Contact Us

Department of Computer Science
Bryn Mawr College
348 Park Science Building
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899

Phone: 610-526-5358
Fax: 610-526-7469
Department Chair:
     Dianna Xu
Technical Secretary:
     Ann Klingensmith

AALAC/Mellon 23 Working Group on Information

Fall 2012 Meeting
AALAC/Mellon 23 Working Group on Information
Co-Sponsored by the Center for Science of Information

October 26-27, 2012
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Maps & Directions
Parking: Between Buildings 38 & 40 on Campus Map

Keynote speaker: Prof. Sanjeev Kulkarni, Princeton University & Center for Science of Information, Title: Science of Information Meets the Liberal Arts

Workshop Leaders
Deepak Kumar, Computer Science – Bryn Mawr College (Project Leader)
Duane Bailey, Computer Science – Williams College
Tzu-Yi Chen, Computer Science – Pomona College
Panagiotis T. Metaxas, Computer Science – Wellesley College
Richard Wicentowski, Computer Science – Swarthmore Collage


All Sessions will be held in Room 300, Dalton Hall (Building 28 on Campus Map)

Friday, October 26, 2012
11:30a-Noon: Arrivals and Registration at Wyndham Hall (Building 31 on Campus Map)
Noon-1:30 Lunch at Wyndham

1:30p-3:00p: Session I: What is Information? (Leader: Deepak Kumar)

3:00p-3:15p Break

3:15p-4:15p: Session II: Perspectives on Information (Leader: Richard Wicentowski & Takis Metaxas))

4:30-5:30 Keynote:Science of Information Meets the Liberal Arts by Prof. Sanjeev Kulkarni, Princeton University

6:00p-8:30p: Reception & Dinner (at Glenmorgan Restaurant, Radnor Hotel)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

9:00a-11:45a: Session III: Curricular Excursions (Leader: Duane Bailey & Tzu-Yi)

11:45a-1:15p: Lunch
1:15p-4:00p: Session IV: Future Directions

4:00p: Departures


  1. Duane Bailey, Williams College
  2. Alan Baker,  Swarthmore College
  3. Anil Bamezai, Villanova University
  4. Douglas Blank, Bryn Mawr College
  5. Timothy Burke, Swarthmore College
  6. Lillian (Boots) Cassel,Villanova University
  7. Tzu-Yi Chen, Pomona College
  8. Eric Eaton, Bryn Mawr College
  9. Sorelle Friedler, Haverford COllege
  10. Karen Greif,  Bryn Mawr College
  11. David Kauchak,  Middlebury College
  12. Sanjeev Kulkarni, Princeton University
  13. Deepak Kumar, Bryn Mawr College
  14. David Liben-Nowell, Carleton College
  15. Steven Lindell, Haverford College
  16. Lisa Meeden, Swarthmore College
  17. Panagiotis T. Metaxas, Wellesley College
  18. Dave Reed, Creighton University
  19. Paul Ruvolo, Bryn Mawr College
  20. Joshua Shapiro, Bryn Mawr College
  21. Ameet Soni, Swarthmore College
  22. Doug Turnbull, Ithaca College
  23. Rich Wicentowski, Swarthmore College
  24. Dianna Xu, Bryn Mawr College
  25. Carol Zuegner, Creighton University

Background: Published in 1948, Claude Shannon’s foundations of information theory have paved the way for data storage, compression, encoding, and transmission for the Internet, CDs, DVDs, MP3 players, JPEGs, WiFi, iPODs, mobile phones, and a whole host of applications underlying today’s information technologies. Together with the advent of the transistor (also at Bell Labs around the same time) and its subsequent impact on the development of digital computers, the so called information age relies heavily on the principles of information theory. The past six decades have brought information theory to the crossroads of several traditional disciplines: mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, biology, neurobiology, electrical engineering, history, and philosophy. While classical information theory focused solely on the ideas of storing and transmission of information, scientists have come to recognize that information plays a more central role that can help advance our understanding of a diverse range of phenomena in several disciplines. In 2010 the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a 5-year Science and Technology Center (STC) to explore the emerging frontiers of the new Science of Information. This Center for Science of Information ( is centered at Purdue University and involves scientists, social scientists, and humanists from Bryn Mawr, Howard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Texas A&M, UC-Berkeley, and UC-San Diego. The mission of the center is to advance science and technology through a new quantitative understanding of the representation, communication, and processing of information in biological, physical, social, and engineered systems.

In the Fall of 2012, Bryn Mawr is offering a pilot undergraduate junior/senior-level course titled, Science of Information, that introduces this new and emerging field to students. Students from all disciplines will be invited to enroll. One of the outcomes expected from this workshop will be a sharing of the course materials and, more importantly, a reflection on the content, nature, and scope of this and other similar courses being offered by participants at their own institutions. For example, At Pomona College, Prof. Tzu-Yi Chen (Pomona) recently offered a freshman critical thinking seminar titled, From Information to Knowledge. Prof. Panagiotis Metaxas (Wellesley) has offered a course titled, The Socio-Techno Web. Others at AALAC have either taught courses in this vein or are interested in creating future offerings.

Outcomes: The 2-day workshop will bring together faculty from AALAC institutions to learn about the latest ongoing research at the CSoI, to share their perspectives, and to discuss ways in which a more sustainable cross-institutional Working Group could be created. While our workshop leaders are primarily from Computer Science we seek at least 50% participation from interested faculty in other disciplines. Among the outcomes from this workshop are: collaborative creation and sharing of course materials and resources for use in courses; and a longer term, sustainable Working Group of Information. This effort, as well as future meetings of the Working Group, will be supported additionally by the resources from CSoI of which Bryn Mawr is a member.

Resources: Click here for materials related to Information

Designated Workshop Liaison
Deepak Kumar
Professor of Computer Science
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Acknowledgements: This event is supported in part by funding from the Mellon Foundation, The National Science Foundation, The Center for Science of Information, Bryn Mawr College Department of Computer Science, and Bryn Mawr College Provost’s Office. We thank them for their support.