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Purdue University announces 2014 Presidential Lecture Series

West Lafayette, Ind. – Purdue University announced today (Jan. 15) the inception of the Presidential Lecture Series, a diverse new series of lectures on policy, leadership, culture and society.

Two lectures are scheduled for the spring semester, and the series may also add speakers at various points during the year.

“A community of scholars like ours cannot have too rich or varied a flow of interesting and illuminating visitors,” said President Mitch Daniels. “I hope this new series will augment the intellectual traffic already coming through campus in a way that enhances its breadth of content as well as its frequency and reach among our students and faculty.”

Spring semester lectures will feature author Harlan Coben on Feb. 5 and education and technology pioneer Anant Agarwal on March 26. All lectures will be free and open to the public.

Todd Wetzel, director of Purdue Convocations, which is assisting the Office of the President with the series, said, “This series provides us yet another opportunity to bring programming to the Purdue community that is both thought-provoking and inspiring. We are pleased to be able to host these outstanding talented speakers.”

All Lectures are free and open to the general public.


Coben_thumbnailHarlan Coben / February 5 / 6:30 PM / Fowler Hall (Postponed)
Coben will discuss “The Rules of Writing and When to Break Them” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. With his last six novels, including his most recent book, “Six Years,” debuting at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, and more than 50 million books in print in 42 languages, Harlan will share writing tips, inspiration, how-tos – and the insecurities that plague all writers. His new novel, “Missing You,” will be released on March 18.


Anant Agarwal / March 26 / 6:30 PM / Fowler Hall
Agarwal, founder and President of edX, a cutting-edge education innovation and research company that specializes in open-source education solutions, will present a lecture at 6:30 p.m. March 26 in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. Agarwal, an award-winning professor of engineering and computer science at MIT, taught his first course of edX on circuits and electronics, which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. As a serial entrepreneur, he has founded multiple companies, including Tilera Corp., and products such as the Raw multicore processor, the Sparcle multi-threaded microprocessor, and the Alewife parallel computer. His work on organic computing was selected by Scientific American as one of 10 World-Changing Ideas in 2011, and he was named in Forbes’ list of top 15 education innovators in 2012. Anant holds a doctorate from Stanford and a bachelor’s degree from IIT Madras.