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NextGens Technologies
December 6–7, 2011
Miami, Florida

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Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the
Modern World
by Lisa Randall

Conference schedule

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Topics include:
• Millimeter-scale computers
• Nanowire circuits
• Metamaterials
• Exascale computers
• Digital and DIY manufacturing
• New interface designs
• Implantable devices
• Nextgen physical computing
• Ocean technologies
• New power and data sensors

conference overview
The rapid blurring of arbitrary limits between chemistry, biology, physics, and math—together with emerging technologies and engineering—challenge our view of the future. Just as revolutions in space exploration and biology could not have been made without raw computing power, so too will advances in design, manufacturing, energy, and computing come from new fields normally seen as outside the realm of applicability. What surprises might we expect?

It's clear the electronics revolution is still under way. Biofeedback for electronics could, for example, give the military and people with disabilities new ways to control user interfaces. The convergence of the biological and the electronic is helping create toolboxes for understanding the brain and for engineering its functions. As MEMS and organic electronics fabrication improve the scope for integration of tissues and electronic circuitry, the opportunities for in vitro diagnostics are seemingly endless. What can we hope to learn about the electrical behavior of individual cells?

Technology for reeingineering software on the fly will allow our computers to work better. Nanoscale memory components will someday allow us to pack more data into gadgets. Without further breakthroughs in battery technology for electric vehicles, the compatibility of the automobile and sustainable transportation is in jeopardy. Can chemistry overcome the most obvious limitations on battery technology? While nobody can predict how many of these developments will eventually see the commercial light of day, what’s clear is that more technology is coming at us faster than ever before.

It's easy to get excited about technology for technology's sake. Yet technology development is not a linear series of singular events or things—it comes in clusters that cross several boundaries at the same time. Rapid printing of multiple semiconductive layers to create electronics could significantly lower the cost to manufacture them; can we overcome the technological and economic hurdles?

Can energy harvesting be effectively used in devices? Will we be able to draw power from ambient phenomena? We'll soon be remaking "life" on our own terms—not to mention our own spare body parts—with advances in our understanding of cells, enzymes, and proteins. How do we extract the best of technology and human intelligence to make breakthroughs in image search? How will nextgens technologies, peoples, and practices alter organizational and societal landscapes?

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Partial list of speakers

Mr. Robert Bauer, Founder, Goofy Faces Caricatures
Dr. Brian Chan, Instructor, MIT Hobby Shop
Dr. William Dally, Chief Scientist, NVIDIA
Dr. James Ellenbogen, Chief Scientist, Nanosystems Group and Emerging Technologies Division, MITRE Corporation
Mr. Rob Girling, Principal and Co-Founder, Artefact Group
Dr. Bartosz Grzybowski, Professor of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Systems, Northwestern University
Ms. Laura Lahti, Experience Designer and Adjunct Professor of Advertising, Academy of Art University
Dr. Tristan Lawry, Scientist, Applied Physical Sciences
Mr. Blair Levin, Communications and Society Fellow, Aspen Institute
Dr. Jennifer Lewis, Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois
Dr. Matthew Linford, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University
Mr. Jim Marggraff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Livescribe
Mr. Jon Phillips, Founder and Developer, Fabricatorz
Dr. Roland Pitts, Founding Senior Research Scientist, Planar Energy
Dr. Bogdan Popa, Research Scientist, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Duke University
Dr. Ivan Poupyrev, Senior Research Scientist, Disney Research
Dr. Ellen Prager, President, Earth2Ocean, Inc.
Dr. Dennis Sylvester, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan
Dr. Sunil Vemuri, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, reQall

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Conference Schedule
Monday, December 5: 7:00 PM - Welcome Reception / Dinner (Dinner at 7:30 PM)
Tuesday, December 6: 8:30
AM - Conference Begins
Wednesday, December 7: 4:00
PM - Conference Closes

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