Scientists from the island of Andros in Greece celebrated the life of one of their most prominent native sons, the late MIT professor Michael Dertouzos, with a computer science conference and unveiling of a bust overlooking the Aegean Sea. Earlier, at an Athens information technology conference, an MIT alumnus was awarded first place in a competition honoring Dertouzos.
The later conference, held July 10-11, was organized by the Society of Scientists from Andros in honor of the former director of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science who died in 2001.
Attendees from MIT included President Charles Vest and Rebecca Vest; professors Suzanne Berger of political science, Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the Media Lab, Amedeo Odoni of aeronautics and astronautics and civil engineering, and Victor Zue, co-director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); Barbara Stowe, vice president for resource development, and CSAIL research scientist Stephanie Seneff.
Other attendees included former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and Tipper Gore, Dr. George Metakides, and Dr. Greg Papadopolous. Also in the audience were Dertouzos' children, Leonidas and Alexandra, and his wife Cathy.
At the conference, technical presentations examined the impact of computer science on areas ranging from architecture and shipping to health care and telecommunications. During the evening session, attendees reminisced and paid personal tribute to Dertouzos, who was born in Athens and whose father was from Andros. On Sunday morning, a bust of Dertouzos' likeness was dedicated at the main town square, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The inscription below the bust reads: "Michael L. Dertouzos, 1936-2001, Pioneer of Informatics in Service to Humanity."
Earlier in the year, at the XIV World Conference on Information Technology held May 17-23 in Athens, MIT alumnus Marco Escobedo was awarded first place in the "IT with a Human Face" competition held to commemorate Dertouzos. Escobedo was honored for his M.S. thesis completed at the MIT Media Laboratory in 2002.