Dertouzos Lecture Series

Bill Thies- Frugal Innovations for a Developing World
The benefits of novel technologies are often out of reach for the poorest billion on the planet. Instead of making things faster, bigger, and more futuristic, can we make things radically cheaper, simpler, and more inclusive? In this talk, I will describe some of our successes, failures, and lessons learned in deploying such "frugal technologies" in India over the past eight years. Drawing on projects in health, education, and citizen reporting, I will synthesize our experiences into a set of recommendations for anyone seeking to have social impact via technology.

Sarah Parcak - Hacking archaeology: beyond shovels or iSandbox?
Archaeology today represents a time consuming endeavor. After months of preparation, experts head into the field, where they meticulously collect data about soil, bones, and ancient objects. The tools most archaeologists use for mapping and site recording are expensive and generally require significant expertise. There are also significant challenges with data storage and dissemination. Archaeology is now beginning to enter the age of "big data", where countrywide/culture-wide data are available, yet archaeologists are only beginning to develop appropriate computational tools to handle and evaluate them. Compared to many other fields, archaeology has only just begun to be “hacked”, with 3D printing, satellite imagery, crowdsourcing, and new digital recording techniques.

Michael Stonebraker - The Land Sharks are on the Squawk Box
This Turing Award talk intermixes a bicycle ride across America during the summer of 1988 with the design, construction and commercialization of Postgres during the late 80’s and early ‘90’s. Striking parallels are observed, leading to a discussion of what it takes to build a new DBMS. Also, indicated are the roles that perseverance and serendipity played in both endeavors.