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3/11/96

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

Sun V.P. to deliver public lectures on computer interfaces

STANFORD -- Dr. Robert F. Sproull of Sun Microsystems Laboratories Inc. will deliver the free, public George and Sandra Forsythe Memorial Lectures in Computer Science on March 18 and 19.

The first lecture, "Computer Interfaces," is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. March 18 in the Hewlett-Packard classroom (room B01) in the Gates Computer Science Building.

The talk will explore some of the methods for designing and using interfaces, and point out shortcomings of current approaches to interface design. It should be of general interest to people in the computing and engineering community. A reception will be held after the lecture in the first floor lobby of Gates.

The second lecture, "Tradeoffs in a Graphics System Design," will be given at 4:15 p.m. March 19 in the Hewlett-Packard classroom in Gates. Sproull will discuss the impact of changes in processor performance, memory systems and interconnect on the design of graphics systems.

Sproull is vice president and fellow at Sun Laboratories. He leads a section of the laboratory in Chelmsford, Mass., that focuses on improving users' interactions with computers and information.

Since his undergraduate days, Sproull has built hardware and software for computer graphics, including early clipping hardware, an early device-independent graphics package, page description languages, laser printing software and window systems. He also has been involved in VLSI design, especially of asychronous circuits and systems.

Prior to joining Sun, he was a principal with Sutherland, Sproull & Associates, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He is a co-author with William Newman of the early text Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics. He received his doctorate in computer science from Stanford in 1977.

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

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