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Prof Says Tech Entering the Age of the Algorithm


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Andras Farago

Andras Farago, a computer science professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Unversity of Texas at Dallas.

Photo courtesy of Andras Farago

University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) professor Andras Farago thinks that as algorithms become more important to software development, educational and career opportunities will follow.

Farago says the rise in the importance of algorithms mirrors the life cycle of software, which originally was viewed as a secondary feature to hardware. "In a sense, algorithms up until very recently have had the same relationship to software implementation as software previously had to hardware: Icing on the cake," he says.

However, Farago says there recently have been more cases, such as the Heritage Provider Network's $3 million prize, in which the hardest part is finding the perfect algorithm. "Once it is found, the implementation can be done by any skilled team, and I believe this may show the emergence of a trend in which the industry starts recognizing the real, hard value of sophisticated algorithms," he says.

As part of the Heritage contest, participants are trying to design the algorithm that best predicts which people are more likely to require hospitalization in the future.

From University of Texas at Dallas
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