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"Three Presentations: Digital Privacy; The New Inequality; A History of the Pixel"

September 29, 2021 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Three presentations:- Cindy Cohn (Executive Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation) on "Imagining A Future with Real Digital Privacy"- Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (University of Southern California's Price School of Public Policy) on "Inconspicuous Consumption and Cultural Capital: the New Inequality"- Alvy Ray Smith  (Co-founder of Pixar, live from Montreal) on "A Biography of the Pixel"

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Cindy Cohn is the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. From 2000-2015 she served as EFF's Legal Director as well as its General Counsel. In 1993, EFF she served lead attorney in Bernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful First Amendment challenge to the U.S. export restrictions on cryptography. Among other honors, Ms. Cohn was named to TheNonProfitTimes 2020 Power & Influence TOP 50 list, and in 2018, Forbes included Ms. Cohn as one of America's Top 50 Women in Tech. In 2013, The National Law Journal named Ms. Cohn one of 100 most influential lawyers in America, noting: "If Big Brother is watching, he better look out for Cindy Cohn." 

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett is the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and professor of public policy at the University of Southern California's Price School of Public Policy. She teaches courses in economic development, the arts, and urban policy and urban planning. Her research focuses on the arts and culture, the American consumer economy and the role of cultural capital in geographic and class divides. She is the author of "The Warhol Economy" (2007); "Starstruck" (2010) and "The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class" (2017), which was named one of the best books of the year by The Economist. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Expert Network and Industry Strategy Officers and has been a member of the WEF Global Future Councils. Currid-Halkett's work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Salon, the Economist, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others.

Alvy Ray Smith is a cofounder of Pixar and a pioneer of computer graphics. He was present at Xerox PARC for the invention of the personal computer, then at the New York Institute of Technology where the vision of the first digital movie was conceived, then Lucasfilm, where he was its first director of computer graphics. His second startup company Altamira was sold to Microsoft, where he was the first Graphics Fellow. He has received two technical Academy Awards for his contribution to digital movie-making technology. He created and directed the Genesis Demo in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", the first use of full computer graphics in a successful major motion picture. He has published dozens of articles on cellular automata, computer graphics, scholarly genealogy, and computer history, and created numerous artworks. He has a PhD from Stanford in computer science. His book "A Biography of the Pixel" was published by MIT Press in 2021.

The LASERs (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous), chaired by cultural historian Piero Scaruffi, are an international program of evening gatherings that bring together artists, scientists, inventors and scholars in a variety of disciplines for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.

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School of Humanities and Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Continuing Studies, Office of the Dean, School of Medicine
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