Distributed August 22, 2002
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Kristen Cole

Opening Convocation

Computer science pioneer Andries van Dam to deliver address Sept. 3

Andries van Dam, co-founder of Brown’s Department of Computer Science, will deliver the Opening Convocation address Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002, at 11 a.m. on The College Green. President Ruth J. Simmons will declare the 239th academic year officially open.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Computer Science Professor Andries van Dam will address the undergraduate Class of 2006 and entering graduate and medical students during Opening Convocation Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002, on The College Green. Van Dam, who co-founded Brown’s Department of Computer Science in 1978, will deliver an address that alludes to a Yogi Berra line, “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be.” He will speak about the future of information technology, its implications and impact on society.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with a procession of faculty, administrators and students through the Van Wickle Gates. University President Ruth J. Simmons will declare the 239th academic year officially open and welcome the 1,467 first-year students and 489 newly arrived graduate and medical students.

Van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson Jr., University Professor of Technology and Education and professor of computer science. He has been at Brown since 1965 and served as the first chairman of the Department of Computer Science. His primary research interests are in computer graphics, computer-based education and hypertext and electronic books. Van Dam co-authored the standard reference work in computer graphics, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, and serves on the technical advisory board of Microsoft Research and several startup companies.

In the event of rain, Opening Convocation will be held in the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center.

The Class of 2006

  • Brown welcomes 1,467 members of the Class of 2006, selected from a pool of 14,612 applicants.
  • Women account for 56 percent of the incoming class, 825 women to 642 men.
  • The class includes 176 high school valedictorians and 78 salutatorians.
  • Forty-eight states and 37 countries are represented in the Class of 2006.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the entering freshmen are minority students. Fourteen percent are Asian American, 7 percent are African American, 7 percent are Latino, and 1 percent are Native American. Additionally, 6 percent are foreign citizens. Twelve percent did not identify an ethnic origin.
  • Thirty-six percent of the incoming undergraduates intend to study science and math, 27 percent humanities, 19 percent social sciences, and 8 percent engineering. Ten percent have not yet chosen an area of study.