No greater contribution can be made to a specific field than research that leads to the development of a new and superior technology. Universities and businesses constantly attempt to remain on the cutting edge of new design, manufacturing, and application systems through research and development.
If I were given the opportunity to conduct my own research, I would dedicate my efforts to the design of computer processing chips with the goal of increasing their speed and computational ability.
It is now possible to construct memory chips almost atom by atom, allowing for nearly infinite circuitry capacity. My research would attempt to design a chip that could process data faster, and with more accuracy, than is presently possible. This chip could then handle more complex software, process data from CD's, and handle Internet applications at a faster rate, allowing for equalization with the increase in speed of CD ROM drives and modems. The procedure for this research would entail first learning as much as possible about the design of present chips, the specific materials that I might want to include as conductors, and which metals are easiest to manipulate.
Next I would lay out the chip and attempt to construct it with existing technology. Finally, I would need to test it in an effort to make modifications and improvements in the original design.
The computer age presents wonderful opportunities, and any research that promotes the facile use of PC or network systems will help advance this cause. For this reason, I would dedicate my year of research to improvements in the design of central processing units.