"Engineering the Future" at the 3rd LAST festival

Saturday October 17, 1pm-5pm, Stanford Univ

General program of the LAST festival | Videos of the talks

(We don't really like to pinpoint at which time each speaker will talk. It all depends on how the event flows. And we don't really want to encourage people to listen to just one of these speakers. The whole point of the LAST festival is to provide a broader view of creativity, not an hyper-specialistic view of one discipline only. The bios are in alphabetical order. But, for the sake of having a schedule, these are some wildly approximate times:

1pm Chris McKay on Space Exploration
1:45pm Drew Endy on Synthetic Biology
2:30pm Peter Norvig on Artificial Intelligence
Break: performance of electronic music by David Grunzweig
3:30pm Jennifer Dionne on Nanotechnology
4:15pm Bruno Olshausen on Neuroscience)

Jennifer Dionne , assistant professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering, investigates metamaterials - engineered materials with optical and electrical properties not found in nature - for applications ranging from high-efficiency solar energy conversion to bioimaging. Jen received her Ph. D. in Applied Physics in 2009 at the California Institute of Technology and B.S. degrees in Physics and Systems & Electrical Engineering from Washington University in 2003. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as a postdoctoral research fellow in Chemistry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her work has been recognized with a NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR Young Investigator Award, Hellman Faculty Scholar Award, and MRS Gold Award. In 2011, she was named one of Technology Review's TR35 - 35 international innovators under 35 tackling important problems in transformative ways.
Drew Endy is a member of the faculty for Stanford Bioengineering and president of the BioBricks Foundation. He helped start the newest engineering major, bioengineering, at both MIT and Stanford. Drew's students pioneered the redesign of genomes and invented the transcriptor, a simple DNA element that allows living cells to implement Boolean logic. In 2013, President Obama recognized Drew for his work with The BioBricks Foundation to bootstrap a free-to-use language for programming life. He has been working with artists, social scientists, and others to transcend the industrialization of nature, most recently co-authoring Synthetic Aesthetics (MIT Press, 2014). He is a voting member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the Committee on Science, Technology, & Law. Drew is also a co-founder of Gen9, Inc., a DNA construction company, and the iGEM competition, a genetic engineering `olympics' now engaging ~4,000 students annually. Esquire magazine named Drew one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. He lives in Menlo Park, CA with his wife and Stanford colleague Prof. Christina Smolke
Chris McKay is a Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama desert to study life in these Mars-like environments. His was a co-I on the Titan Huygen's probe in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in 2008, and the Mars Science Lander mission for 2011. He is the deputy program scientist for Constellation - the NASA program for future human exploration of the Moon and Mars.
Peter Norvig is a Director of Research at Google Inc. Previously he was head of Google's core search algorithms group, and of NASA Ames's Computational Sciences Division, making him NASA's senior computer scientist. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award in 2001. He has taught at the University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1986 and the distinguished alumni award in 2006. He was co-teacher of an Artifical Intelligence class that signed up 160,000 students, helping to kick off the current round of massive open online classes. He has over fifty publications in Computer Science, concentrating on Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Software Engineering, including the books Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (the leading textbook in the field), Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp, Verbmobil: A Translation System for Face-to-Face Dialog, and Intelligent Help Systems for UNIX. He is also the author of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation and the world's longest palindromic sentence. He is a AAAI Fellow, ACM Fellow, and American Academy of Arts & Sciences Member.
Bruno Olshausen directs the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, a multidisciplinary group focusing on building mathematical and computational models of brain function. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology. He did his postdoctoral work in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University, and at the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty at the University of California at Davis in 1996, and in 2005 joined UC Berkeley, where he is currently Professor of Neuroscience and Optometry.