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Filmmaker, alumnus Ferguson to deliver Brunel lecture

Filmmaker Charles Ferguson, whose new documentary Inside Job takes an in-depth look at the causes and consequences of the 2008 global financial crisis, will present this year’s talk in the Brunel Lecture Series on Complex Systems, which is sponsored by the MIT Engineering Systems Division.

Titled “The Financial Crisis, the Recession, and America's Future: A Systemic Perspective,” Ferguson's talk will take place at 4 p.m. today in 54-100. An official selection of the 2010 Cannes, Toronto, Telluride, and New York film festivals, Inside Job opened nationwide in mid-October and has received critical acclaim. Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman described it as, “scrupulous, intelligent, and fervent,” and said the film “will stand as a definitive investigative primer on the disaster.”

Ferguson studied mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a doctorate in political science from MIT. During his postdoctoral work, he consulted for the White House, government trade and defense agencies, and American and European technology firms. In 1994, he co-founded Vermeer Technologies, which created the FrontPage website development tool, then sold it to Microsoft two years later. He lectured or pursued research projects at MIT, Berkeley, and the Brookings Institution before becoming a filmmaker. His first film, No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq (2007) was nominated for an Academy Award.

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