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Macleans

Millennium Preparations

Maj. Rod Babiuk picked up his brass abacus for a buck at a garage sale, while many of his colleagues at CFB Kingston hunted down wooden versions of the beaded counting machines. No, the army has not developed a sudden interest in ancient math.

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Computer Science

During the 1950s, 4 main areas of focus emerged. "Hardware" concentrated on the construction of reliable equipment with faster central-processing units (CPUs), larger memories and more input and output devices to solve increasingly ambitious problems.

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Computer Systems Applications

MATHEMATICS spawned the computer in the 1940s and gave it its name. Its first application was the computation of theoretical ballistic tables for traditional bombs, but calculations for the atomic bomb and then for guided missiles soon became the driving force for computer development.

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Radar

Radio waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, as is visible light. H.R. Hertz provided practical demonstration of Maxwell's theory and, in 1888, actually performed radio-wave-reflection experiments.

Macleans

Canada's Missing Internet Wave

The idea sounded so simple and yet so revolutionary: use the Internet to exploit the buying power of far-flung individual consumers, allowing them to sign up for bulk orders on a Web site that would drive down the price of everything from video games to hand-held computers.

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Robotics in Canada

Robotics is the branch of engineering that concerns robots: reprogrammable, multifunction manipulators designed to move objects and complete tasks through a variety of programmed motions. The field includes the conception, design, manufacture and operation of such machines. Robotics overlaps with a variety of other electronic and engineering disciplines including artificial intelligence (AI), bioengineering, computer science, mechatronics (the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems) and nanotechnology. In the late 20th century, Canada distinguished itself in the field with the development of the Canadarm for space missions. Despite the challenges of competing in the international market, Canadian companies, institutes and researchers are now world leaders in the development of AI applications for robotics.

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Remote Sensing

History The oldest remote sensing instrument is the photographic camera, which has a long history of use in making observations of Earth from aircraft and, more recently, spacecraft.

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Statistics

Statistics is the science concerned with the collection and analysis of numerical information to answer questions wisely. The term also refers to the numerical information that has been collected. Statistics has many applications in Canada, from government censuses and surveys, to decision making in industry, to medical research and technological innovation.

Macleans

Gates Under Siege

They came by the thousands last week, a ragtag army of pasty-faced computer geeks in sandals and T-shirts, streaming into the San Jose Convention Center in California's Silicon Valley to honour the 29-year-old hacker from Helsinki who might just be the one to dethrone Bill Gates.

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Clocks and Watches

The manufacture of clocks and watches in Canada may have begun as early as 1700; however, practising watch and clockmakers through the 18th and much of the 19th centuries did not make the movements.

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Computers and Canadian Society

Canadians use computers in many aspects of their daily lives. Eighty-four per cent of Canadian families have a computer in the home, and many people rely on these devices for work and education. Nearly everyone under the age of 45 uses a computer every day, including mobile phones that are as capable as a laptop or tablet computer. With the widespread use of networked computers facilitated by the Internet, Canadians can purchase products, do their banking, make reservations, share and consume media, communicate and perform many other tasks online. Advancements in computer technologies such as cloud computing, social media, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are having a significant impact on Canadian society. While these and other uses of computers offer many benefits, they also present societal challenges related to Internet connectivity, the digital divide, privacy and crime.

Macleans

Canadarm2's Broken Wrist

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 27, 2002. Partner content is not updated.

It was a bad day at the aerospace office. Around 9 a.m. on March 5, NASA called Richard Rembala, a lead engineer for CANADARM2. There was a problem.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada

The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a machine to simulate or exceed intelligent human activity or behaviour. It also denotes the subfield of computer science and engineering committed to the study of AI technologies. With recent advancements in digital technology, scientists have begun to create systems modelled on the workings of the human mind. Canadian researchers have played an important role in the development of AI. Now a global leader in the field, Canada, like other nations worldwide, faces important societal questions and challenges related to these potentially powerful technologies.

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Five Digital Technologies and their Challenges

In the span of several decades, digital technologies have changed how Canadians work, communicate, consume products and access information. Although technologies like self-driving cars and the Internet of Things may seem advanced, many such tools are still in their early stages. With the growth of the digital economy, digital technologies will continue to present opportunities and challenges. Here’s a look at five of these technologies and some of the risks that come with them.

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Internet in Canada

The Internet is a global network of computers that communicate with each other. This exchange happens through a set of rules called protocols. Since Internet use became widespread in the 1990s, the system has affected most aspects of life. It has had both productive and destructive effects. The Internet has changed the way Canadians learn and work, buy products and services, communicate and consume entertainment. Most people think of the Internet as the World Wide Web. However, it takes a number of different forms, including networked physical objects called the Internet of Things.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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AES-90

The AES-90 word processor was an innovation released by the Montreal-based technology company Automatic Electronic Systems Inc. in 1972. The new machine was a pioneer within its generation that not only revolutionized office automation, but also set the trend for the design of word processors around the world.