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IBM Research
  Message from the Director, Paul Horn
The period of transition we're living through has been called by some the "Third Wave," the thinking being that it may eventually eclipse in significance two previous periods of immense change in human history: the shift from a "hunter-gatherer" society to an agricultural one, and then from agricultural to industrial.

It's also been described as the Information Age, the post-industrial era, or, even with a bit of hopefulness, the "Knowledge Age."

Whichever of those descriptive labels you prefer, it is a given that technology is driving tremendous change, and specifically, Information Technology. At IBM Research, we see three areas of major importance for our research given their potential for long-term influence on all our lives.


Strategic areas

"Autonomic computing" describes the next era in computing wherein complexity is either hidden from the user or eradicated by computing systems modeled after the body's self-regulating autonomic nervous system. While IBM will lead the industry in this area, autonomic computing cannot be a proprietary solution and will demand the efforts and active contributions of the I/T industry and academic world.

"e-business" describes the rapid transformation occurring in traditional business and economic models as companies large and small (and many entirely new) turn to an online environment to function more efficiently and productively. The transformation will not stop with businesses, but extend to markets, trading environments and exchanges, altering economics in as yet unseen ways.

"Pervasive Computing" describes the ensuing global environment where computing ceases to be something that occurs only in a specified, restricted space -- inside a box on your desktop, for instance -- and instead becomes an accepted, readily available utility that occurs in the "ether" of the networked world.

"Deep Computing" defines an expanded method of computing -- some would argue, a novel approach to thinking -- that will marry incredible computational ability with human intelligence in problem solving. Using this approach, companies, educational institutions, and eventually individuals will be able to take the enormous amounts of information that a pervasive computing world will capture and make sense of it.

Beyond these four strategic trends, we see further developments portending a radically different approach to the delivery and use of computing -- even what we think of as "computing" will grow to encompass other areas outside the traditional realm of information technology.

That said, we have work going on in many other important areas. Some of our projects are linked to near-term results, solving real-world problems that our customers face today. Much of our work defies categorization because its final potential is hard to imagine; we call such work exploratory. Spend a little time with us on this site, and you'll be amazed -- as I am every day -- by the possibilities.


Tour of the Site
We've divided our site into four major sections. "Introduction to Research by Topic" allows you to look at our work organized by broad, thematic areas, a sort of common-sense approach. "Explore Research by Scientific & Technical Discipline" lets you examine our work from a scientific perspective, showing how what we do aligns with major academic areas of pursuit. "Explore Research by Cross-discipline" highlights work that extends beyond the traditional borders between disciplines. "About IBM Research" lets you find out more about who we are as a research community, an organization, and about some of the things that make us unique.

Also, take some time to peruse our publications, which cover in greater depth much of the work being undertaken here. You can also search a list of technical papers published by our researchers, or look at a list of all our current projects.

  
    

Visit Paul Horn's Page!

Paul's Page
More about Senior Vice President and head of Research, Dr. Paul Horn
Projects to Watch
K42 is a high performance, general-purpose operating system for cache-coherent multiprocessors.
MRAM uses magnetic tunnel junctions instead of GMRs to allow for instantaneous booting-up on computers. Benefits also include affordability on level to DRAM, speed comparable to SRAM and non-volatile properties associated with Flash.
Quantum Cryptography provides a way to communicate with complete security over an insecure channel such as an unguarded optical fiber. The security is guaranteed by the fundamental quantum properties of light rather than by computational complexity or physical barriers to interception.
Information Economies are comprised of economically-motivated software agents that process and disseminate information to humans and, increasingly, to other agents. Agents will naturally evolve from facilitators into decision-makers.

  

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