woman standing with plato computer

child with computer

50 Years of Public Computing

at the University of Illinois

50 Years of Public Computing at the University of Illinois

April 15 - 16, 2010
Alice Campbell Alumni Center
601 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana IL

For fifty years, the University of Illinois and the local community has been in the vanguard, developing actual or virtual digital tools for and with people in their everyday lives and in civil society.  We have created these ‘firsts’:


  • PLATO (1960), special guest Don Bitzer
  • Project Gutenberg (1971)
  • Urbana Free Library on the Internet (1984)
  • CCNet (1993)
  • Prairienet (1994)
  • U-C Independent Media Center (2000)
  • C-U Wireless Network (2001)
  • eToysIllinois (2004)
  • I-LLINI (2006)
  • Assess as You Go (2009)
  • Wolfram Alpha (2009), special guest Stephen Wolfram


On April 15th and 16th, join a discussion with founders, early users, and researchers.  How did these innovations happen?  Who led, and how?  How can U of I and local residents continue to innovate for the next 50 years?

Thanks to all who attended in person and via the webcast. For more information about the 50 Years event, contact lis-dev@illinois.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

Questions to lis-dev@illinois.edu.



Department of Computer Science
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement


Ubiquitous Learning Institute, College of Education


Illinois Informatics Institute

College of Media
Community Informatics Initiative
University Library
Center for Democracy in a Multiracial Society

University of Illinois Urban-Champaign