1156 High St
Santa Cruz, California 95064

Jim Fruchterman
Benetech - President, CEO, Founder
Smart Bombs to Reading Machines for the Blind
Friday, May 18, 2007
2:00 PM
Engineering 2 Building, room 180

Abstract:
What do smart bombs and reading machines for the blind have in common?
They both use the same underlying technology to do their jobs. Jim
Fruchterman, engineer, high tech entrepreneur and now social
entrepreneur, traces his journey from learning about pattern
recognition for military uses, to building the leading Silicon Valley
company making optical character recognition for reading documents, to
starting a deliberately nonprofit tech company to make reading
machines for the blind. Benetech is now using academic, military and
commercial technology to help human rights groups, environmental
groups and people with disabilities get the technology tools they
desperately need. Jim is a strong advocate for encouraging the
technology and business communities to realize the socially beneficial
applications of their innovations, not just those that make the most
money!

Biography:
A technology entrepreneur and engineer, Jim Fruchterman has been a
rocket scientist, founded two of the foremost optical character
recognition companies, and developed a successful line of reading
machines for the blind. He is now a leading social entrepreneur
through his deliberately nonprofit technology company, Benetech.
Benetech concentrates on applying technology to human rights and
literacy for people with disabilities. Fruchterman has won numerous
awards for his work, including the 2006 MacArthur Fellowship and the
Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2004 and 2006. He was named
a Schwab Social Entrepreneur of 2003, which has included attending and
speaking five times at the World Economic Forums in Davos,
Switzerland. Fruchterman believes that technology is the ultimate
leveler, allowing disadvantaged people achieve more equality in
society.
Hosted by Assistant Professor James Davis

Official Website: http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/events/seminars/cs/2007/05/09/index.html

Added by adothompson on May 16, 2007