Lewis Lancaster: Dr.
Lewis Lancaster, a specialist in the canons of Buddhist texts, was the first student to complete the Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for 33 years, with five years as Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture. An early research project, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, involved a group of students and faculty who inventoried texts in monasteries among the Sherpa people in the Himalayas. His major interest in the Buddhist texts still occupies his research. Since 1988, he has worked to produce digital versions of the Chinese Buddhist canon as well as assisting with the production of the first CD ROM for the Pali texts. Today, he is involved in the input of Sanskrit Buddhist texts into digital form. That computer experience then led him to form an association of scholars called the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, which is housed on the Berkeley campus and has a thousand affiliates worldwide. He served for two years as President of the University of the West, a Buddhist institution in Los Angeles County. His main research projects at the moment include the production of an Electronic Atlas of the Religions of Asia. He also has a National Science Foundation grant to work on new methods of searching and analyzing the Chinese Buddhist texts through the use of visualizations.