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Mathematics Colloquium

formerly of Adobe and LucasFilms

Title: The Future of Technology as Driven by the Rise of Digital Audio and Video
Date: Friday, October 26, 2018
Place and Time: Room 101, Love Building, 3:35-4:25 pm
Refreshments: Room 204, Love Building, 3:00 pm

Abstract. This presentation charts progress of technology from 1980 to 2000 and then projected to 2020 all through looking at advances in digital audio, digital video and music. The drivers of technology have moved from the military-industrial-aerospace industries of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's to entertainment technology. The bulk of the chip area of most modern processors is devoted to entertainment rather than traditional uses such as word processing and spread sheets. This means that to some extent, technology and entertainment have merged. People in the arts and entertainment must now be conversant with technology, but also people in technology must be conversant with the needs and practice of the arts and entertainment in order to understand what they are designing for. This progression is illustrated by noting a number of points where the technology has changed over the decades specifically to support arts and entertainment, many of which the author has participated in or pioneered. Some of these changes were initially misguided due to a lack of understanding of the requirements of digital audio and video. As understanding of the issues has permeated the technology industry, computers and computer systems have evolved to the point where even the largest computer systems in the world are built largely to serve the demands of the entertainment industry, and other uses, such as weather simulations, are fortuitous side-benefits of this progression. This is a most remarkable evolution from the 1950's.