This special program, part of Thayer Alumni Weekend, is open to all.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Back to Class with Thayer Faculty
Spanos Auditorium, Thayer School of Engineering
- 9:00–9:20am: The Operating Suite of the Future with Keith Paulsen
- 9:30–9:50am: Infectious Disease Diagnostics of the Future with Jane Hill
- 10:00–10:20am: The Promise and Challenge of Biofuels with Lee Lynd
- 10:30–10:50am: Challenges in Cybersecurity with George Cybenko
- Despite growing awareness and investment in computer and network security over the past decade, the situation continues to be dire. Companies, governments and individuals are still attacked routinely and successfully. After a discussion of how we got here, I will discuss several cybersecurity fallacies and end with some speculations about how the future will play out.
- 11:00–11:20am: Facts and Myths about Head Impact with Rick Greenwald
Public awareness of head impacts in sports, concussions, and the potential for short- and long-term brain injury has increased dramatically in recent years. However, there is often a disconnect between the current state-of-the-science, media reporting, and knowledge at the grass-roots level, where new programs aimed at reducing head impact exposure are implemented. Understanding what is known and not known at this time—and how that information can be used for research and education—will help guide public policy, funding, and public perceptions of head impacts and brain injury.
- 11:30–11:50am: A Decade of Progress and Challenges for Polar Autonomous Robots with Laura Ray
In 2005 my research laboratory embarked on a new effort to develop and deploy autonomous robots to support science discovery in polar regions. Since then, two robots have been deployed to Antarctica and Greenland a dozen times. Supporting more than a dozen different missions—from clean air studies to characterizing hidden crevasses on ice sheets—the robots have surpassed 1,000 km of autonomous operation. Cool Robot, a four-wheel-drive, solar-powered autonomous robot, was designed by a team of undergraduates, B.E. students, and M.S. students to support science campaigns in Antarctica and Greenland over distances exceeding 500 km. Yeti, a four-wheel-drive, battery-powered autonomous robot was developed by two teams of B.E. students to conduct ground-penetrating radar surveys across polar ice sheets. This presentation reviews the successes and challenges of deploying these rovers and explores their past and future impact on science in polar regions.