Discourses and Dialog on Debugging

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 -
6:00pm to 7:00pm
1240 Computer Sciences

Speaker Name: 

Perry Kivolowitz

Speaker Institution: 

Carthage College




At the intersection of skills seldom taught, seldom mastered and yet critically needed lies debugging. Counter to those that believe debugging is an art that cannot be taught, I claim it is a manifestation of the scientific method.

In this, talk after framing debugging as the practice of the scientific method, I will present many life lessons enabling you to enjoy life more by debugging less. All of the parables presented correspond to real interactions with real students.


Professor Perry Kivolowitz brings to bear broad and deep academic and entrepreneurial experience in computer science. He has co-founded five tech companies principally in the computer graphics and visual effects fields. His contributions to filmmaking were recognized in 1996 with an Academy Award® for Scientific and Technical Achievement (and for contributions to television, an Emmy certificate in 1992). Notable early work includes Forrest Gump and Titanic. More recently he is a partner in SilhouetteFX, LLC, a maker of widely used software for rotoscoping, paint, and 2D to 3D motion picture conversion. Today, most high-profile motion pictures (such as the Harry Potter and Hobbit movies), a lot of television, and some graphic arts are touched by his inventions.

Prof. Kivolowitz joined Carthage College after 10 years as a Faculty Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Computer Sciences Department, where he was awarded the student’s trophy for Excellence in Teaching in May 2015. During the UW–Madison Sesquicentennial Celebration, Prof. Kivolowitz was selected by the Chancellor’s office as being one of the “150 Ways the University of Wisconsin has touched the World.” Also related to the Wisconsin Idea, that the work of the University should impact the world, Prof. Kivolowitz wrote a zombie apocalypse novel, “Get Off My L@wn,” in which the end of the humanity starts on the Madison campus.