IFSR Newsletter 2010 Vol. 27 No. 1 June
Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt, Austria:
W. Ross Ashby (b. 1903, London, d. 1972) was a psychiatrist and one of the founding fathers of cybernetics. He developed the homeostat, the law of requisite variety, the principle of self-organization, and the law of regulating models. He wrote Design for a Brain (1952) and an Introduction to Cybernetics (1956).
The commemorative lecture, sponsored by the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), is held every second year on the occasion of the EMCSR-Conference in Vienna.
Grand Challenges are formulated to focus research endeavors, to motivate both researchers and funding organizations and to communicate research goals broadly and boldly. Several Organizations (e.g. UKCR Committee, ISTAG Group of the European Union, the German VDE, and the Gartner Group) have formulated a set of “Grand Challenges for Computer Science” to structure research and funding schemes in the coming years. The Grand Challenges of the ISTAG Group, for example, was instrumental in shaping the 7th framework program of the European Union.
J. Eder presented the concept of Grand Challenges as research programs and their characteristics, comparing the different currently published sets of Grand Challenges for Computer Science Research. He brought forward and discussed several of these Grand Challenges in some detail with a particular focus on the organization of Grand Challenge as research drivers.
He showed that the fundamental work of Ross Ashby can be related to several of these challenges.