Thursday, October 22, 2009


I learnt the word megatrend listening to a talk of Federico Faggin in Milano a few years ago. Federico Faggin has his initials on the first microprocessor ever produced (Intel 4004). He also founded Zilog with Ungermann, and designed the Z80. And other things. So perhaps he has the right to talk of megatrends.

I think one of the megatrends of the 20th and perhaps 21st century is the use of computers in almost every phase of life, in particular for communication. It is perhaps comparable to the industrial revolution, and is changing the work people do in a similarly dramatic fashion.

Universities however seem to be rather bad at adjusting to megatrends. A professional academic is happy at new and exciting developments in his/her field, but new areas are invisible.

The University of Insubria seems to be just in the process of closing a Laurea in Informatica in Como. With the reform it seems to be the only possibility acceptable to the physicists, mathematicians, chemists and ambientalists, in particular as a result of the lack of investment of the Como Faculty of Science in Informatica over a period of some years. Fortunately it is likely there will be a laurea in informatica in Varese, but with a small investment in Informatica over the years, instead of losing the course in Como, the University could have had courses in both Como and Varese.

I think the lack of investment in Informatica has been a megamistake for Como.

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