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01/28/94

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Public lectures on computer science scheduled

STANFORD -- John K. Ousterhout, a designer of software for computer-aided design applications, will deliver the George and Sandra Forsythe Memorial Lectures in Computer Science Feb. 14 and 15 on the Stanford University campus.

The common theme that Ousterhout, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California- Berkeley, will explore is making things work together. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The first lecture, "The Role of Distributed State," will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14, in Building 420, Room 040 of the Main Quadrangle. Ousterhout will address one of the major problems in getting large numbers of computers to work effectively together to form the much discussed information superhighway: how information can be shared between different kinds of computer systems.

The second lecture, "A Universal Scripting Language," is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, also in Building 420, Room 040. Ousterhout will shifts gears to the topic of scripting languages: scripts or languages used to personalize and automate tasks within specific applications. Currently, each application has its own scripting language. Ousterhout will describe his work on a new language, called Tcl, designed to work with all types of applications, simplifying matters for users and allowing different programs to talk directly with each other.

Ousterhout received his doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980 and has received numerous awards for his research. He has developed software for computer-aided design, including the programs Magic, Caesar, and Crystal. He also leads the development of a distributed operating system called Sprite.

The annual lectures honor the memory of George and Sandra Forsythe. George played a leading role in founding Stanford's Computer Science Department, and Sandra was a noted computer science educator and textbook author.

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