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MAE Prof. Moon giving AIAA Cornell lecture...

"Who Invented the Airplane? Cornell University in the Social Network of Early Aviation"

Lecture by:  Prof. Francis Moon

February 13, 2014 - 4:30-6:30 pm - 101 Phillips Hall, Cornell University

Abstract:  Did the Wright Brothers really invent the airplane? Is the birthplace of US aviation actually in Hammondsport NY?

Francis Moon, the ASME 2011 Engineer-Historian Awardee, will discuss the networks of inventors, engineers, scientists who contributed to the birth of the first flying machines. He will describe how Robert Thurston, Dean of the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering, became a key node in this network and how a Sibley Graduate of 1892 helped organize an international conference on flying machines at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a decade before the Wright Brothers historic flights. This lecture is based on Professor Moon's new book, "Social Networks in the History of Innovation and Inventions", published by Springer 2013. In this book he describes how an exponentially increasing network of more than 60 individuals spanning North America, Europe and even Egypt created the first airplanes. He also shows how this innovation network had characteristics of modern social networks such as the World-wide Web

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