Come Here and Hear Fred Brooks Speak

by William Grosso

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SDForum's Distinguished Speaker Series presents people who have made major contributions to how software is created and understood, speaking on topics of current interest (disclaimer: I'm on the program committee). This coming Thursday (April 8), the speaker is a legendary figure in software development, Fred Brooks. Brooks led the development of the IBM System 360, wrote "The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering", and founded the Computer Science department at the University of North Carolina. He's won just about every award imaginable, including the National Medal of Technology, the Turing award of the ACM, the Bower Award and Prize of the Franklin Institute, and the John von Neumann Medal of the IEEE.

But what's Brooks done lately? Surprisingly, he's into virtual reality. His Effective Virtual Environments project at Chapel Hill is trying to determine which technological factors really matter when creating virtual environments. His talk is titled "Making and Measuring Effective Virtual Environments", and he promises to present some unexpected results as to what constitutes an effective illusion.

Did you know he will also be speaking at the Computer History Museum on April 7?