Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Brooks, Frederick P.
Location The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Primary Field Computer and Information Sciences
Secondary Field Engineering Sciences
 Election Citation
Brooks led the development of the IBM System/360 computers, which first achieved strict compatibility in a computer family. During that process, he coined the term "computer architecture" and put in place many technical innovations that define today's operating systems. His book, "The Mythical Man-Month," is the seminal work in the field of software engineering.
 Research Interests
My primary current research area is virtual environments research and development. A virtual environment immerses an interactive computer user in a synthetic visual, aural, and perhaps haptic environment so as to give the illusion of being elsewhere, elsewhen, or differently scaled or enabled. The scientific and engineering questions that excite me most are: How well can such an illusion be created and maintained? How does one design and build more effective virtual environments? How does one measure the effectiveness of the illusion? What factors affect the effectiveness of the illusion and what are their relative weights? Can a successful virtual environment significantly enhance performance on some useful task, understanding and comprehension of some complex data set, training effectiveness on some cognitive or manual skill? My second lifelong research interest is computer architecture, which I now teach. My third research interest is software engineering, about which I wrote one of the standard books "The Mythical Man-Month."

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