart”phones while listening to music.  I frequently receive requests to become “friends” with someone on Facebook whom I have never heard of; stories abound of people who have hundreds of Facebook friends, yet are lonely for meaningful human relationships.

Early in June I had the privilege of giving a talk at the Boeing site in Huntington Beach, as part of their Distinguished Researcher and Scholar Seminar series.  I always appreciate the opportunity of speaking at industry events, for it gives me an occasion to learn more about the challenges and issues facing high-tech companies and consequently hone the direction of my research.  In trying to decide what my seminar would be about, I decided to leverage a surprise I’d had earlier in the year.  In February I needed to be away from campus, and hence my classes, due to some conference-related travel.  For my graduate class on software architecture, I decided to ask Dr.