Happy 92nd Birthday to “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

Wednesday, 27 March, 2013

 

eps02 with Prof. Kelly Gotlieb, Father of Computing in Canada

Happy 92nd Birthday to Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. I am happy to be able to reach Kelly today to wish him happy birthday, good health and all the best!

In recent weeks, I had the honour and pleasure to interview Kelly extensive twice, once via video using Google+ Hangout On Air, another time using Skype audio. Have a watch & listen. Enjoy. Happy 92nd birthday Kelly!

eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb (Ref original article)

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing (Ref original article)

2018 April 19th update: I’m very sad to report the passing of Prof. Kelly Gotlieb on October 16th, 2016 at the age of 95. Have a read of these insightful obits:

  1.  “Kelly Gotlieb was the father of Canadian computing”. The Globe and Mail
  2. “In Memoriam: The “Father of Computing in Canada” Calvin C. Gotlieb”. University of Toronto Computer Science
  3. “In Memoriam: Calvin Carl “kelly” Gotlieb 1921-2016″. Communications of the ACM

This excerpt from the G&M obit really touched me and warmed my heart,

“Kelly and Phyllis Gotlieb had one of the great love affairs. In a 2015 interview, six years after his wife’s death, Dr. Gotlieb said of their relationship: “A scientist who loves poetry and a poet who loves science … It doesn’t get any better than that.” Dr. Gotlieb spent his professional life on the frontier of techno-scientific knowledge, while his wife Phyllis (née Bloom) was an award-winning writer of poetry and speculative fiction who pondered how discoveries such as those of her husband might affect the mind, soul and society of humankind. In their breadth, depth and passion of interests, they were a two-person university.

One of her books of verse was a compilation of love poems sent to her husband over more than 60 years of marriage. The publication of Phyllis Loves Kelly [downloadable via this U of T library page] marked their diamond wedding anniversary in June, 2009; six weeks later she died suddenly at the age of 83. His epitaph to her was: She Graced This World/And Imagined Others. Her tribute to him lies in her final volume of poetry, where she compares herself to the famous fictional cat created by American humourist Don Marquis:

        If like a tom and tab
we sometimes hiss and scratch and jab
I’m still from here to Heaven or Hell
your favourite
                 Mehitabel


U of Toronto University Professor Emeritus Stephen A. Cook won NSERC $1 million Herzberg Medal – with interview by Kempton

Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

20130227 Professor Cook interview pix

Congratulations to University of Toronto Computer Science professor Stephen Cook, best known for formulating the P v. NP problem, for winning the $1M 2012 Gerhard Herzberg medal (also via CBC News)!

After all these years, I still remember the thrill in taking my first year UT Comp. Sci class in 1987 with prof. Cook! And it remains an honour (and bragging right) to have taken the famous third year CSC364 Computability and Complexity class with prof. Cook and seeing him proved to us 3-satisfiability and taught us P v. NP, etc. I am truly excited for prof. Cook!

Check out my 15 minutes interview with Prof. Cook this morning: Interview with Dr. Stephen A. Cook, 2012 Winner of NSERC’s $1m Herzberg Medal

By the way, as prof. cook mentioned in the interview, he came to the idea of the NP complete problem about 6 months after he came to Toronto in 1970. If you read the detailed & insightful oral history interview with Stephen Cook (courtesy of University of Minnesota), you will realize professor Cook could have easily stayed at UC Berkeley (if they had not denied him tenure) instead of joining us at University of Toronto! Lucky us!

Last week, I asked prof. Kelly Gotlieb “Father of Computing in Canada” for his thoughts about some giants in computer science, here is what Kelly has to say about Steve (video clip).

Here is “NSERC Presents 2 Minutes With Stephen Cook

Here is an excerpt from a great Q&A from U of Toronto.

What drew you to this field – and to this particular focus?
I enrolled as a mathematics graduate student at Harvard in 1961, thinking I’d concentrate in algebra. Computer Science did not yet exist as a discipline. After taking a course in `logic and computation’ from Hao Wang, my future advisor, I switched fields. My PhD thesis was inspired by a question posed by a pioneer in the field named Alan Cobham: Is multiplication (of large numbers) intrinsically harder than addition? Part of the challenge was to formulate this as a precise mathematical question.

Why U of T?
I joined the faculty of the computer science department at U of T in 1970. This was one of the world’s first CS departments, and Tom Hull, the department chair, had a powerful vision for its future. He already had recruited some aspiring young faculty, including my close colleague Allan Borodin, who continues to be a pillar of the department. It helped that Toronto is a good sailing venue on Lake Ontario, and sailing was (and is) a major hobby for my wife and me.

What advice would you give to a student just starting out in this field?
You’ve made a good choice. The possibilities are boundless.

Via this UT page, see more media coverage about the 2012 Herzberg Prize at these links below:

“- Globe & Mail

– Canada.com

– Calgary Herald

– CBC News


eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013

 

eps02 with Prof. Kelly Gotlieb, Father of Computing in Canada

This is the second (eps 02) of a series of extensive chats with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. In this video episode (as oppose to audio recording only in episode #1), we further discussed Google Driverless Cars and Google Glasses in a bit more details, and a few other topics. (I will try to provide a time code key when I have time later or if someone can help me with providing a time code key to the interview.)

eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

P.S. Incidentally, I am happy to claim credit for suggesting Kelly to setup a Google+ account and then also helped him to setup his computer this morning so that we were able to conduct a successful Live Broadcast using the Google+ Hangout On Air technologies using its YouTube engine! It puts a smile on my face in helping the man who helped bought the second electronic computer (a Ferranti machine for $300,000) in the world in 1951 to use Google’s cutting edge technologies to broadcast live from his and my home!

2018 April 19th update: I’m very sad to report the passing of Prof. Kelly Gotlieb on October 16th, 2016 at the age of 95. Have a read of these insightful obits:

  1.  “Kelly Gotlieb was the father of Canadian computing”. The Globe and Mail
  2. “In Memoriam: The “Father of Computing in Canada” Calvin C. Gotlieb”. University of Toronto Computer Science
  3. “In Memoriam: Calvin Carl “kelly” Gotlieb 1921-2016″. Communications of the ACM

This excerpt from the G&M obit really touched me and warmed my heart,

“Kelly and Phyllis Gotlieb had one of the great love affairs. In a 2015 interview, six years after his wife’s death, Dr. Gotlieb said of their relationship: “A scientist who loves poetry and a poet who loves science … It doesn’t get any better than that.” Dr. Gotlieb spent his professional life on the frontier of techno-scientific knowledge, while his wife Phyllis (née Bloom) was an award-winning writer of poetry and speculative fiction who pondered how discoveries such as those of her husband might affect the mind, soul and society of humankind. In their breadth, depth and passion of interests, they were a two-person university.

One of her books of verse was a compilation of love poems sent to her husband over more than 60 years of marriage. The publication of Phyllis Loves Kelly [downloadable via this U of T library page] marked their diamond wedding anniversary in June, 2009; six weeks later she died suddenly at the age of 83. His epitaph to her was: She Graced This World/And Imagined Others. Her tribute to him lies in her final volume of poetry, where she compares herself to the famous fictional cat created by American humourist Don Marquis:

        If like a tom and tab
we sometimes hiss and scratch and jab
I’m still from here to Heaven or Hell
your favourite
                 Mehitabel


Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

 

20130212 Father of Computing Kelly interview - pix

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

This is an extensive interview with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Feb 2013 interviewed by Independent reporter Kempton Lam
KL: Kempton Lam
KG: Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb
Table of content (with time codes):
0:00 KL: Introducing Professor Emeritus C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb, “Father of Computing in Canada”, University of Toronto
0:29 KL: My question about Google Driverless Cars. Three US states already has law permitting testing of Google Driverless Cars. Talking about California governor signed the bill, “SB-1298 Vehicles: autonomous vehicles: safety and performance requirements” into law.
2:07 KL: Bill SB-1298 allows Google to test the Google Driverless Car provided Google pays a $5 million insurance, and provided there is a driver in the car.
2:21 KG: “That’s what I expected.”
2:35 KL: My concerns were concerns raised by Kelly in an earlier speech of his.
2:47 KG: listing some of the concerns he has with concepts like Google Driverless Cars. “United States is a very litigious society.”
3:12 KG: Google Driverless Car gets into an accident, whose to blame? And who can you sue? The person who wrote the program? Google who authorize the car? Car manufacture? The person who is in the car? Or all of the above? […] Lots of questions to be asked when failure happen. Read the rest of this entry »


Falling in love with Bear 71 in its world & Interview with co-creator Leanne Allison

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013

bear 71 - interactive doc from NFB

I just watched & experienced my first ever award-winning first-person-documentary! It got me to play along and fall in love with Bear 71! The online experience/first-person-documentary is FREE thanks to National Film Board of Canada. And today, after a year long global competition, Bear 71 was selected as Site of The Year Winner amongst 12 Site of The Month finalists by 58 international judges in 2 rounds of voting! To see how amazing this honour is, you should know that the Site of The Month finalists were in turn selected from 365 Site of The Day Winners!

I will watch & play with Bear 71 again for sure. (update: 3 times so far) Let me give you the permission to explore and to click and look at different things during the 20 minutes experience because there are endless ways and many interesting hidden surprise for people to “first-person” interact and discover within the documentary. I was imagining/hoping there was a “right” way to interact with the film but there isn’t one. At key moments, the gentle hands of the creators of the experiences will bring you right along into some memorable video that will hopefully stay with you. For me, the memorable experiences will stay with me and has reaffirm and be more aware of the beautiful environment we (and the animals) experience even things are changing rapidly (often in not so positive ways for the animals). Lets hope shows like Bear 71 will help us want to make our world a better place not only for us humans, but also for bears like Bear 71 and other wild animals before things are too late.

Bear 71 (Trailer without the fun of interactive hangout)

Jan 19th update: Here is my extensive video interview with co-creator Leanne Allison where we talk about the one million plus photos Leanne got to pick and choose to use. The raw & candid video footage of a variety of wild animals captured motion-triggered cameras. And down to a discussion of how best to protect bears from trains in high-speed. Leanne and I also got to chat about the awesome documentary Being Caribou (2004) which you can watch for free online.

Here are some selected praises from the 58 international judges which I whole heartedly agree with.

Tom Daly, The Coca-Cola Company:

“The team behind ‘Bear 71’ put interactive story telling at the new edge of how we should imagine things.”

Julie Campagna, Adobe:

“Innovative and memorable, yet disturbing.”

Steve Lemarquand, Resn:

“I felt emotionally compelled to trek the virtual landscape for Bear 71.”

Mathias Appelblad, BBDO:

“A beautiful experience that pulls you right in. A great example of how technology and interaction can tell a story in an innovative, engaging and emotional way.”

Wesley Ter Haar, MediaMonks:

A site that is steadfast, almost stubbornly interactive. It interweaves narrative with data in a way that creates something uniquely digital, while also managing to resonate far beyond the experience itself. I catch myself thinking of Bear 71 in the same way I do about books or movies that have made a lasting impression, it is proof that our industry can create compelling, emotive work and will be the standard-bearer (pun not intended) for years to come.”

Eric Jordan, 2Advanced Studios:

Bear 71 is masterful blending of documentary-style video and information graphics, which combine together to make the site deeply engaging and informative.”


Interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Neurochip co-lead researcher

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Neurochip co-lead researcher

Earlier this month I had a fascinating interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, head of University of Calgary Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Dr. Syed is one of the lead researchers behind neurochip − “a microchip with the ability to monitor several functions of the brain.Neurochip is “a novel lab-on-a-chip technology that, through an ultra-sensitive component built directly on the microchip, also enables direct imaging of activity in brain cells.”

In one fascinating part of the interview, Dr. Syed talked about Parkinson’s patients who have really bad tremors and don’t respond to drugs anymore. Currently, surgeons insert a deep brain stimulation electrode to allow the patients to stimulate the electrode themselves which release dopamine to stop the tremors. Unfortunately, the electrode can continue to stimulate the brain cells beyond the limit. Resulting in what is known as excitotoxicity. (Too much dopamine constantly being produced and brain cells being over excited.) In essence, nobody is there to tell the electrode when the stimulation is enough and can be stopped to avoid damage because there is no loop going back to tell it. Dr. Syed suggests implanting a two-way link where machines (capacitors and transistors) and the brain cells can talk to each other to better control the stimulation loop and avoid/reduce the problem of excitotoxicity.

Have a watch of my extensive interview with Dr. Syed to hear of his explanations and the background info in his own words for the latest advancement in research in neurochip.

As an alumnus of University of Calgary, it makes me really proud to see cool research done in Calgary, Alberta. At the same time, near the end of the interview, I asked Dr. Syed about the challenges of getting the required funding for the research program to succeed and to keep doing cutting edge researches right here in Calgary. Given the achievements his team has made so far, I would hate to see any of these world class scientists leaving Canada to go to United States/China, etc because our three level of governments and private industry partners are not putting in the needed funding to keep doing these ground-breaking researches that can lead to better medical devices, better drugs, etc right in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

On a personal note, a very close friend has Parkinson’s and I hope the device Dr. Syed talked about can be developed, tested, and approved soon so that my friend and other Parkinson’s patients can benefit.

News references:

University of Calgary, UToday “New advances for neurochip

CTV News (with video), “U of C researchers achieve major milestone

Calgary Herald, “New microchip helps take detailed images of brain – University of Calgary researchers achieve new milestone


Jeff Chiba Stearns “Mixed Match” doc interview – mixed/multiethnic people’s additional challenges when dealing with life threatening blood diseases such as leukemia

Thursday, 5 April, 2012

Mixed Match - pix 01 - Maya Family and Rosanna

I first interviewed the award-winning filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns when he came to Calgary with his last film in 2010. Today, I had the pleasure to interview Jeff again to talk about his latest documentary Mixed Match, mixed/multiethnic people’s additional challenges when dealing with life threatening blood diseases such as leukemia, and how can we help.

Here is my video interview with Jeff Chiba Stearns, director of Mixed Match.

Because of the under representation of mixed/multiethnic/ethic people in the national bone marrow registries, please join the registry in Canada (OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network) or United States (Be The Match Registry).

Mixed Match - pix 05 - One_Match_Drive

Mixed Match - pix 06 - Jeff_joining_registry

Have a read of the myths & facts about Bone Marrow Donation to dispel myths like

“Donating is painful and involves a long recovery.”

“All bone marrow donations involve surgery.”

To raise the needed funds to complete the film, Jeff has a crowdfunding page for Mixed Match on indiegogo. So far $5,340 has been raised towards his $25,000 funding goal. Please consider helping him finish Mixed Match by donating before April 27, 2012.

Mixed Match - pix 04 - Valerie_Sun_Interview2

Mixed Match - pix 02 - Maga_Hospital_Still1

Mixed Match - pix 07 - Krissy with Jeff and Athena

More photos here.


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