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Authors slated to discuss technology, design and MIT history in future presentations

The "authors@mit" series of readings continues with four upcoming talks by authors including former MIT President Howard W. Johnson and Assistant Professor John Maeda.

On Monday, May 3 at 5:30pm, Bonnie A. Nardi and Vicki L. O'Day will discuss their book Information Ecologies (MIT Press) in Rm E25-111. Claiming a middle ground between uncritical acceptance or blanket rejection of technology, the authors call for responsible, informed engagement with technology in local settings, which they call "information ecologies." Their goal is to change the way people look at information technology.

Philip Greenspun, a Laboratory for Computer Science researcher and MIT alumnus (SB 1982, SM, PhD), will discuss Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers) on Wednesday, May 5 at 6pm in Rm E25-111. "This is required reading in my seminar on information design: a wise book on web design and technical matters by an author with a good eye in addition to good programming skills," wrote Edward Tufte of Wired magazine.

John Maeda, assistant professor of design and computation and director of the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the Media Lab, is the author of Design by Numbers (MIT Press), the topic on Thursday, May 13 at 7pm in Rm E25-111. Dr. Maeda, an artist and a computer scientist, views the computer not as a substitute for brush and paint but as an artistic medium in its own right. His book offers a tutorial on both the philosophy and nuts-and-bolts techniques of programming for artists.

Dr. Howard Johnson, president of MIT from 1966-71, will discuss his book Holding the Center: Memoirs of a Life in Higher Education (MIT Press) on Tuesday, June 1 at 5:30pm in Rm 10-250. Thomas Winship, former editor of the Boston Globe, wrote that the book "is a rare accounting of how President Johnson skillfully led MIT through the 1960s campus revolt. Executives everywhere will learn a thing or two about conflict management from this engaging diary of a university president."

The authors@mit series of talks and readings is sponsored by MIT Libraries and the MIT Press Bookstore. All events are free, open to the public and wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call x3-5249, e-mail or see Books are available for sale at a discount the week of the event; signed copies may be ordered in advance.

A version of this article appeared in the April 28, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 28).

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