There is an article in the current issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education that gives a nice overview of the current push to make significant improvements to the internet. Lots of things could be better. Lots of things were not anticipated when the internet was designed 30 years ago.I especially like the quote that closes the article, from Jennifer Rexford of Princeton’s CS Department:
‘People built buildings before there was civil engineering. But a lot of them fell down. Eventually, out of those experiences, people developed principles that allowed for sound construction. We’re sort of at the same point with the Internet. We’ve learned a huge amount. Now there’s a need to go to the next level. The Internet has become so important that the stakes are a lot higher. We need a sound foundation so we can build networks that are worthy of society’s trust.’
This gets at something I often tell students who are interested in computer science: I believe we are much closer to the beginning than the end of the era of new and important and interesting computer science opportunities.