Chapter 14 Systems Design and Development

spreadsheet_errorIf you misspell a word in a paper or use the wrong font in a presentation, your error may be embarrassing. If you use the wrong formula in a spreadsheet, your error might be devastating. According to a recent study, the typical spreadsheet is riddled with math errors. This short Market Watch article should serve as a wake-up call to scientists, engineers, business people, students and others who do high-consequence work with numbers.
marketwatch.com/Story/story/print?guid=DB151EDA-A776-11E2-A57C-002128040CF6

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What if your smart phone or computer could do routine tasks ten times faster just by doing math differently? According to this Fast Times article, MIT researchers have developed an algorithm that could have a dramatic impact on every aspect of your digital world.

www.fastcompany.com/1810522/mits-math-breakthrough-could-transform-your-phone-tablet-pc-tv-mri-scans

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Making the Cloud Clear

December 30, 2011
Dropbox illustration

NPR.org/2011/12/26/143795017/now-hovering-above-us-all-the-cloud If you’re not completely clear about “the cloud,” reading or listening to this short NPR story should help. Even if you understand the basics, you’ll probably be surprised by the many different ways that cloud technology is changing our world.

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There’s an App for… Everything!

September 25, 2011

Is software taking over the world? In this Wall Street Journal article, Mark Andreessen argues that it is taking over the economic world. Most of today’s business stars, are, at some level, software companies. His predictions about the future of global business and the American economy are worth thinking about.

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Hacking for a Better World

September 25, 2011
Women hackers at the Hampton Hackathon for Humanity

The world of programming is dominated by males and money. But there’s a movement afoot to change the gender balance and, at the same time, the factors that motivate programmers. This Fast Company article describes Hampton Hackathon for Humanity, a gathering of young female programmers intent on making the world a better place.

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Facebook Painting

September 9, 2011
CloudCanvas, the graphic swiss army knife for Facebook

CloudCanvas is a surprisingly powerful graphics programs in the form of a Facebook app. Like Photoshop, CloudCanvas contains both bitmap and vector graphics tools. Unlike most web apps, Cloud Canvas is built entirely with HTML 5 technology that requires no special browser plugins to use. apps.facebook.com/cloudcanvas

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Algorithms Everywhere

September 5, 2011
Thumbnail image for Algorithms Everywhere

Computer programs are designed using mathematical/logical constructs called algorithms. This fascinating TED talk by Kevin Slavin shows and tells how algorithms are finding their way into all kinds of unexpected places in our world, for better or for worse.

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