Exclusive Interview: Dr. Yu of Open University UK

Today we announced this weeks ‘Geek of the Week’ as Dr. Yijun Yu of the Open University UK.  Earlier this week, we published an article about the missing Malaysian flight MH370, which referenced an article he had written on the topic. We decided to speak with Dr. Yu to pick his brain a little further on his thoughts about cloud computing:

Could you please give me a little background of who you are and your experience with Cloud Computing.

At the Open University UK, I am basically a researcher and educator in the area of Software Engineering, trying to help average software developers conceptualise a good practice to produce high quality software by following some repeatable methods.

 For me, Cloud Computing is both a subject of study as well as a scalable means for the experimenting on all sorts of automated tools that we couldn’t do before. Powerful as it is, as a responsible researcher on cloud computing also wish to tame it for better security and privacy. That’s exactly the area I am concentrating recently.

What are your opinions about how the cloud has changed the way we approach the world so far?

Cloud computing makes the world more connected. People often do not notice how much their smart phones leverage the computers at the remote end for heavy lifting calculations that make so many intelligent computations cheaper and faster. Tackling more pieces of information faster means that you have more command at the finger tips, also less control over the data shared over the infrastructure. Meanwhile, we can aim at analysing large-scale software developments in much more details, sampling more impulses of the changes and detect more meaningful signals. These are very positive comparing to the era before the widespread uses of cloud computing.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing the development of cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a concept, every vendor has a different take at it and it is still a young field. Security and Privacy, for example, are two problems still not fully understood in the era of CC. To me they are the main challenges for wider adoption and trust of this technology. Of course, there are other challenges as well.

In your article, you explained the potential lifesaving consequences of adopting the cloud for aviation; do you think this is possible to extend to all aspects of our daily lives? And, if so, which areas would we expect to see this change the most?

As you can see I am speculating mostly based on my understanding of the key concepts underpinning the success of cloud computing. Aviation in the era of cloud computing will be more secure if the recently developed technology are in good use. Our daily lives are already benefiting from the cloud computing technology, but when travelling on a plane, we still need to build a trust on the technology as well as use the technology.