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Episode 42

Dr. John Arquilla and Dr. Peter Denning

Episode 42 – Dr. John Arquilla and Dr. Peter Denning – Automation and Seapower 
In this episode, our guests discuss important themes regarding the future of automation and its implications for naval combat, hosted by Karl Flynn. This episode was recorded on November 30th, 2022.  

DR. PETER DENNING began building electronic circuits as a teenager. His computer built from pinball machine parts won the science fair in 1959, launching him into the new field of computing. At MIT for his doctorate in 1968, he worked on Multics, a precursor of today’s “cloud computing” systems. He taught computer science at Princeton, Purdue, George Mason University, and Naval Postgraduate School. A pioneer in operating systems and computer networks, he invented the “working set,” a widely-adopted way of managing memory for optimal system throughput. From directing a computational science lab at NASA-Ames Research Center, he wrote The Innovator’s Way (MIT Press, 2010) on leadership practices to generate adoption of innovations. He published Great Principles of Computing (MIT Press 2015) and Computational Thinking (2019). He has won thirty-four awards for his work in computing science and education. He is a past president of ACM, the oldest scientific society in computing. He is currently editor of Ubiquity (

DR. JOHN ARQUILLA is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Defense Analysis at the United States Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of over a dozen books covering a range of topics, from irregular warfare (e.g., Insurgents, Raiders, and Bandits, Rowman 2011; and Afghan Endgames, Georgetown 2012) to strategies for improving cybersecurity (Bitskrieg, Polity 2021). Best known for pioneering the concepts of cyberwar and swarm tactics, he has recently undertaken an effort to apply design-oriented practices to military and security affairs. His study of World War II (Why the Axis Lost, McFarland 2020) provides a fresh perspective on that great-power conflict, reconsidering it from a design perspective. In terms of policy experience, Dr. Arquilla served as advisor to senior military and civilian leaders during Operation Desert Storm, as well as during the Kosovo War. He has also been involved in several post-9/11 matters, testified before Congress on countering terrorist networks, and served on a small team that worked for President Obama to help identify new directions for American defense.

For continued reading on this topic please check out Bitskrieg and Swarming and the Future of Conflict by Dr. Arquilla and “Military Intelligent Systems Pose Strategic Dilemmas” and Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing by Dr. Denning et al.

The Trident Room Podcast is brought to you by the Naval Postgraduate School Alumni Association and the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation.

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Tags: NPS, US The Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, Navy, Army, USMC, Airforce, US, Coast Guard, DoD, PhD, Military Education, Podcast, Military Podcast, The Trident Room, The Trident Room Podcast, LinkdIn, Solutions, Surface, Future 

The views expressed in this interview are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the US Navy, or the Naval Postgraduate School.