Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, November 14, 2007
NEC Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B03

On the Road to Computer Literacy

Robert M. Lefkowitz
About the talk:

A recurring theme in computer science is the role of computer programs as a means of communicating algorithms between people. Computer Literacy, then, would be defined as the ability to read and write computer programs. We have a long way to go before we live in a society that achieves universal computer literacy. The consideration of this ideal is born of the realization that the Free Software movement can only be significant in a society where the majority of citizens are "source code" literate.

In order to identify some of the technological gaps that hinder the implementation of universal computer literacy, this talk looks back at the development of literacy and the associated technologies from before Plato through Aldus Manutius and beyond.

About the speaker:

Robert Lefkowitz is Vice President for Information Architecture at Asurion. He has spent over 30 years in corporate information technology departments working on making computer technology more accessible to non-IT professionals. Over the years, the names of these areas have changed -- Timesharing, Decision Support, Distributed Computing, End-User Computing, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Content Management -- but the aspiration remains the same. In pursuit of this goal of spreading computer literacy, he has worked in the nuclear power, airline, investment banking, telecommunications, and insurance industries. He holds a degree in Computer Science from MIT.

Contact information:

Robert M. Lefkowitz
Vox: 615 714 3150