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Van Zelst Lecture on Cyberinfrastructure

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April 25, 2006

Noshir S. Contractor will talk about the effect of cyberinfrastructure -- the ability to seamlessly connect individuals with one another as well as with relevant datasets, documents, visual-analytic took and other computing resources -- on today's communities at the 23rd annual Van Zelst Lecture in Communication.

The free, public event sponsored by the School of Communication will take place at 4 p.m. May 1 in the Tribune Auditorium of the James L. Allen Center. RSVP is required to ana-davis@northwestern.edu.

The lecture titled “From Disasters to WOW: Enabling Communities with Cyberinfrastructure” will cover the major socio-technical advances and challenges for the development and growth of digital technologies in communities. He will use examples from his research on communities involved in disaster response, environmental engineering, public health, economic resilience, educational diversity and gaming (WOW is the World of Watercraft).

Contractor, a professor in the department of speech communication, department of psychology and the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, conducts research on the interaction between communication, technology and social forces. His book “Theories of Communication Networks,” co-authored with Professor Peter Monge, received the Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

He has studied the applications of systems theory to communication, the role of emergent communication and knowledge networks in organizations, and collaboration technologies in the work place.

This lecture series began in 1981 when Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Van Zelst established an endowment to provide for an annual lecture designed to increase the understanding of significant trends in the field of communication.