Edge of Computation Science


Here’s something to consider while preparing vision statements of education in 2010.

David Deutsch received the 2005 $100,000 Edge of Computation Science Prize.

Probably most of us teachers and other educators may say, “Congratulations. What does this have to do with me? I teach 5th grade (or a special education class of five year olds, statistics, graduate seminar in social aspects of education ethnographic research, or …; you get the idea).”

I don’t know exactly how deep any of our interest should be in edges of computation science. I find excitement in knowing someone addresses questions beyond my simple adding and subtracting with my Tablet PC. At least, though, I think those of us interested in future education should know David Deutsch’s words. Most words are familiar, but beyond my technical backround.

Even so, I know some preteens and journalists already use these words fluently. So, as a teacher, I, as I think more of us, should try to understand what others know. Otherwise, how can we be teachers in 2010?

Here are some words about David Deutsch and words by him. Teachers are smart. Teachers will find ways to understand the implications of these words for our students.

DAVID DEUTSCH’S research in quantum physics has been influential and highly acclaimed. His papers on quantum computation laid the foundations for that field, breaking new ground in the theory of computation as well as physics, and have triggered an explosion of research efforts worldwide.

IT’S A MUCH BIGGER THING THAN IT LOOKS [11.20.00] A Talk with David Deutsch.

Deutsch: What I am aiming for now is a new kind of theory, quantum constructor theory (bold added), which is the theory of what can be built, or more generally, the theory of what can be done, physically.

That sounds reasonable to me. Go beyond theories for description and analysis. Figure out how physical thing are built. Think of the awesome potential such a theory could have for our students!

Here’s a rhetorical question for educators: How will school people address quantum constructor theory by 2010 when we don’t yet agree to address digital ink, Tablet PCs, and other available technology in schools today?

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.