Professor Arms will analyze how America can develop high-quality degree programs using technology. He’ll also look at the social and organizational barriers that are encountered. At its best, American higher education is superb, but the price is high and full time residential education does not suit everybody. Does modern technology enable us to do better? This question was raised 40 years ago with the first attempts at distance education via television. While there have been isolated successes, hyperbole has run ahead of achievement.

Arms is professor emeritus of computing and information science at Cornell and holds degrees from Balliol College, Oxford University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Sussex. Throughout his career he has been a leader in implementing innovative computing in higher education, including educational computing, computer networks, and digital libraries. Before coming to Cornell, he was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, vice president at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was in charge of both computing and libraries, and vice provost for computing at Dartmouth College. Prior to this he was a faculty member at the British Open University, the pioneer of distance education.

He has been influential in shaping the National Science Foundation’s digital library programs, including the Digital Libraries Initiative and the National Science Digital Library. His recent research has centered on the Cornell Web Lab, a large-scale project to analyze historic collections from the web.

This Visiting Scholar Lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Alpha Chapter of South Dakota Phi Beta Kappa, and the Department of Computer Science. The lecture is free and open to the public. The Phi Beta Kappa Society Visiting Scholar Program offers undergraduates the opportunity to associate with some of America’s most distinguished scholars and contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by exchanging ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.

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