Activities today are overshadowed by events in London...
The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently marked the 125th anniversary of its journal, Science. In their 1 July 2005 issue, they enumerate 125 hard questions that science faces, questions such as "can the laws of physics be unified?", "what are the limits of conventional computing?", and "why do humans have so few genes?" In science, there has been a rich history of such questions, such as found with David Hilbert's problems proposed in 1900. More recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation established the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative in order to stimulate practical research in health care.
The value of even asking such questions is that they force us to admit what we know we don't know. Science advances daily through the cumulative efforts of millions of individuals who investigate the edges of existing knowledge, but these sort of questions help direct the global trajectory of all that local work
What are the grand challenges of software and software engineering? What do we know we don't know? I have some thoughts, but I'd rather hear from my readers. Email me and I'll summarize what I hear from you.