What and Who Are We?

Here at the Risk Factor blog, our focus is going to be on the risks and rewards of information systems and technology, or more broadly put, the social implications of IS&T. As moderator of this blog, my hope is that we can hold a conversation about what IS&T works and what doesnâ''t, what past, present and future IS&T trends portend, and, of course, why.

Joining me â'' Bob Charette â'' from time to time will be a number of guest bloggers from academia, industry and government who are involved in some of the more important IS&T risk and reward issues of the day. Joining me in this little endeavor are some pretty interesting folks.

There is Peter Ladkin, a Professor of Computer Networks and Distributed Systems in the Faculty of Technology at the University of Bielefeld. Peter specializes in the analysis of safety-related and safety-critical complex heterogeneous systems and their behavior, including accidents.

Next we have Phil Neches, who is one of America's leading technologists and a true database expert, among other things. Phil was Founder, Chief Scientist, and Vice President, of Teradata Corp, and is heavily involved in venture capital investment.

Then there is Peter Neumann, a senior scientist at the SRI International Computer Science Laboratory. Peter, who is the moderator of the ACM Risk Forum newsgroup, has been looking and discussing IS&T risks since nearly the inception of modern computing, is in my opinion the most thoughtful and insightful commentator on the subject.

There is also Martyn Thomas, an expert in large, real-time, safety-critical, software intensive systems. Martyn was the Founder of Praxis, the internationally recognized leader in the use of rigorous software engineering, including mathematically formal methods, is a visiting professor at Oxford University, and is the first person to receive Commander of the British Empire (CBE) award for â''services to software engineering.â''

Also joining us is John Stone, a Strategy Executive at the consulting firm Monroe Partners. John has worked in and written on all aspects of IS&T across a wide-variety of industries, and brings a wealth of practical knowledge and experience in what it takes to create successful large-scale IS&T projects and programs.

Finally, there is Ed Yourdan, a recognized expert witness and computer consultant who specializes in project management, software engineering methodologies, and Web 2.0 development. For the couple of you who donâ''t recognize the name, Ed is one of the most influential voices and keen observers of what is happening in the IS&T industry.

I think youâ''ll agree, the folks above provide a pretty good initial set of eyes on the risks & rewards that IS&T create. Over time, II will be asking more guest bloggers involved in different parts of the IS&T field to join us to continue to enrich the conversation.


Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City