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Distinguished Lecture

Stories from the High Tech Career of an Accidental Engineer

Mark AbelAssoc. GM of Software Services and Director of Pathfinding, IntelIntel
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Biography – Mark Abel entered U-M as a Physics and Math undergrad. After a life-altering discussion with a Physics professor, Mark transferred to the College of Engineering and became an engineer and computer scientist. Mark considers this to be one of the best and luckiest decisions of his life.

This choice allowed Mark to witness and contribute in a small way to one of the greatest technical and economic transitions in history, with many of our collective innovations in computing and communications technology driven into every aspect of life. During this incredible time, Mark worked in a variety of high tech roles at Intel, Xerox PARC, Bell Labs, US West Advanced Technologies, and Siemens including software engineer, fault tolerant systems designer, telecom systems designer, networking protocol designer, networking researcher, “CSCW” researcher and social scientist, standards setter, marketing support engineer, business CTO, general manager, adviser to startups, and his favorite role, research lab director. In these roles, Mark has had the great fortune to work with and for many of the great engineers, researchers and leaders from this high tech generation. This talk will present some of Mark’s favorite stories and enduring lessons from these extraordinary times and extraordinary people.

Biography – In his 20 years at Intel, Mr. Abel’s teams have won or shared Intel’s highest honor, the Intel Achievement Award, seven times for the creation of new technologies and new businesses for Intel including the invention and delivery of technologies that have shipped in over a billion PCs. Before joining Intel in 1991, Mr. Abel held research and leadership positons with Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, US West Advanced Technologies, and Siemens. He is the author/co-author of over 20 journal and conference papers including several frequently cited works in the Computer Supported Cooperative Work literature. Mark is also a frequent industry speaker including serving as an Intel Distinguished Lecturer for over a decade. Mr. Abel has an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a BSE degree in Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Michigan.

As Intel’s executive sponsor for the University of Michigan since the mid-1990s, Mr. Abel has been an active sponsor and advisor to the University, the College of Engineering, the EECS department and many U-M professors and students. For example, Mark chaired Michigan’s EECS National Advisory Committee from 1999 – 2006, helping provide guidance to the department during a time of major reorganization and change. Mr. Abel has also served the U-M community as an early and ongoing member of the EECS Alumni Association board, as an advisor to successful U-M startup Arbor Networks, Inc., as a member of the School of Information Advisory Board and as a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Committee.

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