* Numenta Home Page
* Bagwell Lecture flyer

October 31, 2007

Creator of PalmPilot to speak at Purdue on intelligent computing

Jeff Hawkins
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Jeff Hawkins, the architect of the PalmPilot and founder of three technology companies, will speak at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 13, at the Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse.

Hawkins, author of the 2004 book "On Intelligence," will talk about his new theory on the brain and how it could lead to the building of intelligent machines. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Philip F. Bagwell Lecture Series organized by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-sponsored by 12 additional colleges, schools and departments and 11 student organizations.

Hawkins, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, founded the technology companies Palm Inc., Handspring Inc., and Numenta Inc., as well as the nonprofit Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience. His newest company, Numenta, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is building a computer architecture modeled on the brain’s neocortex. In 2003 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, a peer-elected group that advises the federal government on important engineering and technology topics and conducts independent studies.

Hawkins co-founded Numenta in 2005 in an effort to jump-start an industry based on his theory of the brain and technology. His research has focused on  neuroscience.

Hawkins, born in Huntington, N.Y., earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1979. Along with his work at Numenta, he continues to design products at Palm Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif. He also is a member of the scientific board of directors at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

The first Bagwell Lecture was held in 2004 in honor of Philip Bagwell, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who died of cancer in 2002. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1984 and master's and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 and 1990, respectively.

He joined the faculty of Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1991. His research interests included quantum mechanical electron transporters, electron transport in small devices, physics of semiconductors, and superconducting devices.

Along with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the lecture is co-sponsored by the College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, School of Mechanical Engineering, Krannert School of Management, Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Computer Science, Department of Psychological Sciences, Multicultural Science Programs, Women in Science Programs, Discovery Park and Purdue Research Park.

Sponsors also include the Purdue student chapter organizations of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, Computer Science Graduate Student Board, Computer Science Undergraduate Student Board, Computer Science Women’s Network, Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Student Association, Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honor society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Purdue Innovations, Purdue Mechanical Engineering Ambassadors, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

"I ask faculty to attend and also to encourage their students to listen to someone who is creating new chapters in the story of computer design and intelligent machines," said Mark J. T. Smith, head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Writer: Clyde Hughes, (765) 494-2073,

Source: Mark J. T. Smith, (765) 494-3540,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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