Visions Lecture Series on November 9, 2009 from 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. in ACES 2.302

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Nov 9, 2009 4:15pm - 5:30pm

The UT Department of Computer Sciences is pleased to announc

e its annual Visions Lecture, the latest in a series of lectures by UTCS f

aculty who have been recognized by their community for notable achievements
in research, teaching or service.

This year''s lecture will ta

ke place on Monday, November 9, 2009 from 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. in the Avaya A

uditorium, ACES 2.302. Private reception by invitation only following the


James C. Browne


uot;Looking Forward by Looking Back"

Talk Abstract:
This talk will consider possible futures for
computer science based on examining the fifty years I have been a particip

ant the use of computers and their role in science, engineering, industry
and social and cultural life. The perspective will be Computer Science at

UT-Austin. The questions to be considered include: How will the discipline

of computer science evolve, particularly at UT-Austin? How will computer s

cience interact with the scientific, business and cultural worlds? The ans

wers to be suggested include unresolved issues which the audience will be a

sked to consider.

Alan Kaylor Cline

"Socrates, Moore, and Computer Science Education&quot


Talk Abstract:
The Socrati

c Method, the R. L. Moore Method, and Discovery Learning are three forms

of instruction that endeavor to produce deep understanding through a maximu

m of student participation. The Moore method in which students develop theo

ry based on a small set of axioms and carefully constructed problems has ga

ined world-wide acceptance from its practice on our campus. My own exposure
to the method was a functional analysis course taught by Paul Halmos. Halm

os later said “The Moore method is, I am convinced the right way to
teach anything and everything.”

I will begin by describ

ing how – in both positive and negative respects –Halmos&rsqu

o;s course was life-changing for me. Then I’All present my thoughts
on the Halmos claim: in particular is the Moore method the appropriate app

roach for computer science instruction.

Jayadev Misra <


"Should We Teach Formal Methods at Al


Talk Abstract:
I h

ave devoted most of my career to research on applications of formal methods
in Computer Science. Yet, it is not clear to me how much (or, even, whe

ther) to teach formal methods, particularly to undergraduates. How much of
their routine activities, including programming, depends on formal metho

ds? Would it be simpler to replace formal reasoning by appeal to intuition

and well-chosen examples, a path almost universally taken at other schools

? UT has a proud tradition of research in formal methods. Can we leverage t

hat in teaching? Then would we blaze a new path, or just have disgruntled


I will draw upon my experience with undergraduates, f

ormal methods and "computational thinking" to illustrate the pr

oblems, pit falls and the opportunities.�