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Dartmouth has been an early and an enduring world leader in the scientific fields of computation. As early as the 1940s, Dartmouth faculty and students conceived and shaped the way computer hardware and software was designed, and pioneered the broad uses of computation across the arts and sciences.

The field of Artificial Intelligence, still thriving today, was created by Dartmouth mathematician John McCarthy, at a national conference held at Dartmouth in 1956. John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz invented the seminal computer language BASIC, as well as the first (and eventually the largest) time-sharing system, all at Dartmouth in the 1960s. One of the earliest fully wired campus network systems was installed here in the 1970s and 80s, and then, one of the earliest completely wireless campus networks in the 2000s.

Dartmouth now stands on the threshold of an new era of computation, enabling interdisciplinary research that is transforming the arts and sciences, and launching wholly new fields of inquiry that only a few years ago were barely contemplated.

Increasingly, the study of any topic involves computation. The digital arts depend on the understanding and use of computational methods. Economics employs advanced simulations to analyze moment-by-moment trends and changes in markets. Biologists depend crucially on complex computational analyses—not just computers—in their reconstruction of how genetic systems operate, how brain circuits process sensory inputs, how proteins fold, how chemical reactions cascade through an organism.

 

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Hany Farid

Last Updated: 10/15/13