Andrew Conway '04 was among presenters at the Undergraduate Honors Conference, held at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC in November. His paper, "Information Technology and its Effect on Nations and Their Peoples," examined the global influence of information technology from an uncommon perspective. Using Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities and Anthony Smith's Nationalism, the paper explored the contemporary notions surrounding the nation and nationalism. Then, based on these concepts, the paper claimed that because of how information technologies are developed and disseminated they actually change and evolve the idea of a nation and nationalism.
Using his knowledge of software development from computer science, he showed how English is the foundation for industry standard programming languages, such as Java and C++, and how non-English speaking programmers are forced to work in an English frame to be successful programmers. He also showed how English is the dominate language used on the Internet, and how this overbearing dominance of English in the development and communication of information technology is changing the previous notions of a nation and nationalism.
The thesis was required as part of his participation in the "Hamilton-in-Washington" program. It was an independent research project whose data came from Conway's internships in the U.S. Senate, the National Institute of Standards and Technology in their Information Technology Laboratory, and at the consortium of Washington universities.