The 58 million-square-mile classroom
"Put a Buffalo in your computer!" Thatıs the slogan of an initiative by the School of Information
and Library Studies that is offering two graduate courses over the Internet this semester.
The courses, open to students worldwide, are LIS 580 Intellectual Freedom and LIS 584 Academic Research
Libraries, both taught by John Ellison, associate professor.
"There's a lot of distance-learning activity in the nation's library schools, but virtually all of it
involves the video transmission of class sessions," explains George Bobinski, dean of the UB
school. "They usually require students to spend some time on campus as well. Our courses do not require
UB Distinguished Professor of English, in a presentation on personal narrative in the Sunrise Speakers
Series, September 12
"Ordinary life is disorderly, cluttered and full of things that don't seem to make a great deal of
sense. It's in our stories that things make sense. Stories are how we know things and how we remember
them. History is a story about the past that filters the endless details of reality through an idea.
The idea lets us toss some things out and bring other things into sharper focus."
Talk about distance learning!
The university was the site of one-half of the world's first cyber-experiment in which robots on
different continents communicated over the Internet. The other half took place around the world at
the University of Reading, England.
The November 15 experiment was judged a success, as two members of a troupe of three-wheeled,
six-by-six-inch robots resembling a child's remote-control toy auto and dubbed by their creators as
the "Seven Dwarfs"-"Happy" at UB and "Bashful" in England-took turns teaching each other a lesson about
The experiment was sponsored by the UB Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which provided
the computing platform, and a group led by Kevin Warwick, professor in the Department of Cybernetics at
the University of Reading, which created the two robots and the artificial-intelligence programs.
"The object of the demonstration was to show that robots can exhibit some intelligence," said Mohammed
Safiuddin, UB advanced technology applications professor. Robots that can perform tasks intelligently in
industrial settings worldwide are needed in today's global economy, he added.