Methods, Metrics and Motivation of a Green Computer Science Program



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Victoria Tran

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Paper Summary

9/9/09
1. The paper “Methods, Metrics and Motivation of a Green Computer Science Program” discusses about a term called green computing, which addresses how the problems of consuming too much energy and learning about the environment. By practicing good habits such as recycling paper and hibernating laptops, people learn how to save money, energy and the environment. People should understand that green computing is a long process, so people should make a commitment. Although the techniques addressed in the paper look simple at first, people will find them difficult to do. Therefore, people unconsciously waste paper and energy when they touch any electronic equipment and printers.

2. Some of the paper’s results discuss about experiments for shutting down computers, phantom loads and screen savers. Whether a person shuts down or hibernate a laptop helps the author analyze which way to turn off a laptop is more energy-efficient. In fact, hibernating a computer is more energy-efficient than using screen savers. The author also includes phantom loads, where a laptop will consume more energy even if it is turned off. To avoid phantom loads, the author suggests pulling off the plug from the outlet when the laptop is not in use (or any other electrical equipment). Purchasing or upgrading to energy-efficient computers also helps in consuming energy wisely. From learning different methods, people will learn from them about saving both energy and money.

3. The author’s assumption in his article educates people about green computing and becoming aware of their environment. He suggested that computer science departments should teach students about green computing and perform labs to understand it better. For the faculty, it should research about topics like using energy-efficient computers and the consequences of green computing. From learning about green computing, students and faculty can educate their peers and perform techniques to make the environment better. The methods to reduce energy, paper and money may look easy at first, but people will have a difficult time to apply them to their daily schedule.



Some of the limitations with consuming energy with computers deal with applying green computing at a workplace. For example, people leave their computers on for making backups overnight. Putting their computers on hibernation or standby will cause problems if the computers crash during the day or night. Although computers have to do backup during the day and the evening will waste energy, people need to do so in order to keep the computers to work properly.

4. Although the article discusses about different techniques to “turn off” the computer and buying an energy-efficient and environmental-friendly computer, it does not look at the consequences of green computing. Computers that perform jobs like backup cannot follow green computing. The article also needs to specify about locking computers and security. Locking computers or using software for security makes a difference. Without looking at the consequences, people will look down on green computing.


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