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Posts tagged ‘research’


Review: The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jon Gertner’s “The Idea Factory” tells an important story about the history of many of the communications and information technology underpinnings of our current era. More importantly, it explores (indirectly and eventually) a major question of what is needed to make large basic and applied research labs successful. I’m glad I read this book, but can’t say I necessarily enjoyed reading it. As such I’m struggling with whether to rate 3 or 4 stars … if Goodreads allowed 3.5, that’d be it.

Growing up very close to Bell Labs’ Holmdel NJ facility, I was attracted to this book because of the place the Labs occupied in our local culture. If you were bright, technically oriented, and wanted a well-paying job, Bell Labs was the place to strive for. The invention/discovery of radio astronomy at Crawford Hill added to the mystique. Read more »


Semantic Searching Meets Dataporn

Following up on my earlier discussion of semantic searching and scholarly research, I’ve done a little more digging on recent work done in this area, emphasizing the visualization problem, which should really be added as another “major advance” needed to operationalize semantic searching. Read more »


Social Networking, Semantic Searching and Science

Executive summary: The tools and tricks of scientific collaboration are still pretty old school. ¬†With the ivory tower not being a major profit center, how can innovations in the private sector (which far outstrip academia’s capabilities) be brought over to accelerate scientific research and discovery? ¬†(Caveat: I have no answers, just a problem statement!) Read more »