Brown CS Blog

Humanities Magazine Features Brown's Revolutionary 1976 Use Of Hypertext In Education


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    A recent article in Humanities discusses a discovery featured in CS Blog last week: a recently rediscovered short film from forty years ago ("Hypertext: an Educational Experiment in English and Computer Science at Brown University") that documents an extraordinary early use of computing to enhance the learning experience of students taking a poetry course in 1976. 

    Professor Andy van Dam of the Department of Computer Science, writes Jennifer Howard, "had been exploring how to use computing power for all kinds of research, defying administrators who believed that expensive mainframe time should be reserved for the hard sciences. Humanists, one told him, should write their papers on typewriters and leave computing to physicists and engineers....Jump ahead 40 years and that 'process of learning' has become a standard approach in many humanities courses, where students, teaching assistants, and professors trade ideas and interpretations via group blogs and shared online annotations."

    The full article is available here.

    For more information, please click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.