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Voices From the Future

In honor of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) 60th anniversary, the National Science Board (NSB) initiated "Voices From the Future," a lecture series where distinguished speakers made presentations at NSB meetings in 2010. The distinguished speakers and their presentation dates were:

  • February 4: Paul Y. Oh, director, Autonomous Systems Lab, Drexel University
  • August 26: Luis von Ahn, assistant professor, computer science department, Carnegie Mellon University
  • December 2: Emily E. Brodsky, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

Paul Y. Oh - Catalyzing a Third Wave

Paul Y. Oh is associate department head at Drexel University's mechanical engineering department and director of the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab where he pursues two passions: aerodynamics and robotics. In 2008, Oh was appointed to serve NSF as a program director for robotics in its Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). On Feb. 4, 2010, he discussed research, design and development of robotics and unmanned systems in the first presentation of the "Voices From the Future" distinguished lecture series.

 View video (19:05 min.)

Luis von Ahn - Human Computation

Luis von Ahn is working on a new area of computer science called "Human Computation," which harnesses the combined computational power of humans and computers to solve large-scale problems. You've seen his work: the images of squiggly characters on the web that you have to type to obtain free email accounts, purchase tickets, etc. These "CAPTCHAS" prevent bots from abusing online services. On Aug. 26, 2010, Dr. von Ahn delivered the NSB Distinguished Lecture for the "Voices From the Future" series.

 View video (17:52 min.)

Emily E. Brodsky - Earthquakes Triggered By Seismic Waves

Why do earthquakes happen when they happen? Earthquake physicist Emily Brodsky's research primarily focuses on identifying the processes that trigger earthquakes and constraining the forces and processes that occur inside a fault zone during slip. On Dec. 2, 2010, Dr. Brodsky discussed earthquake triggers in the third NSB Distinguished Lecture for the "Voices From the Future" series.

 View video (17:52 min.)