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Past events

Lynn Conway - Honorary Doctor of Engineering

Honorary Doctor of Engineering

Lynn Conway (honorary doctor of engineering, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m.) is a computer scientist and engineer who helped to pioneer modern information technology and is a leading advocate for transgender rights.

Conway did foundational research in computer architecture at IBM in the 1960s. The company fired her in 1968 as she underwent gender transition and she had to rebuild her career in “stealth” in a new name and identity.

A decade later she was teaching at MIT, co-authoring with Carver Mead the foundational engineering textbook, Introduction to VLSI Systems, innovating an Internet e-commerce system for rapid silicon-chip prototyping that led to today’s industrial models for microelectronics design and production, and receiving many high honors for that work.

Conway came out upon retirement in 1999 as emerita professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan. A tireless voice for trans people, she was included in Time magazine’s 2014 list of 25 transgender people who have influenced American culture.

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FREE Public Events 


Wednesday, Nov. 9th, 2016

10:00am 

Convocation Ceremony

Watch Video Download Convocation Speech

2:30-4:00pm

Coffee & Conversation with Lynn Conway

7:30-9:00pm 

Public Talk: "Our Travels Through Techno-Social Space-Time: Envisioning Incoming Waves of Technological Innovation"

Presented in partnership with the Faculty of Engineering and the Chair in Transgender Studies.

How can we visualize our life-journeys through an ever-more rapidly-changing techno-social landscape? How did the processes of social-change begin speeding-up in the first place? Where are we headed as we enter the looming techno-social age? These questions are on ever-more minds all around the world. For some insights we reflect on, and then follow, these words of wisdom from Winston Churchill:“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” 

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Thursday, Nov. 10th, 2016

7:00-8:30pm 

Public Talk: "An Invisible Woman: The Inside Story Behind the Microelectronic Computing Revolution in Silicon Valley"

Presented in partnership with the Chair in Transgender Studies, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

In 2015 Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, raised profound questions about women’s contributions in science, engineering and math being erased from history. In this talk we explore a case study of such erasure, and surface a very counter-intuitive conjecture about the underlying causes and effects. 

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Lynn Conway Biosketch

"The Many Shades of Out" - Lynn Conway (2016)

"Our Travels Through Time: Envisioning Historical Waves of Technological Innovation" - Lynn Conway (2015)

"A Place to be Wild" - VIDEO (2014)


"Thank Lynn Conway for your cell phone" - Nicole Casal Moore (2014)