NSF: The First 50 Years and the Next 50
National Science Foundation
2000 NSF Design and Manufacturing Research Conference
A very happy new year to everyone. It’s a special pleasure to join my colleagues from NSF’s sister agencies in Mexico and here in Canada– and my good friend Denice Denton.
I want to offer a special thanks to Gene Wong, Louis Martin Vega, and the many people at NSF and the University of Washington who pulled everything together. My thanks to all of you.
I imagine any number of you had conversations similar to ones I had during the days leading up to the new year. Many of my friends and colleagues remain convinced that we should wait one more year before the new millennium actually arrives. Maybe they just need an excuse for another celebration.
I ended up learning more than I ever thought I would about the now-infamous Dennis the Short – a.k.a. Dionysius Exiguous
(Die ah Nee ses -- Ig-zig U us). He was the sixth-century monk who created what would became our modern calendar dating system.
He pegged the year of Jesus' birth as Year 1. If he had marked the year of Christ’s birth with a zero instead of a 1 – we could say with complete certainty that the new millennium has arrived.
This relates directly to the reason we are gathered here in beautiful Vancouver. Design leaves a lasting legacy. Even the simplest of assumptions remain with us for an eternity – literally.
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