Fall 2006»CSIS 672 Homework 4

CSIS 672 Homework 4

Assigned Date: Monday, Nov. 27, 2006
Due Date: Friday, Dec. 1, 2006
Due Time: noon

Last modified on November 27, 2006, at 05:04 PM (see updates)

This is an individual assignment. See course collaboration policy for details.


To explore thought-provoking ideas about the future of HCI and computer programming found in the seminal paper:

Kay, A. "The Early History of Smalltalk", ACM SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 28, Number 3, March 1993.


According to Viewpoints Research Institute:

"Alan Kay is one of the earliest pioneers of object-oriented programming, personal computing, and graphical user interfaces. His contributions have been recognized with the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering (1) for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers, the Alan. M. Turing Award from the Association of Computing Machinery for pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing, and the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation for creation of the concept of modern personal computing and contribution to its realization. This work was done in the rich context of ARPA and Xerox PARC with many talented colleagues."

Here are some of his famous quotes (from Wikipedia):

  • "The best way to predict the future is to invent it.", 1971.
  • Kay elaborated on his theme on other occasions, "The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to.", 1984.
  • "The real romance is out ahead and yet to come. The computer revolution hasn't started yet. Don't be misled by the enormous flow of money into bad defacto standards for unsophisticated buyers using poor adaptations of incomplete ideas."
  • At a Hong Kong press conference in the late 1980s, Alan Kay said "Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born."
  • "I invented the term Object-Oriented, and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind."
  • "OOP to me means only messaging, local retention and protection and hiding of state-process, and extreme late-binding of all things. It can be done in Smalltalk and in LISP. There are possibly other systems in which this is possible, but I'm not aware of them."
  • Alan Kay on Lisp: "The greatest single programming language ever designed."


Focus on the following questions:

  1. What will the task of programming computers look like in 10-20 years from now?
  2. How is teaching of computer science going to change?

Read the above paper with these questions in mind.

In your wiki page, include specific quotes from the paper that provide some insight related to the above questions (look for thought-provoking, inspiring ideas - there are many). Under each quote, provide your own thoughts.

  • At the top of your report, include a certificate of authenticity using this format:
       Certification of Authenticity:

       I certify that this submission is entirely our own work, 
       as per course collaboration policy.

       Names: ________________________ Date: ___________
  • Include references on materials (other than the textbooks and handouts) you consulted to do the assignment.


Grading will be based on your ability to carefully and succinctly provide the required information.


Submit your solution by editing your page (your student ID is the password): Tyler Bennett, Thomas Dion, Johnathan Heh, Robert Keisler, Mark Mixson, Luca Pellicoro, Jeffrey Shumard, and Brian Smith.