InterSTEM Lectures


Watch our guest speaker series, where STEM professionals and researchers discuss their field of work!

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  Simone Rothaupt   11 Dec 2020   4 min
The reality of robotics

Simone Rothaupt - Robotics has undergone massive advances in recent decades, but what does the future hold for this growing industry?

Victor Couture is an Assistant Professor at the Vancouver School of Economics of the University of British Columbia. In this lecture, Couture discusses the methodology and results of his research pertaining to global urban transportation. Based on his calculations on uncongested speed, average speed, and GDP per capita for dozens of cities, Couture reveals the role of congestion and national wealth in speed variation across urban areas. Couture also reviews the political and scientific implications of the urban transportation database he developed.

Garen Baghdasarian completed his Ph.D. in biology at UCLA, and is now a professor of marine biology at Santa Monica College. He previously held a number of positions including Chair of the SMC Life Sciences Department, SMC Director of the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies, and co-Chair of the SMC Global Citizenship Study Abroad committee. He is a member of City of Santa Monica Environmental Task Force, and has won various teaching and research awards, including the Avaya Inc. & Anxier Inc. Life Sciences Chair of Excellence. His past research includes work on predator/pray interactions, and the effect of plastic micro-pollutants in the ocean. More recently, his research has focused on the effects of global warming and ocean acidification on coral reefs.

Our first college AMA features students from Cal Poly SLO, UCLA, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. Listen to their advice on the college application process, and get your questions about college life in general answered.

Matthew Jackson is the William D. Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University. In this lecture, Jackson presents a survey of the literature on the economic consequences of the structure of social networks and discusses both the theoretical and empirical findings concerning the “macro” and “micro” characteristics of social-interaction networks in determining learning, diffusion, decisions, and resulting behaviors. Jackson also discusses the challenges of accounting for the endogeneity of networks in assessing the relationship between the patterns of interactions and behaviors.

Francis Bonahon is a professor of mathematics at the University of Southern California. In this lecture, Bonahon discusses curvature, which measures how much a curve is curved, or how much a surface is bent in space. Curvature plays an important role in physics, from soap films to relativity theory; it also comes up in objects that look very different from curves and surfaces, such as the very large networks that occur in the structure of very large data sets. Bonahon also discusses why the Internet looks more like a mountain saddle than a summit, and the impact that this has on the distribution of its traffic.

Dr. Heiko Hoffmann is a senior researcher at HRL Laboratories, investigating cutting-edge technology in artificial intelligence and robotics. In this lecture, Hoffmann gives a comprehensive overview of the current state of robotics, the science behind training robots, and the future of the robotics industry, focusing on movement and detection. Hoffman also discusses the background necessary to pursue a career in AI or robotics and the challenges of entering the field.