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The father of C++ on perfecting programming language to slay technical dragons

International Symposium on Future Computer Technology 2018

On July 24, the International Symposium on the Future of Computer Technology (ISFCT) 2018 was held at the Green Computing Systems Research Center. The event was organized by the Frontier of Embodiment Informatics: ICT and Robotics Unit, the IEEE Computer Society (a worldwide organization of computing professionals with more than 60,000 members), and the Advanced Multicore Processor Research Institute.

At the symposium

“ICT and robotics are one of the core research areas at the University in terms of the level of research and international cooperation taking place,” said Vice President Shuji Hashimoto in the opening address. “Today, many incredible researchers will be speaking, and I hope that the young scholars and students in the room will be inspired by their presentations.”

One of the symposium speakers was Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, the designer and original implementer of the programming language C++, a programming language used worldwide.

Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup

Dr. Stroustrup began developing C++ in 1979, which first made its public appearance in 1985. In order to maintain C++ as a stable and up-to-date programming language for real-world software development, he has led efforts in standardizing C++ with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Over the years, C++ has undergone several amendments, C++17 ISO standard being the most recent revision. In his presentation, Dr. Stroustrup spoke about how the modern C++ language was developed and where it was heading toward the future, for discussions to shape C++20 are underway.

“The value of a programming language is the quality of applications or what people have done with,” Dr. Stroustrup said, naming Google, Amazon, and CERN as examples of those organizations that have done interesting things with C++. He continued, “The role of C++ is to serve as a language for writing elegant and efficient programs. However, no language is perfect. Sometimes, it does not work out the way we planned. Imagine programmers as medieval knights trying to slay dragons, the technical and unspecified difficulties. We are nowhere near perfection when it comes down to this, which is why we must continue to work on it.”

Currently, Dr. Stroustrup is the managing director of the technology division at Morgan Stanley and a visiting professor of Columbia University. He is the recipient of the 2018 IEEE Computer Society’s most prestigious Computer Pioneer Award.

“Imagine programmers as medieval knights trying to slay dragons, the technical and unspecified difficulties. We are nowhere near perfection when it comes down to this, which is why we must continue to work on it.”

The symposium also featured advanced lectures by Professor Sorel Reisman of California State University, Fullerton (2011 IEEE Computer Society President and recipient of the 2018 IEEE Computer Society Richard E. Merwin Award for Distinguished Service), Professor Margaret Martonosi of Princeton University (recipient of the 2018 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award), Dr. Dejan S. Milojicic of Hewlett Packard Labs (Director of IEEE, the world’s largest academic organization with more than 430,000 members, and 2014 IEEE Computer Society President), Professor Cecilia Metra of the University of Bologna (2018 IEEE Computer Society President-Elect), Professor Hironori Kasahara of Waseda University (Japan’s first IEEE Computer Society president and Director of the Advanced Multicore Processor Research Institute), and Dr. Christoph Schumacher of Oscar Technology (visiting researcher at Waseda University). They covered various topics from open educational resources, low-power computing, and to memory-driven computing.

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