SIGCIS 2010 Workshop Dissertations in Progress

Name: Kevin Walsh

Institutional Affiliation:UC San Diego


Paper Type:Dissertation Proposal

Paper Title:Connecting Minds in a Multimedia Episteme: The Academic Supercomputer Centers and the Construction an Advanced Cognitive Infrastructure for the U.S. Research Community: 1983-1993

Paper Abstract:The work in progress is a dissertation. The chapter titles are listed below. The current state of the work has the first four chapters in draft stage.

The feedback I am seeking is how to tame the work to make it more cohesive, as well as suggestions on which chapters are good candidates for articles. I am also looking for pointers to other research in history of science and technology that are influenced by social epistemology and distributed cognition.

The overarching topic of the dissertation concerns the emergence of the U.S. Academic Supercomputer Centers, the generation of scientists who led the efforts, their response to the government's call to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness, while maintaining the university principles on academic freedom, the technology the Centers created, from high performance computing, networking, scientific visualization, large scale data management, to discipline specific collaboration tools. I argue the Centers created a cognitive infrastructure that augmented human capabilities in ways that have extended epistemic boundaries, and in so doing, the Centers changed scientific practice.

Chapter 1 – Weapons of Mass Computation and the Peace of Open Science
Chapter 2 – The Sons of Manhattan and the Winning of Supercomputer Access
Chapter 3 – The Political Economy of the Post-Cold War Research University
Chapter 4 – Cognitive Bandwidth: Connecting a Million Minds in 80 Milliseconds
Chapter 5 – The Explosion of High Performance Computing Architectures
Chapter 6 – Hide the Cray: The Invasions of the Scientific Workstations
Chapter 7 – Seeing is believing: My Mind’s Eye is Your Mind’s Eye
Chapter 8 – Minds Modulo Data Storage: Towards Petascale Memory Practices in the Sciences
Chapter 9 – Community Tools and the Building of Interoperable Computational Selves
Chapter 10 – The Making of the Supercomputer User Class
Chapter 11 – The Genesis and Development of a Computational Fact
Chapter 12 – Cognitive Infrastructures and the New Mosaic of Scientific Practices

Full Text:pdf