Lawson 1142 Cyber Center and Computer Science
Purdue University Discovery Park
Purdue University's Discovery Park was established to serve as a catalyst for drawing faculty, staff, and students to reach into other disciplines and projects in order to take Purdue to the cutting edge of academic work. Bradley Steffens will speak at Discovery Park about how modern science originated in the skeptical mind of the eleventh century Muslim scholar, Ibn al-Haytham. Steffens will discuss Ibn al-Haytham’s life story, achievements, and impact on European learning. He also will explore two biographical accounts written shortly after Ibn al-Haytham’s death that suggest the scholar feigned madness to escape his duties as a civil servant in Basra and, later, in Cairo. Steffens examines reasons for believing that Ibn al-Haytham feigned nothing, but suffered from a form of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome.