Author George Dyson will discuss the movement of computers toward large-scale, self-organizing systems during his talk, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Top,” from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. on Jan. 18 in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. During his talk, Dyson will draw upon material from his book, “Darwin Among the Machines,” which examines artificial intelligence, the evolution of computers and suggests links to the scientific writings of Charles Darwin. Dyson’s talk is part of a series of events addressing “Living in a Networked World: Community, Security and Privacy.” The series is part of Wake Forest’s yearlong celebration of science and technology.
Two events on Jan. 25 will focus on cracking secret codes and other computer security issues. The events begin with a lecture by S. Brent Morris, senior mathematician at the National Security Agency, who will discuss “Classic Cryptanalysis: The Folger Manuscript” from 3 p.m.- 4 p.m in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. The lecture will examine cryptanalysis techniques used to crack a secret code written by Robert B. Folger in 1927. Immediately following Morris’ talk, there will be a security software expo until 5:30 p.m. The expo will feature demonstrations of encryption systems, face recognition software, the PC “smart card,” fingerprint recognition software, handwriting recognition software, and computer-enhanced learning systems. The events are part of a series addressing the topic, “Living in a Networked World: Community, Security and Privacy.”
Michael Turner, a noted astrophysicist from the University of Chicago, will lecture about the universe’s form and evolution in “Big Bang Cosmology: From Quark Soup to the Expanding Universe” at 8 p.m. on Jan. 26 in Brendle Recital Hall. Turner’s research focuses on the application of modern ideas in elementary particle theory to cosmology and astrophysics. He co-authored the book, “The Early Universe,” and has written numerous articles on the big-bang theory, dark matter and dark energy.
Wake Forest, site for an upcoming presidential debate, is no stranger to debate competition. Wake Forest is home to the 1997 National Championship debate team and ranks as one of the finest collegiate debate programs in the country. The university also helps shape the future of collegiate debate by sponsoring workshops and prestigious tournaments, which draw thousands of high school debaters to Winston-Salem each year. Wake Forest debate is almost as old as the institution itself, having started in 1835, a year after the school opened its doors. The first intercollegiate debate was in 1897 against Trinity College, now known as Duke University. Hundreds turned out to witness Wake Forest win the competition. The next day, the News & Observer’s headline declared the crowd’s enthusiasm was “as great as it ever was at a football game.” The program’s director, associate professor of communication Allan Louden, is working on a book about the program’s history. To interview Louden, call the News Service at 758-5237.
For everything you need to know about the upcoming presidential debate at Wake Forest, visit www.wfu.edu/debate. The site features information on the Commission on Presidential Debates, a look at the 1988 debate at Wake Forest, links to related sites and more.
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