Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Raymond Kurzweil & Alison Taunton-Rigby to speak at WPI

"Imagining the Future: Visions of the World to Come" Slated for November 30

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Clockwise from top: Clarke, Taunton-Rigby, Cyganski, Kurzweil

Worcester, MA - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is hosting a half-day colloquium "Imagining the Future: Visions of the World to Come," on Friday, November 30 at 9 a.m. in the Odeum Rooms at WPI's Campus Center. Featured speakers are Sir Arthur C. Clarke, author, visionary and screenwriter; Dr. Raymond Kurzweil, founder of Kurzweil Technologies; Dr. Alison Taunton-Rigby, President of Forester Biotech; and Dr. David Cyganski, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at WPI. Scott Kirsner, technology writer, will moderate the event.

Clarke, who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey" will greet attendees via satellite hook-up from Sri Lanka, and answer questions from the audience.

Raymond Kurzweil, pioneer in music synthesis, optical character recognition, speech recognition and artificial intelligence, is the winner of the Lemelson-MIT Prize and the National Medal of Technology. He wrote "The Age of Intelligent Machines," and "The Age of Spiritual Machines." Kurzweil is also founder of Kurzweil Technologies in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Alison Taunton-Rigby, a pioneer in biotechnology has been a leader in this evolving industry. Some of Dr. Taunton-Rigby's directorships include the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and the Massachusetts Women's Forum as well as the Board of Associates for the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

David Cyganski, author and professor in WPI's electrical and computer engineering department, is an expert in machine vision, high-performance networking, and using the Web in education, among other fields.

Scott Kirsner writes the @large column for The Boston Globe. He is also a contributing editor for Wired Magazine, Fast Company and Darwin Magazine. He has also served as program chair for the Future Forward Technology Summit and the Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The morning program will include questions from Massachusetts high school students, and impressions from area youngsters who will offer their own visions of the future. A book signing will immediately follow at 11:30 a.m. The public is also invited to see the film "2010: The Year We Make Contact" on Thursday, November 29, with showings at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in Olin Hall room 107.

The program and the film presentations are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the WPI Communications Office at 508-831-5616.

About WPI

Founded in 1865, WPI was a pioneer in technological higher education. Early on, it developed an influential curriculum that balanced theory and practice. Since 1970, that philosophy has been embodied in an innovative outcomes-oriented undergraduate program. With a network of project centers that spans the globe, WPI is also the leader in globalizing technological education. WPI awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, most of WPI's academic departments offer master's and doctoral programs and support leading edge research in a broad range of areas. WPI's approach to education has prepared generations of problem solvers whose new ideas and inventions have literally changed the world. They include Robert Goddard '08, father of modern rocketry, Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety systems; Richard T. Whitcomb, formulator the Area Rule and developer the supercritical wing, and Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump, and the stair-climbing wheelchair.

What: "Imagining the Future: Visions of the World to Come"
Where: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass., Odeum Rooms, Campus Center
Who: Arthur C. Clarke, Raymond Kurzweil, Alison Taunton-Rigby, David Cyganski, Moderator: Scott Kirsner
When: Friday, November 30, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free of Charge - Open to the Public
Information: +1-508-831-5616