Cornell hosts lecture by Phi Beta Kappa Visiting ScholarSeptember 30, 2003
MOUNT VERNON — A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of electrical engineering and computer science will speak at Cornell College — which is marking the 20th year of its computer science program — as the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in Hedges Conference Room of The Commons. Admission is free.
Hal Abelson will lecture on “Universities, the Internet, and the Intellectual Commons,” which addresses how to protect the intellectual commons — the wellspring of ideas and innovation — against squabbles over who owns academic work, technologies for restricting the dissemination of knowledge and the impact of increasingly far-reaching intellectual property laws.
During his two-day campus visit, Abelson also will visit an introductory computer science class, meet with computer science majors and dine with students and faculty. This year the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program made available 14 distinguished scholars to visit member campuses. The purpose of the program is to allow an exchange of ideas between the visiting scholars and the resident faculty and students, contributing to the intellectual life on campus.
Abelson’s research at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory focuses on “amorphous computing,” an effort to create programming technologies that can harness the power of the new computing substrates emerging from advances in microfabrication and molecular biology. He is also engaged in the interaction of law, policy and technology as they relate to societal tensions sparked by the growth of the Internet.
Abelson is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, co-director of the MIT-Microsoft Research Alliance in educational technology and co-head of MIT’s Council on Educational Technology. He is founding director of the Free Software Foundation and of Creative Commons and serves as a consultant to Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.
He is the author of four books, including “Turtle Geometry,” written with Andrea diSessa in 1981, which presented a computational approach to geometry that has been cited as “the first step in a revolutionary change in the entire teaching/learning process.”
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