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Syracuse iSchool Star Trek course featured on ABC news

ABC News featured a full-length post on Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Assistant Professor of Practice Anthony Rotolo’s new class “Star Trek in the Information Age” on its blog Campus Chatter.

The blog post, “Tweeters meet Trekkies,” details the development of the course, from the original idea surfacing during a Tweet Chat in August to the fruition of the course content that includes envisioning Starfleet-esque systems using today’s technology.

“A lot of the people who invent emerging technology, who invent the future, had a vision of the future from Star Trek,” Rotolo was quoted as saying. “So whether it’s people who create the iPad at Apple -- where in Star Trek there’s been a device just like it in all those series called the Pad -- whether or not that was invented because of Star Trek or just inspiration or whether it was predicted is really a question that’s difficult to answer, but the inspiration is definitely there.”

The article mentions that Syracuse University is not the first university to offer a Star Trek-based class. Georgetown University offered “Philosophy and Star Trek” while Indiana University in Bloomington offers “Star Trek and Religion.”

“I think that’s really an important part of education, you know,” said Sean Herron ’11, a senior in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, “finding areas where you have interest, but also are enjoyable to you as a person. And so I think this class would kind of fulfill both of those.”

“Star Trek in the Information Age” will be offered as IST 300 to all Syracuse University undergraduates from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rotolo holds a B.S. in Information Management and Technology and a M.S. in Information Management, both from the Syracuse University iSchool. In May 2009, he received the iSchool Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award, and in December, he received the Web-based Information Science Education Consortium’s 2009 Excellence in Online Education Award.

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