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Conference Details - Agenda

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2012 MIT Research and Development Conference

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

Day 2

7:30 am

Kresge Lobby

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 am

Kresge Auditorium

Welcome & Introduction

8:05 am

Can Financial Engineering Cure Cancer, Solve the Energy Crisis, and Stop Global Warming?
As disruptive as the financial crisis has been, the important lessons to be learned from the spectacular failure of financial technologies gone awry may actually pave the way for some of the most significant achievements of the 21st century. In this talk, Prof. Lo will provide a brief overview of the origins of the crisis and how a deeper understanding of human nature may allow financial engineers to focus the enormous power of global financial markets on some of societies most pressing challenges.

8:45 am

Connection Science: Reinventing Companies, Governments, and Society in the Wake of Big Data
With Big Data we can now begin to actually look at the details of social interaction and how those play out, and are no longer limited to averages like market indices or election results. This is an astounding change. The ability to see the details of the market, of political revolutions, and to be able to predict and control them is definitely a case of Promethean fire—it could be used for good or for ill, and so Big data brings us to interesting times. We're going to end up reinventing what it means to be a company, a country, and even human society.
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9:30 am


Mezzanine, Stratton Student Center

Track 5: Metals

10:00 am

Engineering Alloys, Ten Times Better: How Controlling the Grain Boundaries in Materials Can Improve Performance and Lower Cost
Most engineering materials are polycrystalline—that is, they are made of many crystals. And because they comprise many crystals, they also contain an even greater number of internal interfaces between those crystals. These interfaces, or grain boundaries, have a remarkably wide range of structures and properties, often spanning orders of magnitude in properties of direct engineering relevance. Modern metallurgical science aims to better understand and control the population of grain boundaries in engineering materials, to bring out the best properties they have to offer, and to mitigate negative properties. This talk will highlight several case studies in grain boundary engineering, spanning from basic scientific studies at MIT to commercial implementation. These studies include examples of how we can control the crystallographic types, geometry, and density of grain boundaries, in materials ranging from commodity metals, to engineering coatings, and even “smart” materials. They are unified by a common value proposition: engineering alloys, ten times better.
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10:40 am

Atomistic Simulations of Material Aging at Long Time Scales
Irradiation creep is an important long-term macroscopic degradation phenomenon in nuclear cladding materials that involves dislocation interactions with microstructural obstacles. The long time scales involved in these interactions have not been captured by conventional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations because of the difficulty of reaching realistically low strain rates.
We employ a new, alternative approach, the Autonomous Basin Climbing (ABC) method (kushima et al., JCP, 130, (2009)), to construct the atomic trajectories and the corresponding potential energy landscape associated with the microstructural evolution in the material. Using ABC we investigate the climb of an edge type dislocation over an irradiation induced self interstitial atom (SIA) cluster in Zr as a model system. Our results span a much wider range of strain rates (10-7s-1~108s-1) than is possible by traditional MD simulations alone.
Furthermore, the strain-rate response of flow stress in a plastically deforming crystal is formulated through a stress sensitive dislocation mobility model that can be evaluated by atomistic simulation. For the flow stress of a model crystal of bcc Fe containing a screw dislocation, this approach describes naturally a non-Arrhenius upturn at high train rate, an experimentally established transitional behavior for which the underlying mechanism has not been clarified. Implications of our findings regarding the previous explanations of strain-rate effects on flow stress are discussed.
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11:20 am

Sustainable Metals Processing
Most major mining and metallurgical processes are more than 100 years old, developed at a time of limited awareness of their environmental impact and the issue of resources limitations. These two issues are covered nowadays by the term "sustainability," which also encompasses a cost metric when applied to primary materials. Unfortunately, most easy problems limiting the operational as well as environmental costs of metals extraction and manufacturing have been solved, and innovative approaches are needed to cope with both globalization and earth intrinsic limitations. This presentation will report results directed towards the development of new techniques for metal extraction and manufacturing.
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12:00 PM

Enhancing Materials Performance in Extreme Environments through Design of Interfaces
Professor Demkowicz will present two examples that illustrate how controlling the structure of interfaces may be used to enhance materials performance in extreme environments. The first concerns materials in future fusion reactors, which may fail due to copious He implantation. Demkowicz will describe a way of mitigating He-induced damage by trapping He at heterophase interfaces. In the second, he will discuss how grain boundary engineering may reduce susceptibility to Hydrogen embrittlement in materials used in deep oil wells.

This talk is based on work supported by the Center for Materials at Irradiation and Mechanical Extremes, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number 2008LANL1026, the LANL LDRD program, and by the MIT-BP Materials and Corrosion Research Center.
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Kresge Auditorium

Track 6: Data Analytics and Visualization

10:00 am

Big Data @ CSAIL
In this talk, Prof. Madden will summarize recent work at MIT CSAIL in the big data area, including recent work on data management, cloud computing, algorithms, and interfaces and visualization.

11:00 am

Panel Discussion: Big Data
- Scott Kirsner
- Sam Madden
- Sandy Pentland
- Willard Simmons
- Rama Ramakrishnan

Our world is drowning in data! Recently, everyone working on information technology issues is talking about or expressing worry about the rather ill-defined topic of "Big Data."

Every company in every industry is collecting an increasing amount of data: data about its customers; data about its products, data about its processes. Every human with a job or a car a bank account has data about their particulars stored in multiple databases. Anyone with an electronic device (mobile phone, laptop, scanner, camera) is creating a trail of data about their activities. On any given day, an individual moving through the world and initiating any kind of transaction (e.g. purchasing groceries, driving on a toll road, withdrawing money from an ATM), is generating data that is being collected somewhere. Corporate participation and investments in social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LnkedIn), has added to the data we're generating and collecting. Individual participation at these same web sites generates even more data. And finally, an increasing number of sensors in the world, all collecting and broadcasting data in real time, are responsible for even more data that can be used to help make decisions. There is so much data in the world, that we're now looking to services that can store is and back it up elsewhere -- somewhere in "the cloud." And now we need to worry about how secure this data is!

While many companies appear to be focused on collection, storage and the security of this data, some companies (led by online social media and search firms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook) are capitalizing on this data to develop extremely accurate profiles of their customers, in order to provide each individual with services that would be most useful to that person. These are the firms that currently have some of the leading researchers who can interpret, analyze and make decisions on this data. Today, as we continue to face a mountain of data, we are realizing that there is a great shortage of skilled mathematicians, computer scientists, programmers, business analysts and decision makers that know what's relevant to collect, how to interpret this data from multiple sources, and how to make sense of any of it.

This panel brings together researchers and start-up companies in Big Data to explore the following questions:

- What types of problems are most frequently being considered when the topic of "Big Data" comes up? In what industries?
- How does an organization pull together a team of statisticians, experts in machine learning, analysts and decision makers to determine what data is relevant to your organization?'
- Is it just the data? What about the connections?
- How does one know that correlations in data and the conclusions/interpretations that may result really make sense?
- What are examples of an organization's strategy around "Big Data" that the panelists could share?
- Do discussions about where to store and how to access this data (e.g. cloud vs. in-house) often cloud users' discussions about what to do with this data?
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Twenty Chimneys, Stratton Student Center

Track 7: Biosensors

10:00 am

Measuring Physical Properties of Single Cells
While much is known about the genetic and cellular defects that cause cancer, comparatively little is known about the progress of the disease in individual cells. Approaches for quantifying the molecular properties of single cells are routinely used and rapidly advancing, but techniques for measuring physical properties have largely remained limited to conventional microscopy, light scattering and the Coulter principle which measure only a single property of cells, their volume.

This talk will focus on microfluidic approaches for measuring the physical properties of single cells with particular focus on high precision measurement of cell mass, growth, density, and deformability. Ultimately, the ability to combine multi-parameter physical with molecular measurements at the single-cell level could not only be used to further understanding of important cellular processes such as malignant transformation but may also be used to increase the predictive power of clinical diagnostics.
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10:40 am

Rapid Strain-Level Discrimination of Pathogenic Bacteria Using Insulator-Based Dielectrophoresis
We present three-dimensional insulator-based dielectrophoresis (3DiDEP) as a high sensitivity approach for rapid strain-level discrimination bacteria. In this work, 3DiDEP was performed on Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 along with six isogenic mutants as well as Streptococcus mitis SF100 and PS344. Strain-level discrimination was achieved between these clinically important pathogens with applied electric fields below 10 V/mm. This low voltage, high sensitivity technique has potential applications in clinical diagnostics as well as microbial physiology research.
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11:20 am

Concentration-Enhanced Molecular Binding and Activity Assays using Microfluidic Biomolecule Concentrator
In many biosensing application, low abundance of target molecules significantly limit both sensitivity and specificity of the detection. In this talk, I will describe several microfluidic devices and strategies that can concentrate target molecules and enhance detection sensitivities. Concentration-enhanced biosensing can be applied to many different sensing modalities, including various binding and enzymatic assay chemistry. Microfluidic concentration system can also be implemented in a continuous-flow format, which enables seamless integration with downstream sensors.
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12:00 pm

Nanoelectronics for Chemical- and Bio-sensing
This lecture will describe the conceptual design and optimization of chemical/biological sensors based upon conjugated polymers (CPs) and carbon nanotubes. The ability of these materials to produce amplification in a fluorescence- or resistance-based chemosensor stems from the transport optical excitations or electrical charge, respectively, over large distances. These transport properties provide the increased sensitivity and versatility of CPs over small-molecule chemosensors. The detection of enzymes and DNA will be highlighted.
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12:40 pm

Balcony, Stratton Student Center

Adjournment and Bagged Lunch