Commencement for Class of 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Click here to join to join the Olinimages Flickr group and access Commencement 2010 photos. If you are interested in pre-ordering a DVD of commencement please click here.

The Commencement ceremony includes presentation of candidates for graduation, conferring of degrees by the President and the Commencement address. No honorary degrees will be presented.

Commencement Ceremony on the Olin Great Lawn

The 2011 ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. (sharp) on the Olin College Great Lawn. Each graduate will be called to the stage by name to receive his/her degree. A photographer will be recording the event. Information on how to obtain these photographs will available through the Communication Office following Commencement. Guests are encouraged to wear business casual attire to commencement events. 

Commencement Speaker

Jeff Hawkins

Co-founder, Numenta

Upon recommendation of the Commencement Steering Committee and with the consent of the Board of Trustees, President Richard K. Miller has invited Jeff Hawkins to give the main address at Olin's sixth Commencement on May 15, 2011.

Mr. Hawkins co-founded Handspring with Donna Dubinsky in 1998 after five years together at Palm Computing. In 1992, he founded Palm Computing. He is often credited as the designer who reinvented the handheld market and has architected many computer products including the PalmPilot, Visor, and Treo families of handheld computers and communicators. In 2002, he created the Redwood Neuroscience Institute (RNI), a scientific research institute focused on understanding how the human neocortex works. RNI has now become The Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley. In 2004, he co-authored On Intelligence detailing his theory of the neocortex. Based on this book, in 2005, he co-founded Numenta based on a new type of memory architecture, Hierarchical Temporal Memory, modeled after the mammalian cortex, that can solve problems in pattern recognition and machine learning. He received a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1979 and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2003.  He has received numerous awards for both his entrepreneurial skills and engineering successes. Among them was being selected entrepreneur of the year by Cornell in 2000.

Mr. Hawkins's connection to Olin College developed through his participation in the 2009 Duke Summit (co-sponsored by Olin College) on the NAE Grand Challenges where he was a keynote speaker on "Reverse Engineering the Brain."  

Click here to read Mr. Hawkins remarks to Olin's Class of 2011.