Highlights of Cyberfest '97 salute to '2001'

By Julie Wurth
News-Gazette Staff Writer

     Here's a listing of events to be held March 10-15 in Champaign-Urbana as part of Cyberfest '97:

     * Opening ceremonies, 4 p.m. Monday, March 10, at Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., U. Free.
     Larry Smarr, director of the UI's National Center for Supercomputing Applications will discuss 'Why HAL was Born in Urbana.' A trailer from the original film will be shown, and the rumor is HAL will make an appearance.
     * The Making of '2001: A Space Odyssey,' 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at Foellinger Auditorium, with Piers Bizony, author of '2001: Filming the Future,' and Harry Lange, designer of the spaceships used in the film. Free.
     Expect to hear behind-the-scenes anecdotes and little-known facts about the movie, as well as a half-hour documentary about life on the movie's set. Bizony will discuss the film's major themes, from the origins of intelligence to the effects of technology on society and even the question of God.
     * '2001: A Space Odyssey' screening and discussion, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13, Virginia Theater, 203 W. Park St., C. General admission tickets are $12. Call theater ticket office, 356-9063.
     Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert will host a showing of the film in its original 70-mm stereo format. Afterward, Ebert will moderate a discussion, joined by actor Gary Lockwood, who played astronaut Frank Poole.
     * Cyberfest Gala, 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, Festival Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Tickets are $18 and $12 ($15 and $9 for students). Call Krannert ticket office, 333-6280.
     Also hosted by Ebert, the gala will pay tribute to computers, '2001' and those involved in the making of the film. Highlights include a live video interview with '2001' author Arthur C. Clarke from Sri Lanka; a taped interview with actor and '2001' buff Tom Hanks; and a 'virtual time-space performance,' integrating images and sounds from '2001' with computer computer-generated art and music.
     * HAL birthday bash, following the Cybergala in the Krannert lobby. Free. Have a slice of birthday cake and make a toast to HAL.

     * The Cyberfest Forum, 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, 1320 Digital Computer Lab, 1304 W. Springfield Ave., U. Free.
     Scientists will discuss the computational and philosophical issues raised by '2001.' Guests include Murray Campbell and Joe Hoane, researchers working on IBM's Deep Blue chess computer; Dave Waltz, senior researcher in artificial intelligence and massively parallel computation networks and director of computer research at NEC Laboratory; and Tom Mitchell, a researcher in machine learning and artificial intelligence at Carnegie-Mellon University.
     * HAL's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality, a presentation by 'HAL's Legacy' editor David Stork, 4 p.m. Thursday, March 14, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews Ave., U. Free.
     Stork will discuss whether artificial intelligence research has kept pace with HAL in areas such as computer vision, computer lip-reading, speech recognition, reasoning, chess, reliability, computer emotion and interface design. Stork is the chief scientist at the Ricoh California Research Center, and a consulting associate professor of electrical engineering and visiting scholar of psychology at Stanford University.

     * Composers and Computers: An On-Going Collaboration, 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Tickets are $5 ($4 for senior citizens and $2 for students). Call Krannert ticket office, 333-6280.
     Created and performed by students and faculty from the UI's School of Music, the concert will blend live performances with electronics, offering a look back at the early days of electro-acoustic music as well as a display of current trends in that genre.
     * CyberCinema science fiction film festival, afternoons daily from Monday, March 10, through Friday, March 14, Room 59A English Building, 608 S. Wright St., U. Free.
     Enthusiasts can view a series of films devoted to the history of computers and artificial intelligence. Selections include 'Giant Brains,' 'HAL's Pals,' 'War Games,' 'The Thinking Machine,' 'Forbidden Planet,' '2001,' '2010,' 'Blade Runner' and 'Terminator.' Seating is limited to 40.
     * The Cybershowcase: A Futuristic Technology Fair, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 13-14. Free.
     Stroll through high-tech and computer exhibits from more than 40 companies - including Apple, Dell, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft and Oracle - as well as from UI faculty and staff members. Several companies will offer educational seminars. The fair also will feature exhibits on the living room, office and classroom of the future.
     The corporate fair will be at the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., U, and the faculty-staff exhibits will be at the Grainger Engineering Library, 1301 W. Springfield Ave., U.
          * CCNET Internet Fair, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 9, Parkland College. Free.
     The Champaign County Network fair will provide information on how to access the Internet and what to do once you're there. Seminars and workshops will demonstrate uses of the Internet for small businesses, farmers and individuals of any age. A special booth this year will be dedicated to information for senior citizens. Vendors include Simplified Computers, AdvanceNet, Prairienet, Sol Tec, Midwest Communications group, ReTouch of Class, United CD ROM and Planet Digital Technologies, Busey Bank and The News-Gazette.
     The fair is co-sponsored by Parkland and The News-Gazette.

     * Opening the Pod Bay Doors: Critique, Control and Computers, Thursday, March 13, Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., U. Free.
     This day-long conference takes a critical look at computers in contemporary society. The three sessions are 'Information, Globalization and Cyborg Politics,' starting at 8:30 a.m.; 'Vamps in Space and Other Science Fiction Odysseys,' starting at 10:45 a.m.; and 'Machines on the Brink of a Nervous System: Identity, Affect, Intelligence,' starting at 2 p.m.
     Participants include Constance Penley, a professor of film studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has written essays on feminism, film and cultural studies, and Mark Dery, a cultural critic who wrote 'Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century.'
     * Disembodied Creativity: The Social and Aesthetic Implications of Intelligent Machines, Friday, March 14, Levis Faculty Center. Free.
     This day-long conference will feature prominent scholars such as Bruno Latour, the leading French sociologist of science, and N. Katherine Hayles, an English professor at UCLA and author of several books about the social and artistic implications of artificial intelligence.
     For a complete list of events, visit the Cyberfest web site at www.cyberfest.uiuc.edu/main.html
     Selected events will be broadcast over the Internet by 'The Web,' WEBX-FM 93.5 in Champaign. For a schedule, visit the station's home page at www.webxfm.com.

See also: The official online Cyberfest schedule

This article has been electronically republished with permission from The News-Gazette.
©1997 The News-Gazette