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09-06-2013

Clarkson University Alumnus to Discuss Coevolution of Humans with Machines at Sept. 16 Seminar

"The Coevolution of Humans with Machines" will be the topic of a talk by Paul Horn at Clarkson University on September 16.

Paul HornHorn, a 1968 alumnus of Clarkson and distinguished scientist in residence and senior vice provost for research and New York University, will speak from noon to 1 p.m. on September 16 in the Student Center Multipurpose Rooms (#13 on the map at http://www.clarkson.edu/about/clarkson_map.pdf).

His talk is part of Clarkson's David A. Walsh ’67 Arts & Sciences Seminar Series, a weekly colloquium series supported by the School of Arts & Sciences Advisory Council especially through generous gifts from David A. Walsh '67.

A number of well-known scientists and technologists are suggesting that we are on the verge of a “singularity," a transition in evolution from life as we know it to a post-biological future. They say the “human era” will be ended. The boldest of these “singularitarians” predict that the epoch will arrive in less than 30 years. Horn will address "What can we believe?"

Paul Horn was named New York University distinguished scientist in residence in 2007 and senior vice provost for research in 2009. Prior to his NYU position, he was senior vice president of the IBM Corporation and executive director of research. In this job he directed IBM’s worldwide research program with 3,200 technical employees in eight sites in five countries around the world, and helped guide IBM’s overall technical strategy. In his 28 years with IBM, Horn was a champion for translating technology-based research into marketplace opportunities.

Under his leadership IBM Research produced an unmatched string of technological breakthroughs, including the chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue, the world's first copper chip, the giant magneto-resistive head (GMR), strained silicon (a discovery that allows chips to run up to 35 percent faster), and BlueGene, the world’s fastest supercomputer that brought computing leadership back to the United States.

Horn received his undergraduate degree from Clarkson University in 1968 and received his doctoral degree in physics from the University of Rochester in 1973. Prior to joining IBM in 1979, Horn was a professor of physics in the James Franck Institute and the Physics Department at the University of Chicago. Horn is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow from 1974-1978.

Horn has received numerous awards, including the 1988 Bertram Eugene Warren award from the American Crystallographic Association, the 2000 Distinguished Leadership award from the New York Hall of Science, the 2002 Hutchison Medal from the University of Rochester, and the 2002 Pake Prize from the American Physical Society. In 2003, Horn was named as one of the top computing business leaders in the US by Scientific American magazine. He received Clarkson University's highest alumni honor, the Golden Knight Award, in 2004.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/phorn.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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