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Past Conferences

Conference Details - Agenda

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2012 MIT Research and Development Conference

Global Trends in the Information Age
November 14-15, 2012

Day 1

7:30 am

Kresge Lobby

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Kresge Auditorium

Welcome & Introduction

8:45 am

Opening Keynote

9:30 am

The Atlas of Economic Complexity
In this talk Professor Hidalgo will present an empirical method, quantitative model, and theoretical framework that can be used to quantify the complexity of a country's economy. He will show that economic complexity can explain differences in the income distribution of countries, and their dynamics, since it is highly predictive of future economic growth, and of the changes in a country's productive structure. When explaining economic growth, complexity out-competes measures of education, competitiveness, and governance (institutions). To finalize Hidalgo will present a new online visualization tools that can be used to explore the productive structures of countries and their evolution.
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10:15 am


10:45 am

Collective Intelligence
While people have talked about collective intelligence for decades, new communication technologies—especially the Internet—now allow huge numbers of people all over the planet to work together in new ways. The recent successes of systems like Google and Wikipedia suggest that the time is now ripe for many more such systems both inside and outside organizations, and this talk will examine ways to take advantage of these possibilities. Using examples from business, government, and other areas, the talk will address the fundamental question: How can people and computers be connected so that—collectively—they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?

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11:30 am

Social TV Analytics
The adoption of social media is providing a new and rapidly-growing signal of consumer engagement with TV programming and advertising. Building on top of research from the MIT Media Lab, Michael Fleischman and his team at Bluefin Labs have pioneered analytics that enable a new world of capabilities for CMOs. In this talk, Fleischman will discuss how leading marketers are leveraging social TV analytics to target and optimize real-time TV ad campaigns.

Mezzanine, Stratton Student Center

Track 1: Disruptive Technologies and Processes for Manufacturing

2:00 pm

A Vision for Connecting the Dots between Manufacturing and Sustainability
Green Manufacturing has been pursued as a means of eco-efficiency. However, the economic growth marginalized the gains from this effort. In recent decades, population migration to urban areas created megacities. Although they create challenges such as pollution, traffic congestion and gentrification, they also provide many opportunities for sustainable development since buildings account for about 40% of global energy consumption.

Recent advances in understanding micro- and nano-scale phenomena and in manipulating materials in those scales will enable manufacture of multifunctional building materials with enhanced structural as well as energetic properties. In this talk, I will provide examples of potential technologies and developments that can be scaled up, as a way to revitalize US manufacturing, for the design and production of such materials for sustainable development.
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2:40 pm

Advanced Manufacturing for Pharmaceuticals and the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing
We describe the motivation for and vision behind the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing. In particular, we discuss continuous manufacturing as the ultimate in lean manufacturing with quantified and fully integrated processes. We also present a cost analysis based on a case study, describe our in-house, end-to-end, fully integrated bench scale unit, and discuss the challenges behind continuous manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

3:20 pm

Balcony, Stratton Student Center


3:40 pm

Human-Robot Collaboration in Manufacturing
Recent advances in computation, sensing, and hardware enable robotics to perform an increasing percentage of traditionally manual tasks. Yet, often the worker cannot be removed entirely from the process. This provides new economic motivation to explore opportunities where people and industrial robots may work in close physical collaboration. This talk focuses on two new uses of advanced robotics in manufacturing: large industrial robots that move and work in the same physical space as people, and inherently safe robots that assist people in manual work. Specifically, we discuss new technologies for the deployment, commanding, and control of teams of mobile robotics and new methods for programming flexible human-robot teamwork. Both these applications require responsiveness to people working in close physical proximity to the robots, and mechanisms for commanding and programming robots that do not require special training.
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4:20 pm

Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE): A New MIT Study on the Current State and Future of U.S. Manufacturing
The Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) project brings together leading MIT faculty from a variety of disciplines to look at the present state and future of U.S. manufacturing. The study's overarching goal is to shed light on how America's great strengths in innovation can be scaled up into new productive capabilities. This talk will present some preliminary findings from PIE and focus on examples of promising manufacturing models based on over 150 company interviews to date.

Twenty Chimneys, Stratton Student Center

Track 2: Renewable Energy

2:00 pm

The Physics of Fast Li-ion Batteries
Upon its discovery in 1997, lithium iron phosphate (LFP) was viewed as a "low power material" for Li-ion battery cathodes, hampered by its tendency to separate into Li-rich and Li-poor stable phases. In an incredible reversal of fortune, LFP is now a leading material for high power applications (power tools, electric vehicles, etc.), capable of "ultrafast" ten-second discharge in nanoparticle form. This talk will explain the basic physics of high-rate intercalation due to suppressed phase separation, enhanced diffusion, and fast reaction kinetics in nanoparticles.
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2:40 pm

An exciton is an excitation that mediates the absorption and emission of light, especially in low-cost disordered solar cell and LED materials. In the Center for Excitonics, we seek to supersede traditional electronics with devices that use excitons to mediate the flow of energy. In my presentation, I’ll describe two applications of excitonics in devices: high-brightness quantum dot-based LEDs, and exciton fission in high efficiency solar cells.

3:20 pm

Balcony, Stratton Student Center


3:40 pm

Liquid Biofuels: An International Solution to an International Challenge
Concerns about national security issues and global warming have kindled interest in production of liquid biofuels. In order to minimize the conflict between food and fuel use, it is increasingly important to establish systems for the efficient production of biofuels from non-food polysaccharides such as renewable lignocellulosic biomass or directly from carbon dioxide and other gases. Ethanol, typically used as “biofuel” in cars— alcohol refined from grain or sugar cane —exhibits a low energy density, making it an inefficient biofuel, and would not work at all in aviation using the jet engine technology of today. Recently, it has been shown that bio-based jet fuel can be processed from oils (triacylglycerol), which have been extracted from weedy plants and animal fat, to make a fuel chemically identical to the crude-oil based kerosene that powers flight today. Also, higher alcohols such as isobutanol are better candidates for gasoline replacement and it is possible to use isobutanol directly in current engines without modification. From these points of view, we are in the midst of efforts to tackle the challenges for production of triacylglycerol from lignocellulosic biomass and isobutanol from CO2 using bacteria as the biocatalyst. We have examined closely the pathways required for carbon conversion to such value added products as triacylglycerol and isobutanol biofuels in the organisms Rhodococcus opacus and Ralstonia eutropha, respectively. With high costs of fossil-based fuel coupled with ever increasing demand, our recent data suggest that the best hope for developments in bio-based alternative fuels may be on the horizon.
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4:20 pm

Explaining the Rate of Improvement in Energy – New Data and Theory
The costs and environmental impacts of energy systems are dynamic, changing dramatically over time. Given the changing performance of technologies, how should we compare energy supply options to one another? Which technologies are poised to make a significant dent in greenhouse gas emissions? Can we sustain or even increase the rate of improvement in new energy technologies? I will present recent research that combines the development of novel quantitative models and theory, with the analysis of large datasets, to evaluate candidate energy systems. In addition to producing new insight on the rate of technological improvement, this research has generated technology design guidelines.
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Room 407, Stratton Student Center

Track 3: Mastering Energy Transport Processes in Materials

2:00 pm

Modeling Transport to Discover Advanced Thermoelectric Materials
Thermoelectrics are materials that enable low cost solid cooling and power generation systems scaling from very small packages up to large units. A key challenge is to make this technology energy efficient. Thermoelectric performance depends on combinations of properties that do not normally occur in the same material, such as high thermopower in combination with high conductivity and low lattice thermal conductivity in combination with high mobility. While there is no known upper bound on the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT, finding materials with high performance is challenging and requires balancing the properties. Developments in materials modeling, especially for transport properties, allow us to exploit unusual non-text-book electronic and lattice structures to find ways of bypassing these conundrums. Recent examples, including some surprising advances, are described and future directions are discussed.

Work presented here was supported by the Department of Energy, through the S3TEC Energy Frontier Research Center.
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2:40 pm

Chemo-mechanical Coupling in Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Materials
Many energy related materials rely on transport of ions into and out of electrodes and membranes, for example, Li ions in batteries, O ions in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and steam electrolyzers, and H ions in hydrogen storage devices. Significant mechanical stresses often accompany these changes in chemical composition, also referred to as chemical expansion. For example, Pr0.1Ce0.9O2-δ, a candidate solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode material, exhibits a >200% increase in its effective thermal expansion coefficient due to oxygen loss upon heating in air. Under the large oxygen partial pressure (pO2) gradient typical of SOFC operation, chemical expansion can result in cracking of electrolyte membranes, and, as a consequence, models have been developed to predict safe operating conditions.

This chemo-mechanical coupling between oxygen stoichiometry and expansion is defined, analogous to thermal expansion, by a chemical coefficient of expansion, which experimentally has been observed to depend on material composition and structure. The atomic origins of the chemical expansion in fluorite and perovskite structured oxides are explored by atomic level computational methods and validated by experimental data including lattice dilation, defect generation and carrier localization. The implications of chemical expansion, including discussion of models developed to predict its impact on SOFCs as well as secondary effects, namely reduction in elastic modulus, as well as a case study of chemical expansion in Pr0.1Ce0.9O2-δ, correlating oxygen non-stoichiometry with expansion is presented.
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3:20 pm

Balcony, Stratton Student Center


3:40 pm

Advanced Solid State Energy Conversion Devices and Systems
After decades of intense studies focused on cryogenic and room temperature nanophotonics, scientific interest is shifting towards high-temperature nanophotonics focused on (re)inventing the solid-state energy conversion field. These latest advancements are paving the way towards novel high performance energy conversion devices and systems with applications ranging from ultra-portable millimeter scale power sources based on thermophotovoltaics (TPV), new schemes for solar energy conversion, all the way to radioisotope batteries for terrestrial and deep space applications with 30+ year time span without the need for recharging. In this talk we will examine how high-temperature nanophotonics works and illustrate how these material platforms are reshaping many important energy conversion applications.
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4:20 pm

Nanomaterials for Hybrid Solar Cells
Despite the fact that solar radiation accounts for most of the available renewable energy, only a small portion of it is currently being harnessed, mostly due to the production and installation costs of commercial photovoltaic (PV) devices. Emerging PV devices based on solution-processable conjugated polymers offer opportunities for the production of low-cost solar cells. To obtain high efficiencies of exciton dissociation and high photocurrent, it is desirable to have an interpenetrating network of electron-donor and electron-acceptor components within the device, referred to as a bulk heterojunction (BHJ). However, current limitations of the all-organic PV devices are inefficient hopping charge transport through the discontinuous percolation pathways in the BHJ films, and therefore modest power conversion efficiencies or non-competitive cost in the case of devices based on C60 derivatives.

We have developed a new type of nanowire-based solar cells that are based on organic/inorganic hybrid device structures and demonstrated two distinct hybrid BHJ architectures with enhanced power conversion efficiencies. The first device structure was composed of GaAs nanowires blended with a conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) to form a uniform film consisting of dispersed nanowires in a polymer matrix. We observed that above a certain nanowire loading threshold, the nanowires facilitate P3HT molecular ordering, which leads to improved charge transport and yields devices with >2.3% power conversion efficiency. In the second device structure, CdS quantum dots were bound onto crystalline P3HT nanowires through solvent-assisted grafting and ligand exchange, leading to controlled organic-inorganic phase separation and an improved maximum power conversion efficiency of 4.1%.

In both cases, our results clearly demonstrate some of the benefits of organic-inorganic BHJ devices, mostly through enhanced absorption and improved carrier transport in the active region of the device. We have also identified several critical parameters to further boost the device efficiency and enable scalable, cost-efficient production, and these will be discussed.
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Room 491, Stratton Student Center

Track 4: Research Lab of Electronics
The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) predecessor, the Rad Lab, was formed during WWII in reaction to an imminent threat; it was MIT’s response to the war and a fulfillment of its obligation to society. The Lab embraced a “single mission” centered around airborne radar, and built a multidisciplinary team to realize it. MIT's decision led to significant achievements which benefited the Institute and society and demonstrated the power of interdisciplinary research and its relevance to real world problems. Ever since, RLE researchers have been at the forefront of high impact research. In fact, many of the scientific concepts originally conceived at RLE have made it into the broader world through innovative commercial products. The microwave generator, Bose sound systems, Optical Coherence Tomography, video conferencing, HD TV, flexible surgical scalpels, and wireless energy transfer all originated in RLE research. The lab today is responsible for a disproportionate share of MIT's most valuable intellectual property and contributes more intellectual property derived startups than any other lab on campus. The RLE's mission is to continue the rich tradition of high impact entrepreneurial research aimed at changing the world. The RLE session will feature four faculty: Yoel Fink, Muriel Medard, Fatih Yanik and Jeff Grossman. These four exemplify the faculty/entrepreneur model of being committed to excellence in research while seeking to amplify the impact of scientific research by applying it to the practical needs of society.
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2:00 pm

How Far Can a Shirt See: The Birth of a Revolution in Fibers and Fabrics
Fibers and fabrics are among the earliest forms of human expression; these materials shield us from the environment and play an important role in defining who we are. Surprisingly, in sharp contrast to other areas of our existence, fibers have remained practically unchanged for thousands of years.

Can fibers become highly functional objects similar to computers and smartphones? Can they see, hear, sense, and communicate? Our research focuses on extending the frontiers of fiber materials from optical transmission to encompass electronic and even acoustic properties. Central to our approach is the combination of a multiplicity of disparate solid state materials, arranged in elaborate macroscopic architectures which are thermally drawn into kilometer long fibers with internal features down to 10 nanometers. Two complementary approaches towards realizing sophisticated functions are explored: on the single-fiber level, the integration of a multiplicity of functional components into one fiber, and on the multiple-fiber level, the assembly of large-scale fiber arrays and fabrics. We are in the midst of changing the way we think of fibers and fabrics forever.

The first steps in implementing this new vision for fibers have already occurred. The most important one involved the creation of the first multimaterial fiber for precision surgical applications. These fibers transmit a wavelength of light which could never be sent through a fiber. In doing so, they enable surgeons to remove tumors while minimizing collateral damage to adjacent healthy tissue. Approximately 50,000 people have been treated thus far with this technology for removal of tumors from the brain, airways, hearing restoration and the treatment of endometriosis.
1. Abouraddy, et al., “Towards Multimaterial Multifunctional Fibres that See, Hear, Sense and Communicate,” Nature Materials 6, No. 5, 336-347, May 2007.
2. Bayindir et al, “Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor Optoelectronic Fibres,” Nature 431, 826-829, October 2004
3. Egusa et al, “Multimaterial Piezoelectric Fibres,” Nature Materials 9, No. 8, 643-348, 2010
4. http://science360.gov/obj/video/f29fe4e9-c5cb-462e-a627-c14ca391c063
5. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/tech-talk-podcast-empathetic-fabric/
6. www.omni-guide.com
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2:45 pm

Stitching It All Together - Using Network Coding in Heterogeneous Settings
Coding can be effectively used to synthesize seamless, reliable service from underlying, faulty networks that may be shared by several other users. In this talk, we present two examples of this principle. In the first part of the talk, we show how to use network coding to enable multipath TCP without the need to control tightly the interaction between different paths. We present how we may combine coding at several levels in order to control for variations among and within networks. In the second example, we use network coding in order to call upon scarce network resources, such as cellular telephony networks, only when an interruption in video is imminent over the Wifi system.

Joint Work with: Jason Cloud, Flavio du Pin Calmon, Kerim Fouli, Minji Kim, Marie-José Montpetit, Asuman Ozdaglar, Ali ParandehGheibi, Chris Ng, Michael Mitzenmacher, Jay-Kumar Sundararajan, Joao Barros, Michael Heindlmaier, Ashutosh Kulkarni, Danail Traskov, Srinivas Shakkottai, Shirley Shi, Surat Teerapittayanon, Weifei Zeng.
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3:30 pm

Balcony, Stratton Student Center


4:00 pm

High-throughput Technologies for Neuroscience
A great challenge in the new era of molecular and cellular neurobiology is complexity. The central nervous system consists of billions of neurons with thousands of different types and functions. Although most fundamental and applied questions in neuroscience can be addressed given sufficient time and resources, this might take many decades and billions of dollars spending with existing means. Throughout history, industrial revolutions have shown that automation can dramatically alter the cost and time demands. However, the complexity of nervous system is not amenable to simple automation and requires development of far more sophisticated technologies. I will present advanced high-throughput in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo technologies that can perform even the most complex studies on a variety of biological preparations and organisms: (1) The in vivo technologies I will present include microfluidic systems for manipulating and performing chemical/genetic screens on small invertebrates (C. elegans) and vertebrates (zebrafish), where we can orient, immobilize, and image live animals at cellular resolution in three-dimensions and perform a variety of complex in vivo assays including spinal cord injury, neuronal activity imaging for epilepsy, and stem cell proliferation. Using such technologies with laser microsurgery, we recently identified small molecules that enhance neuronal regeneration in these animals by screening chemical libraries. (2) The in vitro technologies I will present include: (a) Methodologies to generate diverse types of transplantable human cell types without genetic modification (by reprogramming cells using combinatorial delivery of master transcription factor mRNAs), (b) High-throughput protein-micropatterning technologies to rapidly generate complex extracellular microenvironments to test/direct response/neurogenesis of neurons, (c) “Synapse microarrays” that can induce synapses at precisely defined locations on substrates, which allowed us to identify novel chemicals that enhance synaptogenesis. (3) The ex vivo technologies I will present include robotic platforms that allow high-throughput genetic and biochemical interrogation and manipulation of single cells within cultured brain-slice circuits.

1. “Neurosurgery: Functional Regeneration after Laser Axotomy”, Yanik MF, Cinar H, Cinar N, Chisholm A, Jin Y, Ben-Yakar A., Nature 432, 822 (2004).

2. “Microfluidic system for on-chip high-throughput whole-animal sorting and screening at subcellular resolution”, Rohde C, Angel M, Zeng F, Gonzalez R, Yanik MF, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 104, 13891 (2007).

3. “Sub-cellular precision on-chip small-animal immobilization, multi-photon imaging and femtosecond-laser manipulation”, Zei F, Rohde C, Yanik MF, Lab on Chip 8, 653 (2008). HOT Article.

4. “Construction of a Femtosecond Laser Microsurgery System”, Steinmeyer J, Gilleland C, Pardo C, Angel M, Yanik MF, Nature Protocols 5, 395 (2010).

5. "Innate Immune Suppression Enables Frequent Transfection with RNA Encoding Reprogramming Proteins", Angel M, Yanik MF, PLoS ONE 5, e11756 (2010).

6. “Microfluidic immobilization of physiologically active C. elegans for subcellular imaging and laser microsurgery”, Gilleland C, Rohde C, Zeng F, Yanik MF, Nature Protocols 5,1888-902 (2010).

7. “High-throughput subcellular in vivo vertebrate screening”, Carlos P-M, Chang T-Y, Yanik MF, Nature Methods 7, 634 (2010). Cover Article. Commentary in Nature Methods 7, 600 (2010).

8. “Large-scale in vivo femtosecond laser neurosurgery screen reveals small-molecule enhancer of regeneration”, Samara C, Rohde C, Gilleland C, Norton S, Haggarty S, Yanik MF, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 107, 18342-7 (2010). See highlight in Nature 886 (2010).

9. “Large-scale Analysis of Neurite Growth Dynamics on Micropatterned Substrates”, Wissner-Gross Z, Scott M, Ku D, Ramaswamy P, Yanik MF, Integrative Biology 3, 65-74 (2011).

10. “Subcellular in vivo time lapse imaging and surgery of C. elegans in standard multiwell plates”, Rohde C, Yanik MF, Nature Communications 2:275 (2011).

11. “Large-scale plasmonic microarrays for label-free high-throughput screening”, Chang T.-Y., Huang M., Yanik A. A., Tsai H.-Y., Peng S., Aksu S., Yanik M. F., Altug H., Lab on Chip, 11, 3596-3602 (2011). Selected as Journal cover.

12. “Synapse Microarrays Identify Small-molecules that Enhance Synaptogenesis”, Shi P., Scott M. A., Ghosh B., Wan D., Wissner-Gross Z., Mazitschek R., Haggarty S. J., Yanik M. F., Nature Communications, 2:510 (2011).

13. “Fully automated cellular-resolution vertebrate screening platform with parallel animal processing”, Chang T.-Y., Pardo-Martin C., Allalou A., Wählby C.,Yanik M. F., Lab on Chip, 12, 711 (2012). Selected as Journal Cover.

14. "High-Throughput Single-Cell Manipulation in Brain Tissue", Steinmeyer, J. D., Yanik, M. F., PLoS ONE, 7, e35603 (2012).

15. "Ultra-rapid laser protein micropatterning: screening for directed polarization of single neurons", Scott, M. A., Wissner-Gross, Z. D., Yanik M. F., Lab on Chip, 12, 2265-2276 (2012).

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4:45 pm

New Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage
One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century will be to understand, invent, and engineer new mechanisms and materials for energy production, energy storage and energy transport to counter the deleterious environmental and political impacts of our long-standing reliance on fossil fuels. Current renewable energy conversion and storage technologies are too expensive, too inefficient, or both, substantially limiting their use and global impact. At the core of the energy challenge is a materials choice: many of the key mechanisms that convert and store energy are dominated by the intrinsic properties of the active materials involved. Our imperative is thus to predict, identify and manufacture new materials and designs as comprehensively and rapidly as possible, as the pressing challenge of producing and storing energy renewably calls for game-changing leaps forward rather than our current path of incremental advances. Toward that end, we use atomic-scale computational and experimental approaches that serve both to elucidate fundamental mechanisms as well as predict new concepts and solutions. Two examples of such an approach for the design of new materials for solar capture and storage will be presented. First, I will discuss the design of an unconventional platform for closed-cycle solar thermal fuels that takes advantage of rigid nanoscale templates to tune chemical interactions between bound photoisomers, leading to energy densities comparable to Li-ion batteries. Second, I will present our work on the design of photovoltaic (PV) active layers comprised exclusively of non-polymer based carbon nano-structures, and the prediction layered materials that could lead to "ultra-thin thin-film" PV.
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5:00 pm

Kresge Lobby

Networking Reception