Lou Zaera and Aaron Schorr interview, 1994 December 8

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Lou Zaera and Aaron Schorr interview, 1994 December 8


This is an interview with Lou Zaera and Aaron Schorr. Zaera is a professor in the economics department with a background in engineering. He discusses early work at FIT with word processors and the growth in demand for computer labs. At the time of this interview, Schorr was a professor in the manufacturing department and was the college’s first academic computer coordinator. Schorr talks about learning basic programming through keypunch cards. The two discuss their hopes to network the computers at FIT in the near future. In 1988 Schorr joined the Electronic Learning Facility, part of the Teaching Institute, which was a program built to instruct faculty on computer technologies. They talk about how money from the state allowed for the expansion of the computer labs at FIT and how they have been able to build programs for each discipline. Schorr details close-knit relationships with both technology and fashion, and how he uses those connections to better anticipate the future of their industries. They discuss various funding channels for the initiative including industry donations, private patrons, and public assistance. The two talk about what it’s like to negotiate with technology vendors and talk about diversifying the platforms and software to better educate their students. Zaera touches on how computer education has evolved since his time at Carnegie Mellon and the two delve into the student demographics. They note that students struggle more with math and language barriers than they have in the past. Finally the two discuss distance learning, conferences and the valuable industry seminars at FIT.


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