Lillian (Boots) Cassel, Professor, Computing Sciences
Villanova University

No Discipline is an Island: Where Computing and Other Disciplines Meet

Thursday, December 1, 4:00 PM


Reception Prior to talk at 3:30 PM in Packard Lobby

Abstract: What do physics and music and biology have in common? What role does computer science play in each of these fields? How does psychology inform computer science and support development of effective user environments? How do social networks draw on mathematics and sociology? Interdisciplinarity characterizes the ways that various distinct disciplines interrelate and evolve into new areas of research and application. This talk will survey some of the areas where computing and other disciplines are joining forces to solve new problems – and to pose others. These reflections emerge from a series of workshops on the promises and challenges of Interdisciplinary Computing, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Participants from areas as distinct as music and astronomy and journalism described ways in which computer science, not just computing tools, are essential to their disciplines. Although there is a tendency to focus on the contributions of the computing disciplines in other fields, the talk will describe ways in which other disciplines offer critical perspectives to computing.

Bio: Lillian (Boots) Cassel is professor of computing sciences at Villanova University. She is lead principal evaluator on the NSDL Ensemble Project 
( and on the CPATH Distributed Expertise project; she co-leads the NSF project on Interdisciplinary Computing. She has served as chair of ACM SIGCSE and of the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission, has been a program officer in NSF DUE, and is currently a member of the ACM Education Board. Her particular interests include computing education, digital libraries, information on the Web, and interdisciplinary computing. She has worked for several years to construct an ontology of all of computing.

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