Atsushi Akera, was a visiting scholar with CSTMS and a historian of technology and associate professor from Rensselaer. He has published in the area of the history of scientific computing (Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers, and Computers during the Rise of US Cold War Research [MIT Press, 2006]) and is currently working on a book project (with co-author Bruce Seely) on the history of engineering education reform. One of the chapters of that text will be looking at the engineering origins of the 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education, hence a local interest in spending some time here at Cal. (Think engineering “manpower”(sic) crisis of the pre/post-Sputnik era.) This project also bring up various issues related to engineering professional/disciplinary identity; in one of the other chapters he hopes to look at the question of engineering and liberal education and bring that story up to the present. He hopes to also participate in some of the Center for Studies in Higher Education events while here.
He has also travel in STS/4S circles. He recently organized an NSF funded workshop on the 2011 East Japan Disaster, which took place here at Berkeley last May. While he's more in a supporting role with regards to STS and disaster studies, he work closely with may STSers and historians of technology/science who are looking quite actively into the social dimensions of disaster and would be happy to talk to anyone about this as well. He was also very active in a group called Engineering Studies that was brought together mainly by Gary Downey, the current 4S President.
last updated: May 16th, 2014