Monday, October 18, 1999

Distinguished Computer Scientist Helps College Celebrate New Major

Chestertown, MD — Jack Minker, who helped establish the study of computer science at the University of Maryland in 1974, will speak at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Washington College. In his talk on the history and development of digital computers through the 1950s, Minker will trace the scientific advances that ledto the development of the modern electronic computer, starting with Euclid and Aristotle and including the surprising influence of the Jacquard Loom for weaving patterns in cloth. He will discuss the controversy over who developed the first digital computer, the influence of founders such as Admiral Grace Hopper and Alan Turing, and the role that computers played in code breaking during World War II. His slide-lecture is free and open to the public.

Minker appears as part of Washington College's celebration of its newly announced major in computer science, previously offered as a minor at the school. Assistant Professor Austin Lobo says, "Washington College is committed to a strong computer science major grounded in a liberal arts tradition that values the historical perspective. Dr. Minker is a recognized expert in computer science as well as an elder statesman in the field. We're proud to have him speak on campus."

Minker is professor emeritus at the University of Maryland College Park in the Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. He has written more than 160 technical articles for refereed journals, books and conferences and is considered the founder of several fields within the computer science. He is also a tireless worker for human rights.

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