Past Events

Talk: How Computer Graphics can Help Individuals can Help Individuals with Color Blindness
Manuel M. Oliveira
Hosting Scholar:
Manuel M. Oliveira
Color Vision Deficiency (CVD), often called color blindness, affects approximately 200 million people worldwide. Such a condition compromises the ability of the affected individuals to effectively perform color-related tasks, significantly impacting their professional and private lives. In the digital image era, computer graphics and image processing techniques provide exciting alternatives for assisting these individuals to recover the lost color contrast.This talk will present some facts about CVD, and introduce the audience to the latest developments in terms of computational models for assisting these individuals. It will also discuss some recent experiment and the hopes of gene therapy for the cure of CVD. The talk will be presented by Dr. Manuel M. Oliveira, a Visiting Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab (affiliated with the Camera Culture Group) and an Associate Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), in Brazil. Dr. Oliveira is also a Residential Scholar at Simmons Hall. His research interests cover most aspects of computer graphics, but especially the frontiers among graphics, vision, and image processing.
2009
Fall
Talk: TrashTrack
MIT Guest Speaker: Jennifer Dunnam
Hosting Scholar:
Steve Hall and Carlo Ratti, Former Simmons Resident Scholar
A talk on a really novel idea --- using RFID tags to find out what really happens to trash in a city's disposal system. TrashTrack uses hundreds of small, smart, location aware tags: networks of tiny locatable and addressable microeletromechanical systems.These tags are attached to different types of trash so that these items can be followed through the city's waste management system, revealing the final journey of our everyday objects in a series of real time visualizations. Trash Track, led by the SENSEable City Lab at MIT, is an initial investigation into understanding the 'removal-chain' and it represents a type of change that is taking place in cities: a bottom-up approach to managing resources and promoting behavioral change through pervasive technologies. Jennifer Dunnam, a researcher at SENSEable City Lab, will present Trash Track and several projects that explore how technology is impacting how we understand, design and impact our cities.
2009
Fall
Talk: Ethics & the Environment
MIT Guest Speakers: Dara Entekhabi, Ralph M. Parsons, Edward DeLong
Hosting Scholar:
The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Part of the Ethics Initiative, a series of free-spirited conversations between students and leading experts and faculty, that center on ethical issues, societal responsibilities of scientists and engineers, and the complex problems faced in technology, education, engineering and science in today's modern world. Dara Entekhabi is an MIT Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Ralph M. Parsons, MIT Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering. Edward DeLong, MIT Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Division of Biological Engineering.
2009
Fall
Talk: Beyond Borders: Global Biotechnology Report 2009
Guest Speaker: Gautam Jaggi, of Ernst & Young Global Life Sciences Center
Hosting Scholar:
Aseem Inam
The biotechnology industry--born three decades ago in northern California and Cambridge--has survived numerous funding droughts and recessions. Is the current financial crisis more of the same or is it truly different? How are biotech companies weathering the downturn, and what are the implications for innovation in the years ahead? Ernst & Young's annual report series on the biotech industry is the leading source of information on industry trends and implications. Gautam Jaggi, Managing Editor of the report, will present findings and discuss the outlook for the industry. He is a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young's Global Life Sciences Center in Boston, where he directs Ernst & Young's thought leadership on biotechnology industry trends and business drivers.
Fall
2009
Talk: Ethics and the Making of Cities
Assem Inam
Hosting Scholar:
Assem Inam
This talk outlines a conceptual shift to render the practice of urbanism more relevant and effective in the face of critical urban challenges.  The shift consists of viewing the city as flux rather than just  as object, focusing on consequences rather than just intentions, and design as a creative political act rather than just a form-making exercise.  The talk illustrates the conceptual shift with case studies of the author's experiments in urbanism in professional practice and pedagogy.  In order to make a meaningful difference in the city, urbanists have to view their creative practices as driven by moral choices and consequential impacts. Dr. Aseem Inam has practiced as an architect, urban designer and planner in Los Angeles, Montreal, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, St. Louis, and Washington DC.  Most recently, he led multidisciplinary teams on urbanist initiatives in the Caribbean, California, and on the U.S.-Mexico border.  In 2009 at MIT, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and was selected as an inaugural Fellow at the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.
2009
Fall
Concert: Jazz, Pop, and Brazilian Music
Guest Musicians: Kris Adams, Steve Kirby, Jason Davis and Bertram Lehmann.
Hosting Scholar:
Manuel M. Oliveira
Kris Adams, an arranger and vocalist, is a member of the famed early 90's graduate class at Boston's New England Conservatory and is now an associate professor of harmony at Berklee College of Music. Kris pushes the boundaries of traditional jazz vocals with her own inventive eharmonizations and arrangements as a working vocalist in Boston and beyond. In this concert, vocolist Kris will be accompanied by Steve Kirby (guitar), Jason Davis (bass) and Bertram Lehmann (drums).
2009
Fall
Talk: Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future
Guest Speaker: Chris Mooney
Hosting Scholar:
Steve Hall
Chris Mooney speaks about his book, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. Chris is a contributing editor to Science Progress, senior correspondent for The American Prospect magazine and author of three books, including Unscientific America and the New York Times bestsellingThe Republican War on Science. He is currently a Knight fellow in Journalism at MIT. Chris has contributed to a wide variety of other publications in recent years, including Wired, Science, Harper's, Seed, New Scientist, Slate, Salon, Reason, The American Scholar, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. Chris has also been featured regularly by the national media. He has appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, CSPAN's Book TV, Fresh Air With Terry Gross, NPR's Science Friday, among many other television and radio programs.
2010
Spring
Talk: Integrating Information with the Real World
Guest Speaker: Pranav Mistry
Hosting Scholar:
Steve Hall
A presentation by Pranav Mistry, MIT Media Lab. Information is confined traditionally on paper or digitally on a screen. Although the miniaturization of computing devices allows us to carry computers in our pockets, keeping us continually connected to the digital world of information, there is no link between these devices and our interactions with the physical world. Exploring various ways that can bring intangible, digital information out into the physical world around us and how we can leverage our knowledge about everyday objects and use them to interact with the digital space.
2010
Spring
Talk: The Simmons Hall Project: From Development to Construction
Guest Speakers: Gerry Gutierrez, AIA Brad Prestbo, AIA and Michael Waters, AIA
Hosting Scholar:
Steve Hall
A conversation and tour with architects involved during the design and construction of Simmons Hall. Do you have questions about the original concepts behind the Simmons design ? Do you wonder how they actually built the Simmons 'lungs' (lounges with curvy walls) ? Then come for a fascinating talk and take a tour with the architects who participated in the construction of Simmons, and who know the building inside and out.
2010
Spring
Ceremony & Talk: The Fine Art of Tea
The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Hosting Scholar:
The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
An Evening of Tea Tasting with Buddhist Chaplain and Simmons Residential Scholar, Tenzin Priyadarshi. Explore the world of Tea. Learn about its origin and history, and why it remains the most popular drink since 2737 BCE. Hear stories of Tea and Calligraphy, and how can they help cultivate a calm, meditative mind. Samosas, Japanese cakes, and other assorted tea snacks will be served.
2010
Spring

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