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In 2003, Alan Kay, conceiver of the laptop computer and the architect of the modern windowing GUI, reminded those at the ECAR Symposium that "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." Increasingly, respected organizational consultants like Seth Godin advise us to look to the edges to stimulate and foster the impulse to innovate. The 2004 ECAR Symposium was designed once again to bring together those who are crafting important changes in the world with those who study the effects of these changes on our institutions and work. Sessions encouraged interaction at the nexus of theory, analysis, and practice. The 2004 program reflected ECAR's commitment to dwell on both the big issues facing society and higher education and the diversity of ECAR's research agenda. Topics for the 2004 ECAR Symposium included: "phantoms in the brain," virtuality and posthumanism, student uses of course management systems, and IT funding.

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