Brown CS News

Donald Knuth Will Deliver The 2016 Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture


    The Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture honors a distinguished computer scientist who was an esteemed and beloved member of our faculty. This year, on December 1 and 2, Brown CS welcomes one of the greatest minds of our discipline, widely regarded as an artistic genius, Renaissance man, and perhaps the most gifted programmer of all time, Donald Knuth. We're extremely happy to return Professor Knuth to a city that he remembers fondly (he holds an honorary doctorate from Brown, and his daughter is an alum), where he will deliver two lectures, continue a conversation with Professor Emeritus Peter Wegner that shaped the course of CS more than 50 years ago, and even take a few moments to enjoy himself by playing two prominent local pipe organs.

    "Knuth Days At Brown" Schedule 

    4 PM on Thursday, December 1, in CIT 368, the Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture: "Hamiltonian Paths in Antiquity"

    About 1850, William Rowan Hamilton invented the Icosian Game, which involved finding a path that encounters all points of a network without retracing its steps. Variants of his game have turned out to be important in many modern computer applications. The speaker will give evidence that people have been interested in such questions since at least Graeco-Roman times. Furthermore, ingenious Sanskrit and Arabic documents from the ninth century, and continuing through medieval times, also reveal that this is perhaps the oldest nontrivial combinatorial problem in the history of civilization.

    This lecture is hosted by Sorin Istrail and a reception will follow.

    4 PM on Friday, December 2, in CIT 368, a John von Neumann Lecture: "The Art of Computer Programming: Satisfiability and Combinatorics"

    This lecture is hosted by Sorin Istrail and Eli Upfal and a Sweat Box Session featuring rigorous questioning from graduate students and other attendees will follow.

    Additional details on this event can be found here. For more information, please contact Coordinator Kate Correia (401-863-7602) or Faculty Host Sorin Istrail. The image above is based on a photograph by Alex Handy and used with permission.