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Release: Immediate

"Millennium Bug" and bridges are subjects of April 16 symposium

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The so-called "Millennium Bug" -- a glitch that threatens to disrupt computers worldwide at the start of the year 2000 -- will be the subject of a panel discussion at the 1998 Paul D. Scholz Symposium on Technology and its Role in Society to be held from 2:30 until 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 16 in the Triangle Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The symposium will open with a "Dean Paul D. Scholz Dedication" given by Robert Hering, UI professor of mechanical engineering, followed by talks and a panel discussion by Kent Statler, director, Rockwell Coralville Operations, and Sue Nickels, contingency planning coordinator, UI Office of Information Technology Services, and moderated by Jon Kuhl, UI professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering, chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering, and professor of history at Duke University will speak on the topic, "Bridges to Understanding the Evolution of Technology." The talk will use illustrations to focus on the evolution of bridges in the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century, a period when many bridges -- including the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 -- were designed and built.

Petroski, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is the author of eight books, more than 70 refereed journal articles on mechanics and design, and about 70 essays on engineering and culture. He has held Guggenheim and National Humanities Center Fellowships. His other honors include: the Ralph Coats Roe Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991; the Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1993; an honorary doctor of science degree, Clarkson University, 1990; an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Trinity College, 1997; and distinguished engineering alumnus awards from both Manhattan College, 1992, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1994.

The 1998 symposium is the 28th annual technology symposium. The event was renamed in 1993 in honor of Paul D. Scholz, who received numerous awards for his teaching and served as advisor to Tau Beta Pi for 20 years and as associate dean of engineering from 1979 until his death in 1992.

The symposium, free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the University of Iowa chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Caterpillar Lecture Series, the UI Student Government Association, and the UI College of Engineering. For more information or to request special accommodations, contact Tau Beta Pi at (319) 358-6752.