October 24

Add to Calendar 2018-10-24 17:15:00 2018-10-24 18:15:00 America/New_York Hot Topics in Computing - Challenges and Opportunities for Self-Driving Cars We will describe some of the challenges and opportunities in autonomyresearch today, with a focus on trends and lessons in self-drivingcar research.  We will discuss some of the major challenges and research opportunities in self-driving, including building and maintaininghigh-resolution maps, interacting with humans both inside and outsideof vehicles, dealing with adverse weather, and achieving sufficientlyhigh detection with low probabilities of false alarms in challengingsettings.  We will discuss the promise of Deep Learning and theopportunities of developing Parallel Autonomy systems, in which highlyautomated algorithms operates in parallel with human operators, withthe aim of achieving the best of both human and autonomous control.John J. Leonard is Samuel C. Collins Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots. He holds the degrees of B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and D.Phil. in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford (1994). He is an IEEE Fellow (2014). Professor Leonard is currently on sabbatical leave from MIT serving as Vice President for Autonomous Driving Research at Toyota Research Institute, where he is performing research to improve vehicle safety using autonomous driving technologies. 32-G449/Patil Conference Room Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

April 24

CyberWork and the American Dream

Elizabeth Cobbs and Jim Shelley
Add to Calendar 2019-04-24 16:30:00 2019-04-24 18:00:00 America/New_York CyberWork and the American Dream In "CyberWork and the American Dream", a new 56-minute documentary, a look at the past gives hope for the future: Throughout history, new technology has always caused problems in labor markets, and humanity always finds innovative ways to persevere. Join Elizabeth Cobb, writer, and Jim Shelley, director of the documentary for a screening and discussion on A.I. and the future of work moderated by Daniela Rus.Light refreshments will be served by 4:15pm, and the program starts at 4:30. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

October 02

Saving Spaceship Earth

Dava Newman
AeroAstro / MIT
Add to Calendar 2019-10-02 16:30:00 2019-10-02 17:30:00 America/New_York Saving Spaceship Earth Light refreshments will be served at 4:00pm, talk begins at 4:30pm.Abstract:From solar electric propulsion to cutting edge life support systems, advanced space suit design, to the first crops grown in space, the journey to Mars is already unfolding in tangible ways today for tomorrow. However, Mars is not ‘Plan B’. Spaceship Earth, our pale blue dot, is the most magnificent planet to inhabit. Professor Dava Newman, former Deputy Administrator of NASA, MIT Apollo Professor of Astronautics at MIT, and an expert in space technology and policy, offers an orbital view of planet Earth’s interconnected systems through supercomputer data visualizations and stories to demonstrate risks, actions and solutions.Biography: Dr. Dava Newman is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Harvard–MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member. She is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow for excellence and outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. She is the MIT Director of the MIT Portugal Program (MPP2030). Her research expertise is in multidisciplinary aerospace biomedical engineering investigating human performance across the spectrum of gravity. She is a leader in advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, leadership development, innovation and space policy. Newman was the principal investigator on 4 spaceflight missions. The Space Shuttle Dynamic Load Sensors (DLS) experiment measured astronaut-induced disturbances of the microgravity environment on mission STS-62. An advanced system, the Enhanced Dynamic Load Sensors experiment, flew on board the Russian Mir Space Station from 1996–1998. Dr. Newman was a Co-Investigator on the Mental Workload and Performance Experiment (MWPE) that flew to space on STS-42 to measure astronaut mental workload and fine motor control in microgravity. She also developed the MICR0-G space flight experiment to provide a novel smart sensor suite and study human adaptation in extreme environments. She is the MIT PI on the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Suit, or Skinsuit, onboard the International Space Station as an ESA technology demonstration 2015-2017. Best known for her second skin BioSuit™ planetary EVA system, her advanced spacesuits inventions are now being applied to “soft suits/exoskeletons” to study and enhance locomotion on Earth. Recently, she co-founded EarthDNA with partner Guillermo Trotti to accelerate solutions for spaceship Earth’s Ocean, Land and Air subsystems by curating near-space satellite data to make the world work for 100% of humanity. Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, and has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences, and holds numerous compression technology patents. She has supervised 90 graduate student theses and supervised and mentored over 200 undergraduate researchers.She served as NASA Deputy Administrator from 2015–2017, and along with the NASA Administrator was responsible for articulating the agency's vision, providing leadership and policy direction, and representing NASA to the White House, Congress, international space agencies, and industry. Dr. Newman was the first female engineer and scientist to serve in this role and was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. She championed the human journey to Mars, technology and innovation, and education. Recent honors include: Lowell Thomas Award, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, AIAA Fellow, AIAA Jeffries Aerospace Medicine and Life Sciences Research Award, and Women in Aerospace Leadership Award. Patil Seminar Room 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

February 06

HotTopics: Quantum Computational Supremacy and Its Applications

Prof. Scott Aaronson
The University of Texas at Austin
Add to Calendar 2020-02-06 16:00:00 2020-02-06 17:00:00 America/New_York HotTopics: Quantum Computational Supremacy and Its Applications Abstract:This fall, a team at Google announced the first-ever demonstration of "quantum computational supremacy"---that is, a clear quantum speedup over a classical computer for some task---using a 53-qubit programmable superconducting chip called Sycamore. In addition to the engineering accomplishment, Google's experiment built on a decade of research in quantum complexity theory, some of which we did at MIT with students including Alex Arkhipov and Lijie Chen. This talk will discuss questions like: what exactly was the contrived problem that Google solved? How does one verify the outputs using a classical computer? And how confident are we that the problem is classically hard---especially in light of subsequent counterclaims by IBM? I'll end with a proposed application for Google's experiment---namely, the generation of certified random bits, for use (for example) in proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies---that I've been developing and that Google is now working to demonstrate.Bio: Scott Aaronson is David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his bachelor's from Cornell University and his PhD from UC Berkeley. Before coming to UT Austin, he spent nine years as a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Aaronson's research in theoretical computer science has focused mainly on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers. His first book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. He received the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, the United States PECASE Award, the Vannevar Bush Fellowship, the Tomassoni-Chisesi Prize in Physics, and MIT's Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching.Light refreshments will be served at 3:45pm Patil/Kiva, 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

March 04

May 06