800th Anniversary Seminars at the Computer Laboratory

Although a young discipline by Cambridge standards, Computer Science has had an incalculably large impact on modern life, and therefore inspires a great deal of public interest. Cambridge has been responsible for many of the significant first advances in this new field (EDSAC, the world’s first practical stored program computer, and the Computer Science Diploma, the world’s first taught course in computing, to list but two), and we are planning a series of events throughout 2009 to celebrate Cambridge’s contributions to computing.

The  University’s 800 years anniversary coincides with the retirement of the Computer Science Diploma, which will be replaced after 55 years of teaching by a new postgraduate degree in advanced computer science. It is also the 60th anniversary of EDSAC. Thus, it is a particularly apt moment to reflect upon and draw attention to the contributions of the graduates and faculty of the Cambridge Computer Laboratory.

All events will be aimed at the general public and will consist of a combination of lectures, historical films from the Computer Laboratory archives, and interactive computing-related demonstrations.

The lectures will be by eminent alumni and will highlight the value and possibilities of a Cambridge Computer Science education. The talks will be archived on a dedicated, permanent website, tied to the 800 years celebrations, and is expected to serve as an important source of oral
history in the future.

The demonstrations have been organised as a treasure trail of computing related sites around Cambridge. The trail will start with an analogue, hydraulic computer at the Economics Department and end with a practical quantum computing demo at the Cavendish Laboratory. Various historical computers built at the Computer Laboratory will also be highlighted.

Please see http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/seminars/800/ for full details. For additional information, please contact nishanth.sastry@cl.cam.ac.uk or jon.crowcroft@cl.cam.ac.uk.

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