[Currents headergraphic]

May 19, 1997


Computer scientist Robert Levinson's thoughts on IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer, which conquered world chess champion Garry Kasparov last week, appeared on Wired magazine's World Wide Web site. In the article, titled "Deep Blue still has some learning to do," Levinson commented that while the machine is impressive, it's a far cry from the "artificial intelligence" systems envisioned by researchers. To view the article, go to http://www.wired.com/news, then search for "Deep Blue" in the "Find in News" box. Philosopher David Chalmers also was tapped for his take on Deep Blue's victory by the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. And in his downtime, Chalmers sat for a two-part interview by PBS for a recent broadcast of its show Thinking Allowed. Finally, Chalmers was interviewed by the New York Times, which featured him as a leading figure in the study of consciousness. To view the article, go to http://ling.ucsc.edu/~chalmers/misc/nytimes2.html.

A banner front-page headline in the Sunday Santa Cruz County Sentinel profiled Pat Mantey, chairman of the Computer Engineering Department, and his role as "architect" of UCSC's new School of Engineering. Numerous colleagues from on and off campus credited Mantey, who is dean designate of the new school, with keeping alive the dream of new engineering programs through difficult budgetary times. Among those interviewed were Executive Vice Chancellor Michael Tanner, chairman of computer science Charlie McDowell, computer scientist Darrell Long, and several elected officials and industry leaders from San Jose and Santa Cruz.

Athletic director Mark Majeski and tennis coach Bob Hansen were quoted in a San Jose Mercury News article about the success of the low-profile Slug sports program and, in particular, the top-rated tennis team. Hansen's team made its eighth appearance in nine years at the NCAA Division III finals, held this past weekend in Virginia. Majeski noted that Chancellor Greenwood, unlike some of her predecessors, supports UCSC sports and has been seen on the bleachers at tennis matches and swim meets. The article also included comments from founding chancellor Dean McHenry, who downplayed sports during his tenure but now thinks "there is plenty of room and demand for small-scale athletics on campus."

Hist con's Donna Haraway was profiled recently in the Santa Cruz County Sentinel concerning the release of her new book, ModestWitness@SecondMillenium.FemaleManMeetsOncoMouse. The Sentinel reporter noted that "a conversation with Haraway is an experience you don't soon forget."

Linguist Geoffrey Pullum was once again featured in Nature magazine, this time for a book review on a biography of theoretical linguist Noam Chomsky. "If Chomsky never writes an autobiography, and this amateurish cut-and-paste hack job is his biography, then the life of the most lionized intellectual of the twentieth century and the most famous linguist in history will remain largely terra incognita." Sounds like it might be worth waiting for the paperback version.

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