What could you do if you had 7 senses? 10 senses? More? What would you do with all of that information? How big would your brain need to be? How would you communicate what you feel?
The launch of SENSE.nano - MIT.nano's first Center of Excellence. MIT.nano will convene technical, business, and visionary leaders from MIT, industry, and society. A full-day symposium will bring together the Ubiquitous Sensing experts and visionaries: who are developing capabilities and solving technical challenges, who can articulate commercial and humanitarian needs, and who envision the societal impact of ubiquitous sensing. From the opening keynote address, through sessions of invited technical talks, and to the closing panel discussion, we will showcase current research and innovations enabling new generations of sensors while highlighting potential impacts of and needs for realizing ubiquitous sensing for man-and-machine and for the environment-and-ecosystem.
Nano sciences and technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to realize designs for, and scale manufacturing of, the sensors which will enable the grand visions of ubiquitous, unobtrusive, sensing—to provide previously unimaginable insight into the condition of the built and natural world—to positively impact man, machine, and environment. Inexpensive, small, smart sensors enable local sensing capabilities important to individual’s health and wellness, to autonomous vehicle operations, and to condition monitoring of machines and buildings and bridges. Massively distributed networks of inexpensive smart sensors enable large-scale, global, data collection important to agriculture and water distribution, to environment monitoring, to disaster recovery, to disease outbreak detection and intervention, to supply chain operations, and to the operations of cities. MIT —with comprehensive excellence in engineering, business, earth science, electronics, computation, nanoscience, materials science, neuroscience, chemistry, physics, and biology—is poised to address the engineering, science, policy and commercial challenges required to realize these grand ideas, to translate them to scale, and to positively impact society.
Since July 2012, Rafael Reif has served as the 17th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is leading MIT’s pioneering efforts to help shape the future of higher education. A champion for both fundamental science and MIT’s signature style of interdisciplinary, problem-centered research, he is also pursuing an aggressive agenda to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
In education, his central focus has been the development of the Institute’s latest experiments in online learning, MITx and edX, which he spearheaded in his previous role as MIT provost. As of March 2017, the open online learning platform edX had engaged more than 11million unique learners. The final report of his Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education spurred rapid adoption of blended learning models in MIT classrooms and the October 2015 announcement of a MicroMaster’s credential from MITx, the Institute’s portfolio of massive open online courses.
In keeping with MIT’s mission to “bring knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges,” in May 2014, Dr. Reif launched the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, and in October 2015, Dr. Reif and his leadership team issued MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change, centered on research, education, campus sustainability and a strategy of industry engagement.
To enhance MIT’s innovation ecosystem and equip the next generation of innovators to drive their ideas to impact, in October 2016 Dr. Reif launched The Engine, an accelerator specially geared to help“tough tech”ventures deliver innovations that address humanity’s great challenges. Additional steps include the October 2013 launch of the MIT Innovation Initiative, the creation of the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node, a new Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program.
To accelerate research and innovation at the nanoscale, MIT is also constructing MIT.nano, a major new facility at the heart of campus set to open in 2018. And because MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem extends well beyond the campus, Dr. Reif is leading an ambitious, decade-long redevelopment initiative in Kendall Square.
On May 6, 2016, Dr. Reif announced the $5 billion “MIT Campaign for a Better World.”A member of the MIT faculty since 1980, Dr. Reif has served as director of MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories, as associate department head for Electrical Engineering, as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and as provost.
An elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Reif is the inventor or co-inventor on 13 patents, has edited or co-edited five books and has supervised 38 doctoral theses. He received the degree of Ingeniero Eléctrico from Universidadde Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela, and his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
The impetus for the SENSE.nano is the recognition that novel sensors and sensing system are bound to provide previously unimaginable insight into the condition of individuals, as well as built and natural world, to positively impact people, machines, and environment. Advances in nano-sciences and nano-technologies, pursued by many at MIT, now offer unprecedented opportunities to realize designs for, and at-scale manufacturing of, unique sensors and sensing systems, while leveraging data-science and IoT infrastructure.
Dr. Anthony has over 25 years of commercial, research, and teaching experience in product realization and information enabled manufacturing. He has extensive experience in market driven technology innovation, product realization, and business entrepreneurship and commercialization at the intersection between information technology and advanced manufacturing. His research and product development interests cross the boundaries of manufacturing and design, medical imaging, computer vision, acoustic and ultrasonic imaging, large‐scale computation and simulation, optimization, metrology, autonomous systems, and robotics. His teaching interests include the modeling of large-scale systems in a wide variety of decision-making domains and the development of optimization algorithms and software for analyzing and designing such systems. He teaches on-line and on-campus professional programs in Smart Manufacturing and sensory systems Beyond IoT.
Dr. Anthony spent the first part of his career as an entrepreneur. He developed and directed the development of products and solutions for the industrial and scientific video markets. His products fueled corporate growth from startup to dominant market leader. He has been awarded 20 patents, published over 100 peer reviewed articles, and won an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for innovations in sports broadcast technical innovation.
Mammalian nervous system contains billions of neurons that exchange electrical, chemical and mechanical signals. Our ability to study this complexity is limited by the lack of technologies available for interrogating neural circuits across their diverse signaling modalities without inducing a foreign-body reaction. My talk will describe neural interface strategies pursued in my group aimed at mimicking the materials properties and transduction mechanisms of the nervous system. First, I will describe how fiber-drawing methods traditionally used by telecom and photonics industries can deliver neural probes capable of simultaneous electrical neural recording, optical stimulation, and drug and gene delivery into the brain and spinal cord of freely moving subjects. I will then show how these devices can be applied to direct neural growth and activity facilitating repair of damaged nerves. This talk will conclude with the description of an entirely wireless neuromodulation paradigm that relies on heat sensitivity in neurons and hysteretic heat dissipation by magnetic nanomaterials in alternating magnetic fields.
Polina Anikeeva received her BS in physics from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in 2003. After graduation, she spent a year at the Los Alamos National Lab working on quantum dot photovoltaic cells. She then enrolled in a PhD program in materials science at MIT and graduated in January 2009 with her thesis dedicated to the design of light-emitting devices based on organic materials and nanoparticles. She completed her postdoctoral training at Stanford, where she created devices for optical stimulation and recording from neural circuits.
In 2011, Polina joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, where she is now an Associate Professor. Her lab focuses on the development of flexible and minimally invasive materials and devices for neural recording, stimulation, and repair. Polina is a recipient of NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, the TR35, and 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise among other honors.
While trillions of sensors that will soon connected to the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) promise to transform our lives, they simultaneously pose major obstacles, which we are already encountering today. The massive amount of generated raw data (i.e., the “data deluge”) is quickly exceeding computing capabilities, and cannot be overcome by isolated improvements in sensors, transistors, memories, or architectures alone. Rather, an end-to-end approach is needed, whereby the unique benefits of new emerging nanotechnologies – for sensors, memories, and transistors – are exploited to realize new system architectures that are not possible with today’s technologies. However, emerging nanomaterials and nanodevices suffer from significant imperfections and variations. Thus, realizing working circuits, let alone transformative nanosystems, has been infeasible. In this talk, I present a path towards realizing these future systems in the near-term, and show how based on the progress of several emerging nanotechnologies (carbon nanotubes for logic, non-volatile memories for data storage, and new materials for sensing), we can begin realizing these systems today. As a case-study, I will discuss how by leveraging emerging nanotechnologies, we have realized the first monolithically-integrated three-dimensional (3D) nanosystem architectures with vertically-integrated layers of logic, memory, and sensing circuits. With dense and fine-grained connectivity between millions of on-chip sensors, data storage, and embedded computation, such nanosystems can capture terabytes of data from the outside world every second, and produce “processed information” by performing in-situ classification of the sensor data using on-chip accelerators. As a demonstration, we tailor a demo system for gas classification, for real-time health monitoring from breath.
Emanuel E Landsman (1958) Career Development Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Max Shulaker began as assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2016, where he leads the Novels (Novel Electronic Systems Group) at MIT. Prior to joining MIT, he was at Stanford University where he received his BS, Masters, and PhD in Electrical Engineering. Shulaker’s research interests include the broad area of nanosystems. His research group focuses on understanding and optimizing multidisciplinary interactions across the entire computing stack – from low-level synthesis of nanomaterials, to fabrication processes and circuit design for emerging nanotechnologies, up to new architectures – to enable the next generation of high performance and energy-efficient computing systems. His research results include the demonstration of the first carbon nanotube computer(highlighted on the cover of Nature and presented as a Research Highlight to the US Congress by the US NSF), the first digital sub-systems built entirely using carbon nanotube transistors (awarded the ISSCC Jack Raper Award for Outstanding Technology Directions Paper), the first monolithically-integrated 3D integrated circuits combining arbitrary vertical stacking of logic and memory, the highest performance carbon nanotube transistors to-date, and the first highly-scaled carbon nanotube transistors fabricated in a VLSI-compatible manner.
Conventional integrated photonic devices are fabricated on rigid semiconductor or dielectric substrates. Over the past few years, we have developed a suite of active and passive photonic devices and systems integrated on plastic substrates which can be bent, twisted, and stretched without compromising their optical performance. In this talk, we will review the latest progress in multi-material photonic integration on unconventional flexible substrates, and discuss emerging sensing applications of flexible photonics.
Juejun (JJ) Hu received the B.S. degree from Tsinghua University, China, in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, in 2009, both in materials science and engineering. He is currently the Merton C. Flemings Career Development Associate Professor at MITs Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His primary research interest is enhanced photonmatter interactions in nanophotonic structures, with an emphasis on on-chip spectroscopy and chemical sensing applications using novel infrared glasses. Prior to joining MIT, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware from 2010 to 2014., Hu has authored and coauthored more than 60 refereed journal publications since 2006 and has been awarded six U.S. patents. He has been recognized with the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award, the Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award, the University of Delaware College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Faculty Member, the University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award, among others.,Dr. Hu is currently the Deputy Editor of the OSA journal Optical Materials Express, and he is a Member on technical program committees for conferences including MRS, CLEO, OSA Congress, ACerS GOMD, ICG, and others. (Based on document published on 13 September 2016)
This lecture will detail the creation of ultrasensitive sensors based on electronically active conjugated polymers (CPs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). A central concept that a single nano- or molecular-wire spanning between two electrodes would create an exceptional sensor if binding of a molecule of interest to it would block all electronic transport. The use of molecular electronic circuits to give signal gain is not limited to electrical transport and CP-based fluorescent sensors can provide ultratrace detection of chemical vapors via amplification resulting from exciton migration. Nanowire networks of CNTs provide for a practical approximation to the single nanowire scheme. These methods include abrasion deposition and selectivity is generated by covalent and/or non-covalent binding selectors/receptors to the carbon nanotubes. Sensors for a variety of materials and cross-reactive sensor arrays will be described. The use of carbon nanotube based gas sensors for the detection of ethylene and other gases relevant to agricultural and food production/storage/transportation are being specifically targeted and can be used to create systems that increase production, manage inventories, and minimize losses.
Timothy M. Swager is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry the Department of Chemistry at MIT and the Faculty Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. In this latter role, Professor Swager works with the Center’s Executive Director to define the Center’s strategy for fostering innovation, assists with the commercialization of MIT technologies, and plays a key role in the grant selection process. Professor Swager also serves as the Center’s liaison to the MIT academic community, and senior leadership, sitting on faculty and academic committees. Following Professor Swager’s postdoctoral appointment at MIT, he joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, returning to MIT in 1996 as a Professor of Chemistry, and served as the Head of Chemistry from 2005-2010. Professor Swager’s research interests are in design, synthesis, and study of organic-based electronic, sensory, high-strength and liquid crystalline materials. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and more than 80 issued/pending patents. Professor Swager is the founder of four companies (DyNuPol, Iptyx, PolyJoule, and C2Sense) and has served on a number of corporate and government boards.He received a B.S. from Montana State University in 1983 and a Ph.D., from the California Institute of Technology in 1988.
Advances in integrated silicon photonics are enabling highly connected sensor networks that offer sensitivity, selectivity and pattern recognition. Such miniaturized optical sensors are ideal for non-invasive applications. Case studies like high sensitivity analyte detection in solution, and gas sensing in air, provide good insight into the tradeoffs being made en route to ubiquitous sensor deployment.
Senior Research Scientist
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Anuradha Annaswamy received her PhD in electrical engineering from Yale University in 1985. She has been a member of the faculty at Yale, Boston University, and MIT, where she is currently the director of the Active-Adaptive Control Laboratory and a senior research scientist in the department of mechanical engineering. Her research interests pertain to adaptive control theory and applications to aerospace, automotive, and propulsion systems; cyber physical systems science; and CPS applications to Smart Grids, Smart Cities, and Smart Infrastructures. She is the author of a hundred journal publications and numerous conference publications, co-author of a graduate textbook on adaptive control (2004), co-editor of several reports including “Systems & Control for the future of humanity, research agenda: Current and future roles, impact and grand challenges,” (Elsevier) “IEEE Vision for Smart Grid Control: 2030 and Beyond,” (IEEE Xplore) and Impact of Control Technology, (ieeecss.org/main/IoCT-report, ieeecss.org/general/IoCT2-report).
Dr. Annaswamy has received several awards including the George Axelby and Control Systems Magazine best paper awards from the IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS), the Presidential Young Investigator award from NSF, the Hans Fisher Senior Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technische Universität München, the Donald Groen Julius Prize from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, a Distinguished Member Award, and a Distinguished Lecturer Award from IEEE CSS. Dr. Annaswamy is a Fellow of the IEEE and IFAC. She has served as the Vice President for Conference Activities (2014-15), and is currently serving as the VP for Technical Activities (2017-18) in the Executive Committee of the IEEE CSS.
Our lab at MIT has been interested in how the nanoparticle corona – the region of adsorbed molecules surrounding the particle surface - can be engineered for molecular recognition. We have recently introduced a method we call CoPhMoRe or Corona Phase Molecular Recognition for discovering synthetic, heteropolymer corona phases that form molecular recognition sites at the nanoparticle interface, selected from a heteropolymer library. We show that certain synthetic heteropolymers , once constrained onto a single-walled carbon nanotube by chemical adsorption, also form a new corona phase that exhibits highly selective recognition for specific molecules. We have a growing list of biomolecules that we can detect using this approach including riboflavin, L-thyroxine, dopamine, nitric oxide, sugar alcohols, estradiol, as well as proteins such as fibrinogen. The results have significant potential in light of the fact that nanoparticles such as single walled carbon nanotubes can be interfaced to biological systems at the sub-cellular level, with unprecedented sensitivity. Several recent demonstrates indicate that spatial and temporal information on cellular chemical signaling can be obtained using arrays of such sensors. Other examples including sensor tattoos for mice, stable for more than 400 days in-vivo, will be shown. Lastly, I will highlight recent advances to control the trafficking and localization of nanoparticle systems in living plants using a mechanism that we call Lipid Exchange Envelope Penetration (LEEP). We demonstrate a living plant, interfaced with multiple nanoparticle types that can detect explosives, ATP and dopamine within or from outside the plant, and communicate this information to a user’s cell phone. Engineering the nanoparticle corona in this way offers significant potential to translate sensor technology to previously inaccessible environments.
Professor of Chemical Engineering
MIT Department of Chemical Engineering
Professor Michael S. Strano is currently the Charles and Hilda Roddey Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received is B.S from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware both in Chemical Engineering. He was a post doctoral research fellow at Rice University in the departments of Chemistry and Physics under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley. From 2003 to 2007, Michael was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before moving to MIT. His research focuses on biomolecule/nanoparticle interactions and the surface chemistry of low dimensional systems, nano-electronics, nanoparticle separations, and applications of vibrational spectroscopy to nanotechnology. Michael is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including a 2005 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a 2006 Beckman Young Investigator Award, the 2006 Coblentz Award for Molecular Spectroscopy, the Unilever Award from the American Chemical Society in 2007 for excellence in colloidal science, and the 2008 Young Investigator Award from the Materials Research Society, the 2008 Allen P. Colburn Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and recently selected as a member of Popular Science’s Brilliant 10.
To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. These large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations that, depending on their frequency, may indicate instability or structural damage. We have developed a technique to “see” vibrations that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, combining high-speed video with computer vision techniques. A technique called “motion magnification” to break down high-speed frames into certain frequencies, essentially exaggerating tiny, subpixel motions.
Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
William T. Freeman is the Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) there. He was the Associate Department Head from 2011 - 2014.
His current research interests include machine learning applied to computer vision, Bayesian models of visual perception, and computational photography. He received outstanding paper awards at computer vision or machine learning conferences in 1997, 2006, 2009 and 2012, and test-of-time awards for papers from 1990 and 1995. Previous research topics include steerable filters and pyramids, orientation histograms, the generic viewpoint assumption, color constancy, computer vision for computer games, and belief propagation in networks with loops.
He is active in the program or organizing committees of computer vision, graphics, and machine learning conferences. He was the program co-chair for ICCV 2005, and for CVPR 2013.
Marcie Black, CEO & Co-Founder, Advanced Silicon Group
Ioannis (John) Kymissis, CTO & Co-Founder, Chromation
Jan Schnorr, CEO & Co-Founder, C2Sense
Dr. Roger Nassar, CEO & Founder, RAN Biotechnologies
Pavel Bystricky, CTO & Co-Founder, American Boronite Corporation
Matthew Carey, Director of Business Development, Humatics
Romain Lacombe, CEO & Co-Founder, Plume Labs
Andy Vidan, CEO, Composable Analytics
Xinjie (Jeff) Zhang, CEO & Co-Founder, Novarials Corporation
Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a Trustee of the Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. He is also the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and is also the Chairman of Tejas Networks.
Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades. He is involved either as the founder, a founding investor or chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata.
Dr. Deshpande lives in Boston and serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.
The Deshpande Foundation strengthens ecosystems that create significant social and economic impact through entrepreneurship and innovation. Leveraging the experience gained at the MIT Center, the Deshpande Foundation has facilitated the setup of five other centers; Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in India, EforAll (formerly known as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox) in Lowell/Lawrence Massachusetts, the Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, the Dunin Deshpande Queens Innovation Center at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. Deshpande Foundation also provided the founding grant for MassChallenge in Boston, National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the UPOP program at MIT.
Dr. Deshpande holds a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D. from Queens University in Canada.
Deshpande co-chaired the National Council to support President Obama's innovation and entrepreneurship strategy from 2010 to 2015.
In this talk, I will present a microchannel resonator for weighing single cells with unprecedented precision and describe how it can be used in a new approach for personalized medicine in cancer.
Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Biological Engineering
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
MIT Department of Biological Engineering
Scott Manalis received a B.S. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University. He was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the Department of Defense. He has also been selected by Technology Review magazine as one of the 100 innovators under the age of 35
The Manalis laboratory develops quantitative and real-time techniques for biomolecular detection and single cell analysis. They use conventional silicon processing techniques to fabricate fluidic devices, and exploit the unique physical properties associated with micro- and nanoscale dimensions for developing precision measurement methods. They have previously developed a suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) that enables mass to be measured in the aqueous environment with a resolution that is a million-fold better than existing methods. The lab is using the SMR to determine if the growth response of a patient’s cancer cells to anticancer drugs can be used in new strategies for selecting optimal therapies.
There is a huge need for printing of electronic devices that are extremely inexpensive but provide simple computations and interactive functions. Our new printing process is an enabling technology for high-performance, fully printed electronics, including transistors, optically functional surfaces, and ubiquitous sensors.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
John Hart is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mitsui Career Development Chair at MIT. Prior to joining the MIT faculty in 2013 he was Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Art/Design, at the University of Michigan. He has Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from MIT, and a B.S.E. degree from Michigan, all in Mechanical Engineering. At MIT, John leads the Mechanosynthesis Group (http://mechanosynthesis.mit.edu), which aims to create new principles, machines, and processes for manufacturing of advanced materials. His work has been recognized by young investigator awards from NSF, ONR, AFOSR, DARPA, ASME, and SME; and he is the recipient of two R&D 100 awards.
Our laboratory focuses on the science and applications of nanocrystals, especially semiconductor nanocrystal (aka quantum dots). Our research ranges from the very fundamental to applications in electro-optics and biology. There is an ongoing effort to address the challenges of making new compositions and morphologies of nanocrystals and nanocrystal heterostructures, and new ligands so that the nanocrystals can be incorporated into hybrid organic/inorganic devices, or biological systems. We are collaborating with a number of biology and medical groups to design nanocrystal probes that meet specific challenges.
Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry
MIT Department of Chemistry
Professor Moungi Bawendi received his A.B. in 1982 from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1988 from The University of Chicago. This was followed by two years of postdoctoral research at Bell Laboratories, working with Dr. Louis Brus, where he began his studies on nanomaterials. Bawendi joined the faculty at MIT in 1990, becoming Associate Professor in 1995 and Professor in 1996.
Professor Bawendi has followed an interdisciplinary research program that aims at probing the science and developing the technology of chemically synthesized nanocrystals. Prof. Bawendi has been at the forefront of the science and technology of semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots for over two decades. This work has included the development of novel methods for synthesizing, characterizing, and processing quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles as novel materials building blocks, studying the fundamental optical properties of quantum dots using a variety of spectroscopic methods, including the development of optical tools to study single nanocrystals, and combining quantum dots with various optical and electronic device structures to study their device properties. His work has also included developing applications of quantum dots in biological and biomedical imaging and sensing, in light emitting devices, photodetection, and solar energy conversion.
Professor Bawendi has published over 250 papers on the science and technology of quantum dots and other materials systems, and has helped four start-up companies in commercializing quantum dot technology. A fifth company spun out from Bawendi’s laboratory uses knowledge gained from his work on quantum dots, applying it to a medical device.
Bawendi has won numerous awards for his work. Among these are the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, the EO Lawrence award in Materials Chemistry from the US Department of Energy, the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lecture in Nanoscience from the Materials Research Society, and the American Chemical Society Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry.
Bawendi is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
On Point’s host, Tom Ashbrook, is an award-winning journalist brought to public radio following the attacks of September 11, 2001, when he was enlisted by NPR and WBUR-Boston for special coverage, after a distinguished career in newspaper reporting and editing.
Tom's career in journalism spans 20 years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor and author. He spent 10 years in Asia — based in India, Hong Kong and Japan — starting at the South China Morning Post, then as a correspondent for the Boston Globe. He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the U.S. and around the world, from Somalia and Rwanda to Russia and the Balkans. At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War.
Tom received the Livingston Prize for National Reporting, and was a 1996 fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation before taking a four-year plunge into Internet entrepreneurship, chronicled in his book "The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush."
Raised on an Illinois farm, Tom studied American history at Yale and Gandhi’s independence movement at Andhra University, India. Before taking up journalism, he worked as a surveyor and dynamiter in Alaska’s oil fields, a teaching fellow with the Yale-China Association, a Hong Kong television personality, and a producer of international editions of Chinese kung fu films.
A mathematics undergraduate in his native Australia, Rodney received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1981. From 1984 to 2010, he was on the MIT faculty, and completed his service as a Professor of Robotics. He was also the founding Director of the Institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and served in that role until 2007. In 1990, he co-founded iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT), where he served variously as CTO, Chairman and board member until 2011. Rodney has been honored by election to the National Academy of Engineering, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rodney is also an accomplished presenter, and speaks regularly to promote the value of robotics and artificial intelligence in venues throughout the world.
Vladimir Bulović is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holding the Fariborz Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technology. He directs the Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory, co-leads the MIT-Eni Solar Frontiers Center, leads the Tata GridEdge program, and is the Founding Director of MIT.nano, MIT's new 200,000 sqft nano-fabrication, nano-characterization, and prototyping facility. He is an author of over 250 research articles (cited over 50,000 times and recognized as the top 1% of the most highly cited in the Web of Science). He is an inventor of over 100 U.S. patents in areas of light emitting diodes, lasers, photovoltaics, photodetectors, chemical sensors, programmable memories, and micro-electro machines, majority of which have been licensed and utilized by both start-up and multinational companies. The three start-up companies Bulović co-founded jointly employ over 350 people, and include Ubiquitous Energy, Inc., developing nanostructured solar technologies, Kateeva, Inc., focused on development of printed electronics, and QD Vision, Inc. (acquired in 2016) that produced quantum dot optoelectronic components. Products of these companies have been used by millions. Bulović was the first Associate Dean for Innovation of the School of Engineering and the Inaugural co-Director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative, which he co-led from 2013 to 2018. For his passion for teaching Bulović has been recognized with the MacVicar Fellowship, MIT’s highest teaching honor. He completed his Electrical Engineering B.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University.
Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Founder & CEO, Humatics
David Mindell is an engineer and historian. An expert in human relationships with robotics and autonomous systems, he has led or participated in more than 25 oceanographic expeditions. From 2005 to 2011 he was Director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He is the author of five books and co-founder of Humatics Corporation, which develops technologies to transform how robots and autonomous systems work in human environments.