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Faculty, Staff and Students Discuss Computing at Drexel through the Years

University Archivist Rob Sieczkiewicz, Professor Jeremy Johnson, Professor Tom Hewett and Professor Ray Brebach

Drexel faculty, students and staff gathered at W. W. Hagerty Library on Tuesday, October 18, for Coffee, Conversation and Computing, an event in collaboration with the exhibit Access Everywhere, Computing at Drexel 1984 - Present.

The exhibition, which runs through December 10th, begins with Drexel’s Mircocomputer Project and the distribution of Macintosh computers to Drexel students and faculty in 1984. Attendees of the event were treated to a conversation with professors Tom Hewett and Ray Brebach, who were on campus for this exciting event in Drexel’s history. They shared their memories and experiences of a time when the entire campus quickly adjusted to incorporating computers in all disciplines and in many projects.

Professor Jeremy Johnson added the perspective of a computer scientist as attendees discussed the impact of several key information technologies at Drexel over the past several decades. The group seemed to agree that while the introduction of the Macintosh computer to Drexel was the most dramatic change several other computing innovations have also drastically affected the campus community. One of these transformative items was wireless computing. Mr. Hewett remembered the moment when a colleague first demonstrated how the Apple base station could connect several items in a room to the Internet without cables.

Conversation ranged from Drexel’s role as an innovator in computing, to the complex relationship between books and hypertext, and to the future of input devices beyond the mouse and keyboard.

Missed this discussion?  Join us for Going National with Apple Computers: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on Thursday, November 18th, as we discuss the role of technology in learning and its impact on the Drexel community and beyond.

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