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Pam Iasevoli, Art and Design, (515) 294-9132
Heather Sauer, Design communications, (515) 294-9289
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- Temple Grandin, who designs humane livestock facilities using the highly developed visual thinking skills of her autism, will speak at Iowa State University on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Her lecture, "Visual Thinking Process in Design: From The Viewpoint of a Person with Autism," will be at 8 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Grandin is an assistant professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. She has designed one third of all the livestock handling facilities in the United States. About half of North American cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Grandin's designs for curved-chute and race systems are used worldwide for cattle.

Grandin also has developed an objective scoring system for assessing cattle- and pig-handling at meat packing plants. Many large corporations use the scoring system to improve animal welfare.

In her book, "Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism," Grandin writes: "I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head ... Language-based thinkers often find this phenomenon difficult to understand, but in my job as an equipment designer for the livestock industry, visual thinking is a tremendous advantage."

Grandin earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, New Hampshire, in 1970. She earned her master's degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, (1975), and her doctoral degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1989), both in animal science. She holds an honorary doctorate from McGill University, Montreal.

Grandin has received several awards for her work, including the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute (1995), the Founders Award from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1999), the Humane Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association (1999) and the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal from the Humane Society of the U.S. (2001).

Grandin has been profiled in The New York Times, Forbes magazine and Time magazine, and has appeared on the television programs "20/20," "48 Hours" and "Larry King Live."

The lecture is sponsored by the Colleges of Design, Veterinary Medicine, and Agriculture; the Foundations of Design and Creativity Forum; the Office of the Vice Provost for Research; the animal science department; and the ISU Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

For more information, contact the ISU Lectures Program, 294-9934.


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