Computer Science's 50th year celebration comes to a close



Internet pioneer Vint Cerf speaking to the Purdue Computer Science audience at Lawson.

A celebration that — deservedly so — spanned two semesters, the Department of Computer Science’s 50th anniversary festivities came to a close in April.

On April 5, the Lawson Computer Science Building hosted several hours of events, guest speakers and alumni from around the world reuniting on Purdue University campus. While the Commons area served as hub of activity, a nearby lecture hall hosted one of the weekend’s guests of honor — Vint Cerf, a computer scientist often credited as one of the “fathers of the Internet.”

Forty years ago while at Stanford University as an assistant professor, Cerf and fellow computer scientist Robert E. Kahn started work on would officially become the Internet 10 years later.

With a standing-room only crowd and dozens others watching a live video stream of his lecture on the large video screen in the Lawson Commons. In a poignant and ironic scene, a young CS student surfed the Internet on his laptop while the feed of Cerf was broadcast just overhead.

Cerf spoke about his history in helping develop the Internet, his thoughts on it today and where he sees it heading into the future, especially on the international level during his talk entitled “Political, Economic, Social and Technical (PEST) Impacts of the Internet.”

Cerf crowd

The standing — and sitting — room only crowd learning about the Internet's impact from one of the men who helped invent it, Vint Cerf.

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