Sunday, December 05, 2010

Energy (and Other) Events - December 5, 2010



Monday, December 06, 2010
ATLAS: at the energy frontier
Speaker: John Huth, Harvard
Time: 3:45p–5:00p
Location: 26-414, Kolker Room
Nuclear and Particle Physics Colloquium
3:45 Refreshments / 4:15 Lecture
ATLAS is a large multipurpose experiment that records the result of proton-proton collisions at the highest energies ever achieved in the laboratory. Surrounding the beam of the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), it has taken collision data for over six months. ATLAS was designed to explore the origins of electroweak symmetry breaking and the emergence of other new phenomena, such as supersymmetry. I will present recent results from the experiment and the outlook for the near future.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Laboratory for Nuclear Science

For more information, contact:
Miller, Randyn
617 253 2361


Monday, December 06, 2010

Multi-Variable Optimization of a Pressurized Oxy-Coal Combustion Process

Speaker: Hussam Zebian, MIT, Dept. Mechanical Engineering

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 3-343

Center for Energy and Propulsion Research Seminar Series

Simultaneous multi-variable gradient-based optimization with multi-start is performed on a 300 MWe wet- recycling pressurized oxy-coal combustion process with carbon capture and sequestration. The model ac- counts for realistic component behavior such as heat losses, flow leaks, pressure drops, cycle irreversibilities, and other technological and economical considerations. The optimization study involves 16 variables, three of which are integer valued, and eight constraints, with the objective of maximizing thermal efficiency. The solution procedure follows active inequality constraints which are identified by thermodynamic-based analysis to facilitate convergence. Results of the multi-variable optimization are compared with those of a pressure sensitivity analysis similar to literature. Significant cycle performance improvements are obtained with moderate changes in the operating variables. The effect of the variables on the cycle performance and on the constraints are analyzed and explained to obtain increased understanding of the actual behavior of the system; this reflects the importance of simultaneous multi-variable optimization in revealing the system characteristics and uncovering the favorable solutions.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): RGD Lab

For more information, contact:
Patrick Kirchen


Special Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Aaron Esser-Kahn, University of Illinois
Date: December 6, 2010

Time: 4:15 pm

Description: "Taking a Page from Nature: Materials Crafted from Molecules."

Category: lectures/conferences

Speaker: Dr. Aaron Esser-Kahn, University of Illinois

Location: 6-120

Sponsor: Chemistry

Admission: the general public

For More Information Contact: Chemistry Department


Immerse! Engage! Experience! - Second Skin / Body Wear Group - Public Presentation

Monday Dec. 6th

Located at MIT in "the Cube"
Lower Level Wiesner Building (E15-001)
20 Ames Street
Free and Open to the Public

You are invited to an evening of immersion, exploration, and dynamic experience.
The ‘Second Skin for Extreme Environments’ group presents a multi-dimensional public event. Through interactive workshops, demonstrations and performative actions, the event introduces artistic practice as a vehicle to explore transdisciplinary collaboration and research in response to extreme environments.

Subjects of exploration range from auditory perception, urban crowdedness, cultural crises, extreme cold, air pollution and sensory isolation. These research areas engage a variety of scientific, artistic, and innovative gestures which you are invited to take part in. The group’s findings, proposals and new innovations will be presented through an exciting, multi-story sensory event intended to expand the scope of knowledge and dialogue within the MIT community and the greater public.

Witness the group’s engagement with the topic of Extreme Environments: how to understand, transcribe, and transmit such environments, and in addition the ramifications of such actions. These findings, in addition to a variety of new innovations presented through physically engaging installations, demonstrations, seminars and performances, will be explored through uniquely experimental means in a pursuit of alternative paths of understanding and dialogue.

You are invited you to expand your perception of the environments we all inhabit. Open discussion is encouraged.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Optimization of Energy Transfer Processes in Photosynthetic Systems

Speaker: Professor Jianshu Cao

Time: 3:00p–4:00p

Location: 36-428

Center for Excitonics Seminar Series

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Research Laboratory of Electronics, Center for Excitonics, Energy Frontier Research Center, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Science and Office of Basic Energy Sciences

For more information, contact:
Cathy Bourgeois


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Future of Solar Energy: from the Perspective of SUNTECH, the Global Solar Leader

Speaker: Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SUNTECH

Time: 3:30p–5:00p

Location: 54-100

Bio of Dr. Shi:
Dr. Zhengrong Shi is the founder, chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Suntech Power. Prior to founding Suntech in 2001, he was a research director and executive director of Pacific Solar Pty., Ltd. from 1995 to 2001. From 1992 to 1995, he was a senior research scientist and the leader of the Thin Film Solar Cells Research Group in the Centre of Excellence for Photovoltaic Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Dr. Shi is the inventor for 15 patents in PV technologies and has published or presented a number of articles and papers in PV-related scientific magazines and at conferences. Dr. Shi received a bachelor?s degree in optical science from Changchun University of Science and Technology in China in 1983, a master's degree in laser physics from the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1986, and a Ph.D degree in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales in Australia in 1992.

About Suntech:
Founded in 2001, Suntech is the world's largest producer of silicon solar modules and it develops, manufactures, and delivers the world?s most reliable and cost-effective solar energy solutions. Suntech offer clean power for every application and market, from off-grid systems, to homes, to the world's largest solar power plants. Its solar modules are installed in over 80 countries.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT China Energy and Envrionment Research Group, MIT Energy Initiative, MIT Energy Club

For more information, contact:
Lei Chen


Tuesday, December 7th



Transportation@MIT and the MIT Transportation Club present:

Seth Teller, MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

"Perceptive Mobile Robots Working Safely Alongside Humans"

Most humans are "situationally aware;" through observation, memory formation, inference, movement, and communication, we develop spatially extended, temporally persistent representations of the world around us. These representations enable us to survive, make sense of our surroundings, move purposefully, and match mental models with other people in order to participate in cooperative activities.

Our goal is to develop machines with a degree of situational awareness sufficient to join, and contribute usefully to, existing human teams. The challenges inherent in realizing this vision include developing robust methods for machine perception in unstructured environments, enabling humans to exert effective supervisory control over robots, and addressing cultural barriers to human acceptance of robots operating in close proximity.

This talk describes several recent projects pursued as part of this effort, including: a self-driving car; a robotic wheelchair that understands guided tours; an unmanned, outdoor forklift commanded through speech and gesture; and a porter robot designed to handle small boxes in cooperation with people.


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Take the Monster Challenge / Improve Lives of Migrant Workers: Through the IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challlenge

Time: 7:00p–8:00p

Location: 3-133

Throughout the world, migrant and temporary workers face tremendous challenges, including fraud and abuse from temporary labor recruitment agencies; a lack of access to healthcare, insurance, educational and training opportunities and other resources due to the nature of their employment status; and a lack of enabling technologies for finding jobs. Monster Worldwide is putting $20,000 to encourage and support student-led innovation to improve technology for migrant workers.

Join us to hear from Monster Worldwide and other speakers as they frame the challenges of being a migrant or temporary worker. And how technology can help them find necessary resources.

Come connect with other students interested in this area. Learn about the Monster Challenge and how you can secure up to $25k to make your idea reality. Learn more about this year's IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challenge.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Public Service Center, MIT IDEAS Competition, MIT Global Challenge

For more information, contact:
Kate Mytty


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Democracy's Blueprints

Speaker: Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Associate Professor of International Studies and Sociology; Brown University

Time: 12:30p–2:00p

Location: 9-450

Urban Studies and Planning Departmental Speaker Series
Weekly Lecture Series of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Light lunch served.

Gianpaolo Baiocchi is associate professor of international studies and director of the Development Studies Program at the Brown University.

He is an ethnographer interested in questions of politics and culture, critical social theory, and cities. He researches existing civil societies and participatory democracy, with a special interest in Brazil.

His monograph, "Militants and Citizens: The Politics of Participatory Democracy in Porto Alegre" (2005: Stanford University Press) was an ethnography of popular participation in this Brazilian city, and a forthcoming book, Making Spaces for Civil Society (co-authored with Patrick Heller and Marcelo K. Silva) examines participatory arrangements in several pairs of cities in Brazil. His most recent research has been about the travel and translation of participatory blueprints and ideas in the current era.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Department of Urban Studies and Planning

For more information, contact:
Ezra Glenn


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Teaching Old Polymers New Tricks: Novel Conjugated Materials Based on Benzobisazoles

Speaker: Prof. Malika Jeffries-El (Iowa State University)

Time: 3:30p–4:45p

Location: 4-237

MIT Program in Polymer Science and Technology (PPST) Polymer Seminar Series
PPST sponsors a series of seminars covering a broad range of topics of general interest to the polymer community, featuring speakers from both on and off campus. We invite the polymer community at MIT and elsewhere to participate.

Seminar 3:30 PM / Refreshments 3:00 PM

Web site:

Open to: the general public
Cost: FREE

Sponsor(s): MIT Program in Polymer Science and Technology (PPST)

For more information, contact:
Gregory Sands
(617) 253-0949


Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Economy and the Environment: Reconciliation through energy efficiency

Speaker: Steve Cowell, Chairman and CEO, Conservation Services Group

Time: 12:00p–1:00p

Location: E62-276

Sustainability @ Sloan Speaker Series

The Sloan Sustainability Speaker Series welcomes Stephen L. Cowell, Chairman and CEO of Conservation Services Group.

For the past 30 years, Cowell has played a pivotal role in energy efficiency programs around the country, and has successfully advocated for energy efficiency as a least-cost power supply option. He has helped create and build the industry through sound public policy, legislation, and establishment of trade ally networks as well as the delivery of cost-effective residential energy efficiency programs.

In 1984, Steve founded Conservation Services Group (CSG), which grew to be the nation's leading provider of home energy efficiency services. Under Steve?s leadership, CSG has designed and implemented conservation and renewable energy programs for utilities, state agencies, and other groups throughout the U.S., providing services to nearly two million businesses and households.

Steve will share his reflections on the potential, challenges, and opportunities in implementing energy efficiency programs in the United States.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Sustainability@MIT, Sustainability@Sloan Speaker Series, MIT Sloan Energy and Environment Club

For more information, contact:
Jason Jay


Friday, December 10, 2010

Luminous Windows 2011

Time: 5:00p

Location: N51, MIT Museum

The MIT Museum's 3rd annual Luminous Windows winter exhibition of holography features technical achievements by companies and individuals working in this revolutionary imaging technology since 1984. Every evening at sunset holograms are on view to the public in the windows of the MIT Museum, facing Massachusetts Avenue, until 2 a.m.

Web site:

Open to: the general public
Cost: free

This event occurs daily through April 1, 2011.

Sponsor(s): MIT Museum

For more information, contact:
Josie Patterson




Air Pollution, Telomere Length, and Mitochondrial DNA Damage: Results from Human Investigations
Tue., Dec. 7, 2010, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Harvard School of Public Health
Bldg I, Room 1302
Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Lecture
Molecular & Integrative Physiological Sciences, HSPH
Andrea Baccarelli, adjunct assistant professor of environmental epigenetics, HSPH


12/7/10, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center Conference Room @ 23 Everett St., Cambridge, MA
RSVP is required for those attending in person to Amar Ashar (
This event will be webcast live

Topic: Rethinking the community calendar: A case study in learning and teaching Fourth R principles
Guests: Jon Udell, senior technical evangelist, Microsoft

The elmcity project invites everyone who publishes community calendar events to:

* Realize that event data published in a structured format, unlike data published as HTML or PDF, can be routed through pub/sub syndication networks.
* Make public calendars available in the appropriate structured format: iCalendar (RFC 5545), the venerable Internet standard supported by all major calendar applications and services.
* Recognize that iCalendar is the RSS of calendars. It can enable a calendar-sphere in which, as in the blogosphere, everyone can publish their own feeds and also subscribe to feeds from other people or from network services.
* Help build the data web by owning the parts of it for which we ourselves are the authoritative sources.

The elmcity project delivers enabling technical infrastructure for this new approach to the community calendar. The project's calendar syndication service is free; it runs open source code on the Microsoft Azure platform; it provides all of its syndicated data in open formats.

The real challenge isn't technical, though, it's conceptual. Most people don't know how they could (or why they should) be the authoritative publishers of their own data. Missing concepts include:

* The pub/sub communication pattern
* Indirection ("pass-by-reference" vs "pass-by-value")
* Structured versus unstructured data
* Data provenance
* Service composition

Along with reading, writing, and arithmetic, these Fourth R principles will empower an informed and engaged 21st-century citizenry. As Jeannette Wing argues in her computational thinking manifesto, computer and information scientists are no longer the only ones who need to understand and apply these principles. Now we all do.

Drawing from the experience of the elmcity case study, this talk will explore what these Fourth R principles are, why they're hard for most people to understand, how we can teach them, and why we should.

This event will be webcast live; for more information and a complete description, see the event web page:

Tuesday, Dec. 7


Matthew Bunn, HKS
“Making Nuclear Energy Suitable for More of the World’s Energy Supply: Prospects and Issues”

Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building, HKS


The Afghan Challenge: What Will It Take for Them To Trust Their Own Security Forces?
Tue., Dec. 7, 2010, 4 – 6 p.m.
CGIS Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Room N-262
Lecture, Social Sciences, Special Events
Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict
Paul Bricker, colonel in the U.S. Army and Weatherhead Fellow; and Abdul Waheed Wafa, reporter for The New York Times and Nieman Fellow
Donna Hicks:


'Petroknowledge' and Politics in the United States and Western Europe in the 1970s
Wed., Dec. 8, 2010, 12:15 – 1:45 p.m.
Cabot Room, Busch Hall, 27 Kirkland Street
Lecture, Social Sciences
Visiting Scholars Seminar: New Research on Europe, Center for European Studies
Rüdiger Graf, visiting scholar, CES
Arthur Goldhammer:


The Nature Conservancy and BioMap2: Protecting Resilient Ecosystems
December 8, 2010 - 6:00pm
Pound Hall 100 - Harvard Law School 1563 Mass Ave Cambridge, MA

Andy Finton: Director of Conservation Science for The Nature Conservancy - Massachusetts


What is a High-Value Target Really Worth? Evidence from U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan
Thu., Dec. 9, 2010, 12:15 – 2 p.m.
Belfer Center Library, Littauer 369, Harvard Kennedy School
Lecture, Social Sciences
International Security Program
Patrick Johnston, research fellow, International Security Program; Anoop Sarbahi, research fellow, International Security Program


Climate Seminar
December 9, 2010 - 4:00pm
Contact Name:
Shuting Jin
Haller Hall Geo Museum 102 24 Oxford St Cambridge, MA

"Deglacial sea level changes and their climatic implications."

Edouard BARD, Professeur au Collège de France, Chaire de l'évolution du climat et de l'océan




Friday, December 10
1 - 3p.
"Using Humor to Reverse Engineer the Mind."
Dan Dennett.
BU: Room B19 (basement level), 745 Commonwealth Ave, Boston




Nicholas Christakis - Our Social Networks
Monday, December 06, 2010 from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM (ET)
Cambridge, MA

Where: IBM Research, 1 Rogers St, Cambridge MA 02142
Free and open to the public with RSVP at
Discounted parking at Galleria Mall, next to IBM. Bring parking ticket for validation.
Our Social Networks - A talk with Nicholas Christakis
Humans are embedded in social networks that affect every aspect of our lives. Work in the Christakis lab involves the application of network science and statistical and mathematical models to a variety of observational and experimental datasets, to understand the structure and function of human networks. What social, biological, and mathematical principles help determine how and why human social networks form and how they operate? One stream of work focuses on the spreading dynamics of health-related phenomena (obesity, smoking, emotions, altruism) in longitudinally evolving networks ("contagion"). Another stream of work examines the genetic, social, and psychological processes that determine social network structure ("connection"). These investigations have meaningful implications for public policy and public health.


Does the holiday season have you juggling too many competing priorities?
Than you should definitely check out the Time Management Skillshare this
Monday - I know, you're too busy, but...

*Skillshare: Time Management
Monday, December 6 @ 6PM in Downtown Crossing*
We're very excited that Hillary Rettig, author of *The Lifelong Activist:
How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way*, has agreed to facilitate
this skillshare which begins with a discussion of how time should be viewed
and valued; why one needs to manage it; and how successful people tend to
view and use time. Read more and *Reserve Your Spot: *


Social Innovation Forum Annual Winter Reception
• Date: 12/7/10
• Location: Microsoft New England R&D Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142
• Time: 5:30-7:30pm
• Audience: Non-profit community
• Description: Join us for...The formal announcement of the 2011 Social Innovators, a formal congratulations to the 2010 Social Innovators, and the 4th Annual Margaret Stewart Lindsay Inspiration Award. Cocktails, hors d'oeuvre, and a night of celebration.


Instead of a December forum, Greenport is joining with the Cambridgeport Neighnorhood Association to co-sponsor an end of year pot luck. Join us for good cheer, food, music and neighborly conversation at the Greenport-CNA's Cambridgeport Holiday Party Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Cambridgeport Baptist Church (at the corner of Putnam and Magazine streets; enter at 459 Putnam). This event is open to ALL residents of Cambridgeport and Greenport list members. Please bring your family and friends and a dish to share. Local musicians will provide background music.
Questions? Contact Cathie Zusy at or Randy Stern at


Cambridge Green Jobs Info Session – Wednesday, December 8, 2:00 to 4:30 pm, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Second Floor Meeting Room. The Community Development Department’s Economic Development Division will present information on the green jobs training programs, eligibility requirements, and application process. Attendees will have the opportunity to fill out applications and take the assessment test. For more information, contact Pardis Saffari at or 617-349-4654. The City provides training through its contractor, the Asian American Civic Association. Training is for energy efficiency and green buildings maintenance technicians. See the CDD website for more information:


In our recent survey, many people indicated they'd like to be part of an online Common Security Club information session and facilitator training. We're happy to announce our first info and training "webinar" on Wednesday, December 8. Please contact us to tell us what time you can make the session, and we will accommodate as many people as possible.

Registration for the webinar will be available after we choose a time

Common Security Clubs Organizer
617.477.8630 x307


The ACLU of Massachusetts asks you to join us on Human Rights Day to break
the silence about torture!

What: A Public Stand Out To Demand Accountability for Torture
When: Friday, December 10, 12:30 ? 1:30 PM
Where: Outside the JFK Federal Building, Government Center in Boston

Please plan to WEAR BLACK ? and help spread the word!




State Representative Denise Provost and Somerville Climate Action present


followed by a discussion

Tuesday, Dec 14th, 7pm
Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square
(on the section of Somerville Ave. leading into Union Sq.
Do not use Mapquest. For directions see

Drought, climate change, and even war are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt.

DIRT! The Movie – narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis – brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.

“The best remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.” -

Free admission! For directions (better than Google’s) see




Boston Food System

"The Boston Food System [listserv] provides a forum to post announcements of events, employment opportunities, internships, programs, lectures, and other activities as well as related articles or other publications of a non-commercial nature covering the area's food system - food, nutrition, farming, education, etc. - that take place or focus on or around Greater Boston (broadly delineated)."

The Boston area is one of the most active nationwide in terms of food system activities - projects, services, and events connected to food, farming, nutrition - and often connected to education, public health, environment, arts, social services and other arenas. Hundreds of organizations and enterprises cover our area, but what is going on week-to-week is not always well publicized.

Hence, the new Boston Food System listserv, as the place to let everyone know about these activities. Specifically:
Use of the BFS list will begin soon, once we get a decent base of subscribers. Clarification of what is appropriate to announce and other posting guidelines will be provided as well.

It's easy to subscribe right now at


Artisan Asylum

Sprout & Co: Community Driven Investigations

Greater Boston Solidarity Economy Mapping Project
a project by Wellesley College students that invites participation


Links to events at 60 colleges and universities at Hubevents

Thanks to

Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the
Boston Area

Boston Area Computer User Groups


Energy (and Other) Events is a weekly mailing list published most
Sundays covering events around the Cambridge, MA and greater Boston
area that catch the editor's eye.

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