Colloquium Archive

Informatics And Visualization Tools For Pharmacogenetics Research

Tom Ferrin, University of California, San Francisco


Genetic variation among individuals can play a critical role in their response to drugtherapy. Dosage levels that provide good efficacy in one individual may produce toxic effects in another, or may have little therapeutic effect at all. Understanding and predicting individual drug response will become increasing important in the future and requires the analysis of large amounts of genomic information. This talk will describe one of the current studies underway in this area and discuss the types of data analysis and visualization required to elucidate the pharmacogenetics of a class of proteins known as membrane transporters.

Trench-Based Practical Tips For Creative Solutions To Vexatious Programming Perplexities

Don L. Jewett , Abratech Corp., Sausalito


Creative solutions to difficult problems are often retrospectively honored in our society (when the solution works). But there is also a mystery that seems to surround the process, and many think one must passively wait for inspiration to "strike". Many examples abound that show the Steps to creativity can be enhanced and even manipulated, and the examples come from programming, and from science. This talk is about those examples, and the generalizations that can be derived from them. One generalization: Very high intelligence is not a requisite, but there is one behavioral traitthat is absolutely necessary.

Inside Computer Game Development

Jason Shankel, Maxis Corp., Walnut Creek


The computer game industry is a hybrid of two very different fields: technology and entertainment. In this talk, I will describe how a typical computer game evolves from the concept stage, through development, and finally to the marketplace, with special emphasis on how game developers deal with the many conflicts that arise between the technological and the entertainment requirements of a game.

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Life And Times Of The Plato System And The Birth Of Cyberculture

Brian Dear, La Jolla


Long ago, out on a prairie far, far away . . . back before PCs, the Internet, AOL, the Web, and USENET existed, back before Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Case, and Scott McNeally had even graduated from high school, a rich, vibrant online culture was already booming at the University of Illinois, an online world complete with open-source hacking, email, message forums, Slashdot-like news blogs, chat, instant messaging, MUDs, and other intense multiplayer games. How could this be? Come to this presentation and learn all about the research Brian Dear has been undertaking for a book on the history of PLATO: the legendary and profoundly-influential system whose saga has long been overshadowed by the stories of ARPANET, Xerox PARC, and Silicon Valley. In this session, we'll explore a wide range of topics including: the quirky system architecture of PLATO; gas-plasma flat-panel displays (originally invented for PLATO); the origins of Lotus Notes (descended from PLATO Notes); the story of CERL (the PLATO laboratory that predates PARC by three years); and how numerous PC games (including Flight Simulator, Wizardry, FreeCell, CastleWolfenstein) all descend from PLATO.

Software: The World's Business Strategy Coined In Code

Alfred Chuang, BEA Systems, San Jose


Mr. Chuang's speech will be the intertwined story of BEA's founding by Mr. Chuang and two partners 8 years ago in a one-room office, its achievement in becoming the fastest company in history to reach $1 billion in revenue and its current emergence in the top tier of information technology companies; doing battle with IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, among others; set against the technical evolution of BEA from providing the transaction-based; operating system for Internet business; to its current focus on delivering an entire application infrastructure that allows global businesses to develop, deploy, integrate and extend the applications that represent their business strategy expressed in 1s and 0s.