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February 16, 1995

Founders Day symposium focuses on using the Internet in higher ed

Navigating the Internet will be the subject of this year's Founders Day symposium set for Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

Keynote speaker for the symposium will be Anthony Rutkowski, executive director of the Internet Society, an international organization that fosters the development of Internet technologies, networks, applications and use.

Toby Chapman, professor of chemistry and a member of the Founders Day committee, said the Internet was suggested as a topic for the annual Founders Day symposium by members of the faculty and staff, and championed by committee member Dave Crossman, an avid Internet user.

"What I think is particularly exciting about this year's program is that besides having the formal presentations, we're going to have demonstrations after each speech with hands-on opportunities," said Chapman. According to Chapman, several computers with large demonstration screens will be set up in the Assembly Room so that members of the audience will be able to view the procedures discussed by the various speakers.

"For people who are really interested in what the Internet is all about, this will be a great opportunity," said Chapman. "I think it will be an exciting program. There are some very interesting things going on at the University and we should get a good view of what is going to be happening with the information superhighway and how we all can use it to our advantage." Prior to being named executive director of the Internet Society, keynote speaker Rutkowski was the director of technology assessment in the Strategic Planning Group of Sprint International and one of the founding trustees of the Internet Society. Currently, Rutkowski also is a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and editor-in-chief of the Internet Society News.

In addition, during a 30-year career as both an electrical engineer and lawyer, Rutkowski has served as publisher and editor of the trade magazine Telecommunications, as a staff adviser to two chief scientists at the Federal Communications Commission, and as a counselor to two secretary generals of the International Telecommunication Union, the world's intergovernmental organization for telecommunications headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

From 1967 to 1974, Rutkowski also was responsible for design engineering and management support for the Apollo project communication systems and Space Shuttle control systems at the Kennedy Space Center.

Other speakers at the symposium will include:

* James Williams, chair of the Department of Information Science, who will discuss "The Internet: A University Resource for Teaching, Research and Service."

* Ralph Roskies, scientific director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, whose topic will be "National Information Infrastructure in Science and Education."

* Alison Stones, professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, and Jane Vadnal, a graduate student in the department, who will discuss "A New Tool for Teaching History of Art on the Internet: A Pilot Project."

* Bruce Dobler, associate professor of English, whose topic will be "Big Web, Small World: It's Gutenberg, TV, Electricity and Radio, Invented the Same Year – And Put in the Hands of Anyone With a Network Account!" The 1995 Founders Day symposium will mark the 208th anniversary of the charter that created the Pittsburgh Academy, the forerunner of the University of Pittsburgh.

The symposium is free and open to faculty, staff and students. It will be followed on Feb. 28 by the University's annual honor convocation at 3 p.m. in Soldiers and Sailors Hall.

–Mike Sajna

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