Computer experts gather for WMC homecoming


Nationally known computer expert and educator C. Dianne Briggs Martin will lead Western Maryland College's Alumni Academic Homecoming, a one-day learning session for alumni and friends of the college, Feb. 26.

The theme of the annual gathering is "Take a Byte Out of Computers: Explore the Past and Experience the Future."

It will be held in Lewis Hall of Science beginning at 10 a.m., with group and panel discussions through the afternoon.

Registration is $18 per person, which includes a noon meal. Guests can attend two of four group talks.

Martin, a 1965 graduate of Western Maryland and a member of its board of trustees, will present the event's keynote address, "The Awesome Thinking Machine and Other Computer Myths" at 10:30 a.m. in Decker Auditorium.

Dr. Martin is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at George Washington University.

Also scheduled to speak are five WMC faculty members who will discuss the history of computing and how computers are used in the classroom and everyday life.

Dr. Martin's address will examine the development of the computer and the societal impact of electronic data bases and artificial intelligence.

After lunch in McDaniel Lounge, homecoming participants may attend one of four group workshops beginning at 1 p.m.:

* "The Big Dipper and You," led by Dr. Bill Pagonis, WMC associate professor of physics, who will show how computers help physicists understand the workings of the Milky Way galaxy.

* "Computers: The Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratories of the Future," by Drs. Rick Smith and Carol Rouzer, WMC professor and associate professor of chemistry, respectively. They will demonstrate advances in computational chemistry, including molecular modeling.

* "Future Trends in Information Systems," by Dave Neikirk, director of the Hoover Library at Western Maryland. He will discuss the Seymour Project, a pilot plan to link all libraries in the state by computer.

PD * "A Hands-On Introduction to Microsoft Works," by Dr. Linda Esh

leman, director and associate professor of Computing Services at WMC. She will lead a how-to session on Microsoft Works.

The workshops, all in Lewis Hall, will be repeated at 2:30 p.m.

Beginning at 4 p.m., a panel discussion will examine how computers are used in a variety of fields and speculate on future technology.

For more information, including directions and registration options, call Beth Harlow, 857-2264 or 876-2055, Ext. 264.

Individuals who wish to request special services such as sign-interpreting are asked to call Lynda Casserly, WMC interpreter coordinator, at 857-2518, or 857-2506, Voice/TTY, at least one week before the event.

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