Technology has made the world more connected, but has it made the world better?   We as computer scientists can leverage our knowledge and skills to improve lives.   The rise of social media and mobile computing fosters development of assistive technologies for people with disabilities.  A careful scrutiny of an NP-complete problem (finding a Minimum Weight Triangulation) can lead to faster imaging algorithms that allow cancer patients to rest more comfortably.   Developing the appropriate database can help agencies find jobs for the unemployed. This talk will look at some examples of work on computing in the social context, and some lessons learned.



Scott McElfresh is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University, after teaching for 9 years at Carnegie Mellon,  where he was part of the academic advising team and was  coordinator for introductory courses.   His PhD is from Dartmouth, and is a leader in the computer science education community.  He has recently given  workshops on introducing communication and social relevance into undergraduate courses.   Dr. McElfresh is also a clarinetist who has appeared on stage with artists such as Arturo Sandoval, the Irish Tenors, and Paul Anka.


Faculty Host: Daisy Fan


B17 Upson Hall

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Refreshments at 3:45pm in the Upson 4th Floor Atrium


Computer Science


Helping People

by Solving Hard Problems

(with computer science, of course!)

Scott McElfresh

Carnegie Mellon University