Reckless Ideas Speaker Series

By February 13, 2018News

Generator Launches Reckless Ideas Speaker Series featuring Burlington Innovators Embracing Big Ideas

BURLINGTON: Generator, Burlington’s makerspace, launches Reckless Ideas, a new speaker series featuring a diverse mix of Burlington’s top thinkers and innovators at the intersection of design and science.  Created in collaboration with UVM’s Complex Systems Center, Reckless Ideas features speakers who push disciplinary boundaries with topics including autonomous robots, the spread of ideas and viruses, x-ray diffractometry analysis in pipe organs, and the Internet of things.

The speakers are: Josh Bongard, Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Jenny Bower and John Cohn.

“We are excited be able to introduce our audience to some of the most intriguing, high-impact research and design being created right here in Burlington.”  Said Chris Thompson, Generator Executive Director. “The Reckless Ideas lectures aim to inspire audiences from many backgrounds to come together, share big ideas, discuss and collaborate.”

All lectures are free and open to the public at 7pm at Generator, 40 Sears Lane Burlington VT.  The schedule and descriptions follow.

February 28th – Josh Bongard

Creating Autonomous Yet Safe Robots.

The robot revolution is upon us: autonomous cars are almost ready to drive our streets, and drones are almost ready to deliver packages right to our doorstep. How do we ensure that these machines are still free to make decisions as they navigate our world but not harm people in the process? Josh Bongard is the Director of the Morphology, Evolution & Computation Lab at UVM.

March 28, 2018 – Laurent Hébert-Dufresne

Spread of Viruses and Ideas in the Age of Echo Chambers.

With the advent of the new science of networks, we now know how unequal and segregated our social networks are. This lecture will introduce this new science as well as two concrete examples. In the physical world, understanding social networks change how we fight diseases. In the virtual world, it highlights the feedback loop between the spread of new ideas and how we choose to interact; often leading to closed echo chambers and less dialogue.  Laurent Hébert-Dufresne

Is an Assistant Professor of computer science at UVM

April 25 – Jenny Bower

The Mineralogy of Pipe Organs: Science, Sound Art, and Aging Instruments

After two thousand years as the Western “king of instruments,” the popularity of pipe organs is waning. With connections to early environmental health risks, the ivory trade, colonialism, and industrialization, the organ represents the quintessential machine of the Anthropocene. In this lecture we will engage the complex history of the organ through a material investigation of its component parts, using mineralogy, historical science, and biology as tools. Special emphasis on Vermont’s own local organ history will be woven throughout the talk.

May 30- John Cohn

Digital Disruption and the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is changing the world and causing Digital Disruption particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. In this talk John Cohn will relate some fun and (hopefully) useful insights how these same concepts of disruption can help us manage our own lives and careers.  Dr. John Cohn is an IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist for IBM’s Watson Internet of Things Division.

Generator makerspace is a shared design and fabrication environment dedicated to supporting the creative, education and production needs of 300+ members. It offers universal access to studios, shared tool-sets, programming and a vibrant, solutions-oriented community in a 8500 square foot facility.

The UVM Complex Systems Center is a post-disciplinary team of faculty and students working at the University of Vermont on real-world, data-rich, and meaningful complex systems problems of all kinds.

Reckless Ideas is sponsored by the City of Burlington and UVM’s Complex Systems Center.