Text Box: Department of Computer Science at Cornell University
Text Box: Text Box: The Salton Series is supported by Amit Singhal, Cornell PhD Ď97

 

 

 

Text Box: Advances in computing and communications mean that we can cost-effectively store every book, sound recording, movie, software package, and public web page ever created, and provide access to these collections via the Internet to students and adults all over the world.   By mostly using existing institutions and funding sources, we can build this as well as compensate authors within the current worldwide library budget.

The Library of Alexandria was founded with the goal of obtaining a copy of every published work in the world to become the center for scholarship in 288 BC.  It was based on a technical advance, or rather, a change in the medium of recording to papyrus from clay tablets.

Technological advances, for the first time since the loss of the Library of Alexandria, may allow us to collect all published knowledge in a similar way.  But now we can take the original goal another step further to make all the published works of humankind accessible to everyone, no matter where they are in the world.

Thomas Jeffersonís statement that "All that is necessary for a student is access to a library" may be an exaggeration, but access to information is a key ingredient to education and an open society.
While difficult to prove, it seems safe to say that the creation and dissemination of knowledge is important for building societies that grow and prosper.  Many in the library community agree that universal access to all knowledge could stand as one of the greatest achievements of humankind, up in the pantheon of the Library of Alexandria or landing a man on the moon.

Text Box:                The      
GERARD SALTON
                Lecture Series           
Text Box: Thursday
February 12, 2009
Text Box: 4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall
Reception - 4th Floor Atrium at 3:45pm

Brewster Kahle

Director, Co-Founder

Internet Archive

Brewster has built technologies, companies, and institutions to advance the goal of universal access to all knowledge. He currently oversees the non-profit Internet Archive as founder and Digital Librarian, which is now one of the largest digital archives in the world.

As a digital archivist, Brewster has been active in technology, business, and law.

Keywords: MIT'82, helped start Thinking Machines, founder WAIS Wide Area Information Servers, Internet strategist AOL, co-founded Alexa Internet, sold to Amazon.com, directs Internet Archive.

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982, he helped start a supercomputer company, Thinking Machines, that built systems for searching large text collections. In 1989, he invented the Internetís first publishing and distributed search system, WAIS (Wide Area Information Server). WAIS Inc. created the online presence for many of the world's largest publishers, and was purchased by America Online in 1995. In 1996, Brewster co-founded Alexa Internet, which provides search and discovery services included in more than 90 percent of web browsers, and was purchased by Amazon in 1999.

Brewster has also worked to revise law and policy in light technical advances. He is a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a plaintiff in Kahle v. Gonzales (formerly Kahle v. Ashcroft), which challenges recent copyright term extensions.

Brewster is profiled in Digerati: Encounters with the Cyber Elite (HardWired, 1996). He was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, the AlwaysOn/Technorati Open Media 100 in 2005, the Upside 100 in 1997, the Micro Times 100 in 1996 and 1997, and the Computer Week 100 in 1995.

Text Box: Towards Universal Access to All Knowledge

Gerard Salton (1927- 1995) A towering figure in the field of information retrieval, Gerard Salton synthesized ideas from mathematics, statistics, and natural language processing to create a scientific basis for extracting semantics from word frequency. The impact of his contributions is profound - five textbooks, over 150 research papers, and dozens of Ph.D. students. The modern computer science and information science research scene, with its terabyte databases, Web, and related technologies, owes a great deal to Gerry's pioneering efforts.

 

This lecture series honors our former colleague with speakers who similarly are innovators in their fields.