Assignment #1: Signing on to the Expedition

(Assigned 24 January, due 27 January)

"Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success."

Advertisement placed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antartic Explorer who lost not a single expedition member on two perilous journeys to reach the South Pole, in the London press, 1914.

"The personnel of an expedition of the character I proposed is a factor on which success depends to a very large extent. The men selected must be qualified for the work, and they must have the special qualifications required to meet polar conditions. They must be able to live together in harmony for a long period without outside communication, and it must be remembered that the men whose desires lead them to the untrodden paths of the world have generally marked individuality."

Sir Ernest Shackleton, about the Nimrod Expedition, 1908.

"So far as I remember, he asked me if my teeth were good, if I suffered from varicose veins, if I had a good temper and if I could sing. At this question I probably looked a bit taken aback, for I remember he said 'Oh, I don't mean any Caruso stuff; but I suppose you can shout a bit with the boys?' He then asked me if my circulation was good. I said it was except for one finger, which frequently went dead in cold weather. He asked me if I would seriously mind losing it. I said I would risk that ... After that he put out his hand and said 'Very well, I'll take you.'"

Cambridge University Physicist R. W. James, Expedition Scientist, recalling his interview with Sir Ernest Shackleton for the Endurance Expedition, 1914.

The Assignment

Your assignment is to prepare a three slide presentation that addresses the following questions. You will present these slides to the rest of the class on Thursday, 27 January. The idea is for all of us to get know each other and to have the experience of actively engaging with the rest of the class.

Slide #1: Who are you? Where do you come from? What special talents or experiences do you have that will make you particularly valuable for this expedition?

Slide #2: What is your personal vision of the information technology future of 2010? Give us a scenario for how information technology can improve life for all humankind.

Slide #3: Using your vision as a motivation, and the special expeditions skills you have described to us, tell us how you can contribute to making your vision a reality.

Last Updated: 22 January 2000, Randy H. Katz,