Systems and Management and The Edge

Ernest Retzel 1535 49118 ernest at lenti.med.umn.edu
Wed Jun 24 03:43:02 EST 1992

Dear, dear, dear, how seriously we are all taking ourselves!

We are beginning to answer the biologist's equivalent of "Which comes first,
the chicken or the egg?"  And since our background is biologists, it does
not surprise me that we come to this conclusion.

Without debating in detail the opinions expressed recently, I would 
reiterate what I said: a CS background is essential to the development
and maintenance of an extensive, distributed system.  My opinion is that
we, as a group, have not evolved sufficiently to realize it generally.
This does not mean that we need not understand the nature of what we are
working with, whether it is a computer system or an algorithm or the
protocols and philosophies that underly a kit.

The nature of events as they are unfolding is that it is a collaborative
event, this computational biology.  It requires the best of the computer
scientists and mathematicians and biologists.  [I will agree with a
previous poster that it is easier to teach a computer scientist biology
than to train a biologist in the nature of the things underlying the
programs.  I have found this in CSci faculty, grad students and undergrads.]

But when we are pushing the envelope, wouldn't it be nice if we pushed it 
from two different perspectives?

Ernie Retzel

ernest at lenti.med.umn.edu

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