STEM Education and Training (Part I)
13 March, 2021 by
STEM Education and Training (Part I)

When Laps Solutions is establishing and setting up its AIoT (Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things) Lab and Education Centre, I think about the development of the computer industry from decades to today, and the future of our business environment and society in the next few years. This reminds me of some interesting memories and experiences.


I studied Information Engineering at CUHK more than 30 years ago. However, my first programming language to learn and use was BASIC of Casio PB-100 in the secondary school. At that time, the most widely used personal computer (PC) was the Apple II series. Then, the development of the personal computing industry was heavily influenced by the Intel 80x86 CPU architecture*. (Let’s talk about software in some articles later.)


But now, computing equipment with SoC (System-on-a-chip) will affect the future.


The PC industry has long used CPU, RAM, external storage, and PCB (Printed Circuit Board) architecture. A few years ago, manufacturers introduced single-board computers. Today, the two most famous developers are Raspberry Foundation and Arduino. Their products, Raspberry Pi and Arduino, are not only well adopted in STEM education, but are now also used as the basis of IoT devices.


Apple launched its own design SoC M1 in 2020, and its performance surprised us. With many developers such as ARM, NVIDIA and single-board computer and micro-controller manufacturers, they are changing the development direction of the PC history in the past three decades.


At the same time, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning continues to emerge. In fact, related academic research and basic knowledge have been studied in computer science for many years. Due to the tremendous advances in computing, storage, network and cloud computing technologies, many theories and computing algorithms in the field of computer science (such as image processing, natural language processing, etc.) are now practically and possibly implemented.


I remember that around the year of 2000, someone asked me about CCTV and security surveillance solutions used public places. It is believed that some academic institutions, research centers or government organizations around the world have already started related projects. Now, these have become mature projects in the business and governance industries. They illustrate recent advances in computing technologies and the use of AI and Machine Learning.


Now it is a new beginning. Just like when we started using the Internet twenty years ago, we become familiar with many related applications, such as e-mail, social media communications, and online shopping today. SoC and AIoT technological breakthroughs will make tremendous changes in our lives and works in the short term.


Let's share more in the next article.


* Apple Macintosh has a long history of using Motorola 68000 series CISC processors.

Image source : Wikimedia Commons

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