Donoho Colloquium: Hackers and Geniuses

Steven Levy is the editor in chief of Backchannel, the new hub for tech writing on Medium. 

The Spring 2015 Donoho Colloquium

  • 5:00 PM, Tuesday, May 5, 2015
  • Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall, Dartmouth

The great progress in the computer revolution has been from hackers--not the malfeasants that the term often connotes, but creative, driven, often idealistic people who have used the vast opportunities of a digital platform to built products and systems that have changed our lives.  The computer's properties have also been a training ground for a few of those rare people who qualify as geniuses.  In my interactions with those amazing people--Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Stephen Wolfram and others--I've been driven to ponder how and why such geniuses thrive in the digital age. 

Biographical note

Steven Levy is the editor in chief of Backchannel, the new hub for tech writing on Medium.   He is the former senior staff writer for Wired, the former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek and the author of seven books. The Washington Post describes him as “American’s premier technology journalist . . . a Silicon Valley insider who writes for the rest of us on the outside.”

His most recent book, In The Plex: How Google Thinks Works and Shapes Our Lives has been a New York Times bestseller and is heralded as the definitive word on the search giant.  It was chosen by Amazon as the Best Business Book of 2011.  His first book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, is the computer history classic which was named by the readers of PC Magazine as the best sci-tech book of 20 years; Levy recently updated it for a 25th anniversary edition.  A longtime expert on Apple, Levy has written the history of the Macintosh, Insanely Great;  and The Perfect Thing, about the iPod.  Both Apple books draw on his long reporting history with the late CEO Steve Jobs.  His book Crypto, winner of the Frankfurt e-Book Award, documented the revolution in public key cryptography and the "crypto wars" of the 1990's, which re-ignited recently with the Edward Snowden revelations.  Other books include Artificial Life, and The Unicorn’s Secret