Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bret Abel: Mr. Singularity

The February 21 issue of Time Magazine featured an article discussing the theory of Singularity. Adherents to the theory believe that technology is growing at such an exponential rate that by 2020 computers will outpace the human brain and that by 2045 computer and human will become one single entity. What the researchers of singularity don’t know is that this has already happened. Yes, Unión MicroFinanza (UMF) has their own “cyborg” hidden in the mountains of La Unión, Honduras.

While this may be a slight exaggeration, the incredible technological brilliance of UMF staff member Bret Abel is revolutionizing computer programming. Technology is his passion and life blood. If you are around Bret for 10 minutes, you feel like you have seen a glimpse of the future. Bret is constantly plugged-in with the tech community. Whether he is getting the low-down on up-and-coming technological innovations, or creating his own revolutionary programs, he is making a positive impact on UMF everyday.

Bret designed and implemented the survey program used to conduct a research study necessary to establish the foundation of UMF. His survey program has since been named Netrix. After learning what Netrix accomplished for UMF, Harvard University bought the program for their research studies.

Bret has built the UMF and Micro-loan Coffee website, constructed an interactive template for the organizations newsletter, and streamlined countless other technological processes that facilitated getting UMF where it is today.

Bret could be described, even by the technologically savvy, as a computer genius. He graduated with a degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. Like many tech people, Bret keeps very different hours than other UMF employees. From 2pm to 3am Bret does things on a computer that makes me feel as though I just painted some great cave art. In all, Bret is a first-rate guy with a tremendous free spirit who is always willing to help resolve technological issues no matter how big or small.

And that is Bret; Mr. Singularity, and the Computer Genius.


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