The International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Jay L. Gordon
Rom Harré
David Hathaway
Vistasp M. Karbhari
Wilson Luquire
Jeffrey Sands
Bobbi Jo Rissmann

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Jay L. Gordon

Jay L. Gordon has worked in the English department at Youngstown State University in Ohio for 10 years. Currently he is the director of the Professional Writing and Editing program, as well as co-Director of the Composition program. He received his PhD in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and is interested in the interconnections between rhetoric and technology, as well as theory/practice problems. He has published papers on the discourse surrounding punched cards and microfilm, as well as on the relationship between the classical Greek idea of techne and the teaching and practice of technical writing.

Currently Dr. Gordon is interested in the utopian and dystopian talk surrounding encyclopedic projects from Diderot’s Encyclopédie to Wikipedia. At YSU, he is active in curriculum development and is currently on a task force examining the use of electronic portfolios in all General Education classes.

Rom Harré

Rom Harré was for many years the University Lecturer in Philosophy of Science at Oxford and Fellow of Linacre College. Currently he is Distinguished Research Professor in the Psychology Department of Georgetown University in Washington DC, teaching there in the Spring Semester. He combines this with the post of Director of the Centre for Philosophy of the Natural and Social sciences at the London School of Economics. He began his career in mathematics and physics, turning later to the foundations of psychology. His research has been directed to the use of models and other kinds of non-formal reasoning in the sciences, as well as a long series of studies on the role of causal powers and agency concepts in both natural and human sciences. He has been a pioneer in the development of advanced methods of research in social psychology. His publications include among others Causal Powers (with E. H. Madden); Varieties of Realism; Modelling: Gateway to the Unknown; The Explanation of Social Behaviour (with P. F., Secord).

David Hathaway

Dr. David Hathaway is the Heliophysics Team Lead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He joined NASA in 1984 to become a Solar Scientist at Marshall Space Flight Center where he initiated new programs for simulating and predicting the 11-year solar activity cycle.

He was a fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder from 1979 to 1981 where he developed computer programs to calculate and visualize three-dimensional and time-dependent fluid flows in the convection zones of stars and planets. He was an Assistant Astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico from 1981 to 1984, and during that time, continued work on these programs and began the development of a system for extracting information on fluid flow components from observations of the surface of the Sun.

Dr. Hathaway received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado in 1979. His thesis work was on the fluid dynamics of Jupiter’s interior. During the last 30 years he has done extensive research – observational, theoretical, and experimental – on the dynamics of the Sun’s convection zone and the origin of the sunspot cycle. While he is well known for his sunspot cycle studies and predictions he is also recognized as the inventor of VISAR – an image stabilization and registration tool (often used to clarify images from video in criminal cases) which was NASA’s Invention of the Year for 2002.

The recipient of numerous awards and commendations, Dr. Hathaway has authored over 100 articles on topics in his field.

Vistasp M. Karbhari

Prof. Vistasp M. Karbhari serves as the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Prior to joining UAHuntsville he served on the faculty of the Department of Structural Engineering and the Materials Science & Engineering Program at the University of California in San Diego. Prof. Karbhari has published widely in the areas of composite materials, manufacturing science, durability, infrastructure renewal, multi-threat mitigation, fracture and crash-energy management, and sustainability. He has published widely in archival journals and conference proceedings and currently serves as the American Editor for the International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, and is on the editorial board of Composite Structures and the ASTM Journal for Testing and Evaluation.

Wilson Luquire

Wilson Luquire, CIO and Dean of the Library at UAHuntsville, holds Masters and Doctoral Degrees from Indiana University in Music, Library Science, and Information Science and Management. He has been at UAHuntsville since 1992, having previously been Dean/Chief Librarian at the City College of New York and at several other Universities. He has published dozens of articles and has been Editor of publications in addition to being involved in numerous Cultural/Civic Boards in Huntsville including the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and the Huntsville Chamber Music Guild. He also serves on the Board of the Alabama Super Computer Authority. Luquire has continued to be involved in and responsible for a number of new programs in both the technological and cultural arenas.

Jeffrey Sands

Jeffrey Sands became Vice President for University Advancement at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in March 2008. He is responsible for alumni relations, major gifts, annual giving, corporate relations, and marketing for one of the premiere science and technology universities in the southeastern United States. He interacts on an intensive basis with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S Army’s Redstone Arsenal, and more than 100 high-tech companies in the Cummings Research Park (the second largest technology research park in the country).

Prior to joining UAHuntsville, Jeff spent twenty-five years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he held a succession of positions related to marketing, external relations, and advancement. From 1998 until 2008 he served as Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, one of the largest engineering programs in the world and historically ranked in the top five nationwide.

Jeff has deep experience in connecting the educational, research, public service, and economic development missions of a major university with its external constituencies. He holds a B.S. in Botany from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Theatre History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Engineering Development Forum since 2000, and served a term as Chair.

Bobbi Jo Rissmann

Bobbi Jo Rissmann has been with University of Alabama in Huntsville as the Instructional Technology Administrator and Director of Academic Computing since May 2007. Prior to joining UAHuntsville, Ms. Rissmann served as the Instructional Technology Specialist for the South Dakota Center for Statewide E-Learning at Northern State University and then as the Director of Technology for Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She holds a Masters degree in E-Learning Technology and Administration and is a Doctoral Candidate for a PhD in Information Technology Management.

Ms. Rissmann has considerable experience working with distance education, educational technology, and information technology in higher education. She has been featured by CDWG for her implementation of a wireless campus initiative and by Campus Technology for UAHuntsville’s recent migration to a new course management system.