Friday, November 25, 2011

Energy (and Other) Events - November 25, 2011

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.

Hubevents is the web version.

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Occupy: History and International Examples to Learn From


Webinar: Start-Up Thinking: How Systems Thinking Helps Entrepreneurial Ventures Start, Grow, and Mature
Monday, November 28, 2011
Location: Virtual - registration at

Speaker: Sorin Grama, Founder and CEO, Promethean Power Systems; SDM Alumnus Sam White, Founder and Vice President for Business Development, Promethean Power Systems

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series
The MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.

Soon after a business plan is hatched and long before manufacturing ramps up, start-ups begin to apply systems design principles to create their breakthrough products. It turns out that systems engineering, an art developed and perfected in large organizations, applies just as well to small entrepreneurial ventures. What can start-ups learn from the likes of Ford and Boeing? Sorin Grama and Sam White, who launched Promethean Power Systems just after Grama graduated from SDM, will discuss how systems thinking shaped their start-up journey and helped them address social challenges while developing their first product.

Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): Engineering Systems Division, MIT System Design and Management (SDM) Program

For more information, contact:
Lois Slavin


"Recent Developments in Shale Gas: Observations from the Vantage Point of Two New Studies (National Petroleum Council and the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board)"
November 28, 2011
12 pm
Harvard, Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge

Energy Technology Innovation Policy/ Consortium for Energy Policy Research
Energy Policy Seminar Series: Sue Tierney, Analysis Group, speaker

Lunch will be provided.

Contact Name: Louisa Lund


"The role of environmental gradients and food web interactions in fish diversification" with
November 28, 2011
12 pm - 1 pm
MCZ 101 Seminar Room, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Travis Ingram, Postdoctoral Researcher, Herpetology, Losos Lab

Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and snacks will be provided.
Contact Name: Catherine Weisel (617) 495-2460


Data is Power, or Is It? Mobilizing the Ethical Consumer
WHEN Mon., Nov. 28, 2011, 4:10 – 5:30 p.m.
WHERE 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Business, Classes/Workshops, Ethics, Lecture, Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

Co-spnsored by the Transparency Policy Project and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
SPEAKER(S) Dara O’Rourke, University of California, Berkeley
CONTACT INFO Bruce Jackan:, 617.495.1948
NOTE By simply downloading an app, consumers can access environmental, social,and health impacts of more than 140,000 products. What does this mean for market interactions? What are the implications for governance of global supply chains? GoodGuide co-founder Dara O’Rourke will discuss the promise and peril of pushing the envelope in a new age of transparency.


20 Questions with Chris Hedges on "The Death of the Liberal Class"
WHEN Mon., Nov. 28, 2011, 6 p.m.
WHERE Yenching Auditorium, 2 Divinity Ave.
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Humanities, Lecture, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard
SPEAKER(S) Featured speaker: Chris Hedges
Moderated by: Homi Bhabha
Questioners: Nancy Cott, Jim Engell, Steven Hyman, Jill Lepore, and Richard Thomas
CONTACT INFO 617.495.0738,


Fiddle Folklorist Alan Jabour Gives Lec-Dem of Appalachian Style
Monday, November 28, 2011
MIT, Killian Hall
Speaker: Alan Jabbour

"Folk Music of the British Isles & North America" invite scholar and fiddle folklorist Alan Jabbour to present a lec-dem of his Appalachian style

Open to: the general public

Cost: free

Sponsor(s): Literature Section


Nerd Night Boston
Monday November 28, 2011
Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge
In Central Square

Featuring Nerd-appropriate tunes by Claude Money

Talk 1. “On the vices and joys of machining at home: Blue collar aspirations of white collar men.”
by Tom Trikalinos

Talk 2. “What Art Can Tell Us About the Brain”
by Brandon Moore



Tuesday, November 29, 2011
MIT, Building E15-070, E15-070 (Bartos Theater)
Speakers: Dr. Regina Dugan & Dr. Ken Gabriel

MIT Political Science Distinguished Speaker Series welcomes Dr. Regina Dugan & Dr. Ken Gabriel of DARPA. Formed in 1958 after the Sputnik launch, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has a singular mission: to prevent and create strategic surprise. The principal agency within the Department of Defense (DoD) for research, development and demonstration of high-risk, high-payoff capabilities, DARPA has persisted as a critical-mass collection of some of the best and brightest technical visionaries for the DoD and the Nation for more than 50 years. "Throughout its history, DARPA has had achievements ranging from the Internet to stealth, from GPS to MEMS, from rockets to the M-16 rifle, and from crowd sourced vehicles to plant-derived vaccines." Today, DARPA is tackling some of the most pressing and vexing challenges facing the DoD.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Political Science Department, SHASS Dean's Office, PIE (Production in the Innovation Economy)
For more information, contact:
Adriane Cesa


OpenCourt: Transparency in the Court
Tuesday, November 29, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Cambridge
RSVP required for those attending in person at

This event will be webcast live at at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.

OpenCourt aims to create a model for judicial transparency in the U.S as envisioned by our Founders. This Knight News Challenge pilot project streams live daily coverage and posts it onto the Internet daily. The inherent tension in this project is between the First and Sixth Amendments -- the press’ right to free speech and citizens’ rights to a fair trial.

Our streaming and archive videos represent a firehose of information. How do we increase the value of this raw footage -- by helping people use it, by contextualizing the content and meta-data such as subject tags to better organize and increase access to the information gathered.

Other challenges we face are how to scale up beyond a single courtroom and how to make the project sustainable.

John Davidow, Executive Producer

John Davidow was named WBUR’s executive editor of new media in July of 2009, where he has overseen the growth of the award-winning John joined WBUR as news director/managing editor in 2003 after spending more than two decades as a journalist in Boston. John’s work has been recognized with national and regional awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Associated Press and UPI. He has also been the recipient of a number of regional Emmy Awards. Davidow graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s in economics.

Joe Spurr, Director

Joe Spurr is a multimedia journalist and a web developer. Before coming to WBUR, he was the staff web developer for San Diego’s NPR station, which he helped completely overhaul in 2009. He pioneered the station’s adoption of Twitter and Google “My Maps” which culminated during the 2007 California wildfires, built layered, interactive maps to help track the drug-related murder surge in Tijuana, and produced in a roving, three-person skeleton crew from the DNC and RNC in 2008. Joe is a Boston native, a graduate of Northeastern University, and a former freelance reporter at the Boston Globe.

Val Wang, Producer

Val Wang is an experienced writer and multimedia producer who has worked for Reuters Television, NBC News, and UNICEF in both New York and Beijing. She has also developed and produced documentaries airing on PBS, National Geographic Channel, and The History Channel. Val graduated from Williams College and has an MA from the Writing Seminars of The Johns Hopkins University. A recent transplant to Boston, she is excited to get an in-depth look into a unique corner of the city as well as into our nation’s judicial system.


Energy-efficient Wireless Sensors: Fewer Bits, Moore MEMS

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


MIT, Building 34-101
Speaker: Fred Chen MTL Doctoral Dissertation Seminar: Ph.D, MIT

MTL Seminar Series

Refreshments at 3:30 p.m.

Most technical challenges surrounding wireless sensor networks can be linked to the energy constraints of each sensor node, where wireless communication and leakage energy are the dominant components of active and idle energy costs. To address these two limitations, compressed sensing (CS) theory is presented as a generic source coding framework that can minimize the transmitted data while micro-electro-mechanical (MEM) relay technology is proposed to eliminate the leakage.
The practicality of adopting CS under finite resources, input noise, and wireless channel constraints is examined. We show that CS, despite being a lossy compression algorithm, can realize compression factors greater than 10X with no loss in fidelity for sparse signals quantized to medium resolutions. A 90nm CMOS test chip, consuming 1.9 ??W for frequencies below 20 kHz, demonstrates an efficient hardware encoder design that enables continuous, on-the-fly compression of EEG and EKG signals.

To address sub-threshold leakage, we develop design methodologies towards leveraging the zero leakage characteristics of MEM relays while overcoming their slower switching speeds. Scaled relay circuits show the potential for >10X improvements in energy efficiency over CMOS, while early experimental results demonstrate the functionality of several circuit building blocks to validate the viability of the technology.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: free
Sponsor(s): Microsystems Technology Laboratories
For more information, contact:
Valerie Dinardo


Energy Storage for Renewable Generation
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
4:00 PM (reception following)
MIT, Stata Center, Room 32-141, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Abas El Gamal, Stanford
Abstract: The high variability of renewable energy resources (especially wind) presents significant challenges to the operation of the electric power grid. This variability can be mitigated architecturally via spatial averaging and renewable resource diversity (wind + solar), and operationally using conventional generators, demand response, and energy storage. My talk will focus only energy storage and conventional generation. First, I will formulate the single-bus power flow with storage as an infinite horizon stochastic optimization problem with the net renewable generation as input and conventional generation and storage as control variables. I will show that greedy policies are optimal for average conventional generation (environmental penalty) and average loss of load probability cost functions. I will then argue that the error of the short term prediction of net renewable generation can be modeled as an IID process, and formulate a residual power flow problem as an infinite horizon average-cost dynamic program with the net generation error as input and fast-ramping generation (gas turbines) and fast-response storage (EV batteries) as control variables. Under this model, the asymptotic benefits of fast-response storage can be quantified. With the additional assumption of Laplace distributed net generation error, closed form expressions for the stationary distribution of storage and fast-ramping generation can be obtained. I will then propose a two-threshold policy that trades off fast-ramping generation with loss of load. Finally, I show that our results and the Laplacian assumption corroborate well with simulations using wind power generation data from NREL.

This talk is based on joint work with Han-I Su.

Biography: Abbas El Gamal is the Hitachi America Professor in the School of Engineering and the Director of the Information Systems Lab in the department of electrical engineering at Stanford University. His research contributions have spanned network information theory, Field Programmable Gate Array, and digital imaging devices and systems. He has authored or coauthored over 200 papers and holds 30 patents in these areas. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and has received several honors and awards for his research contributions, most recently the 2012 Claude E. Shannon Award.


Large Scale Banking for the Poor
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
MIT, Building Wong Auditorium-E51
Stratton Lecture on Critical Issues

About 70 percent of the world's people live in informal economies that require financing-from working capital to tools, equipment, and labor. But historically most low income people have been left out of the banking system. Instead they pay usury rates to moneylenders or stash money around their houses.

Major advances over the last decade have vastly improved knowledge of the lives and financial needs of poor people and addressed them through enhanced environments for commercial microfinance and better delivery of loans, savings, insurance, and payments. Breakthroughs in technology enable wider outreach, faster service, and improved security. Countries with demonstrated successes with millions of microfinance clients include Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, and South Africa.

Commercial microfinance for the poor is a critical issue because it is the only possible route to long-term global financial inclusion. Three distinguished speakers will discuss obstacles and opportunities that lie ahead. These speakers are Marguerite S. Robinson, advisor to governments, banks, an donors on commercial microfinance policy and issues; Michael Chu, Harvard Business School senior lecturer; and Robert Peck Christen, president of the Boulder Institute of Microfinance.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Women's League
For more information, contact:
Sis de Bordenave


Science and Democracy Lecture: "Investigating with a Camera"
November 29, 2011
5 pm
Harvard, Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy St, Cambridge

Science and Democracy, a lecture series aimed at exploring both the promised benefits or our era's most salient scientific and technological breakthroughs and the potentially harmful consequences of developments that are inadequately understood, debated, or managed by politicians, lay publics, and policy institutions.

"Investigating with a Camera"
Errol Morris, Academy Award-winning Filmmaker and Author


Tech Tuesday: Meet the Rockstar Developers of Massachusetts
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (ET)
MicroSoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA

MassTLC is hosting the region's colleges and universities for a night of networking and pizza with the area's hottest developers!
Registration Opens at 5:30pm. The event will start at 6:00pm sharp!
Register at

Moderator: Vinit Nijhawan, Managing Director, Technology Development Office and Lecturer School of Management & Director Enterprise Programs, ITEC, Boston University
Walt Doyle, CEO, WHERE
Eran Egozy, Founder, Harmonix Music Systems
Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder, HubSpot
Jeremy Wertheimer, Founder, ITA Software by Google
We’re kicking off this unique night with a group of powerhouse developers who have successfully built companies and cool technologies that have powered a generation. We’ll discover the decisions that influenced the trajectory of their careers, from an idea through development, implementation and success. They’ll share their insights on triumphing and the lessons they learned along the way.

Next, developers from some of the region’s hottest companies will give a 20 second shout out on the cool technologies they’re working on and why you should learn more. Students will then get a chance to network with the developers and visit their demos.

This is a must attend event for students and developers looking to connect with amazing technology companies in Massachusetts – from start-ups to well established enterprise – the opportunities for students in Massachusetts are endless!

Did we mention give aways? We will be giving away two $150 AMEX giftcards to students only! Details to come


Energiewende: German Angst or Bold Step Ahead?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
MIT, Building 66-110

Speaker: Joschka Fischer, Principal, Joschka Fischer and Company; Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany, 1998-2005

The imperative to decouple growth from emissions must be shared by the developing and developed world alike if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. This will require the installation of a new economic model across the globe. To this end, energy efficiency, sustainability, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and energy security will be the keys to avoid a global crisis for the world climate.
Germany is a highly industrialized country and with its recent decision to eliminate nuclear energy, it has the potential to become a model for how a carbon-free economy without nuclear power can prosper. However, the political environment in Germany means it has passed a "point of no return" - nuclear energy will be completely phased out in 2022 while Germany vows to continue to honor its greenhouse gas emissions reductions commitments. For Germany, there is no way back to the energy sources of the 20th Century.

Today, the country faces uncertainty regarding how exactly it will meet its energy needs while facing self-imposed nuclear and emissions constraints. But by creating a "sink or swim" situation, Germany will be forced to innovate and lead. In doing so, Germany seeks to create a huge opportunity for companies and technologies that will help it to master this ambitious energy transformation, or "Energiewende".

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative
For more information, contact:
Jameson Twomey


Harvard Energy Innovation Showcase
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Harvard Hall 201, 12 Harvard Yard, Cambridge

Harvard Energy Innovation Showcase
Come hear Harvard's leading energy innovators present their cutting-edge clean energy research and perspectives on commercializing innovation.
Daniel Schrag, Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Senior Advisor on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Eric Mazur, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Co-Founder of Black Silicon Company SiOnyx
Michael Aziz, Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies
Michael B. McElroy, Professor of Environmental Studies

Please register at

Pizza will be provided.

Presented by the Harvard College Global Energy Initiative, the HBS Energy and Environment Club, theEnvironmental Action Committee, and the Graduate School of Design Green Design Club


Life in the Universe: Finding Intelligence

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


MIT, Building N51, MIT Museum

Speaker: Paul Horowitz, Richard Wrangham

Are We Alone? That question has perplexed humanity for centuries. Perhaps scientists are getting closer to the answer; come find out during four evenings of discussion as biologists, astronomers, geologists, chemists and anthropologists talk and share their insights with you as they explain some of their latest research about life on other planets, as well as on our own.

Part 4 of 4: Finding Intelligence
Mind matters. Harvard researchers Paul Horowitz, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, and Richard Wrangham, Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, lead the final conversation of the series, discussing the nature of intelligence and how we go about detecting it--on Earth, and elsewhere in the universe. What does it take for animals to evolve intelligence, and how common is this event in the universe?

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: free
Sponsor(s): MIT Museum
For more information, contact:
Josie Patterson


WHAT'S IN YOUR STUFF? How today’s technology is helping consumers choose products for a better world.
Networking Reception begins at 6:30pm. Drinks will be served
Speakers begin at 7pm
Microsoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Register at

Come join a conversation hosted by Cone Communications about transparency and consumer choice. We will be joined by Dara O’Rourke, founder of the GOOD GUIDE; Theo Forbath, the VP of Innovation Strategy at Frog Design; Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation and Design at Communispace; and Beth Holzman, Manager of CSR Strategy and Reporting at Timberland. The event promises to be an engaging and interesting opportunity to learn about and contribute to new ideas in transparency, technology and consumer demand!

Dara O’Rourke, a former MIT professor and successful social entrepreneur, has worked with leading companies and organizations - from Nike to the World Bank to Target - on supply chain issues and transparency. Dara’s latest venture is the Good Guide, a website and iPhone app that provides consumers with real-time ratings of a product’s health, social and environmental impacts.

Check out the Good Guide:
Check out Cone's Cause and CR blog:
Twitter: @ConeLLC #whatsinyourstuff
Latest Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study:

There is no charge for this event.


Noam Chomsky: Democracy in America and Abroad

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 7:00 pm
Tufts University, Cabot Intercultural Center, ASEAN Auditorium, 160 Packard Avenue, Medford


The Street Just Out of Sight
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
MIT, Building 6-120

Speaker: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, memoirist, blogger, and about-to-be historical novelist has created a body of work that examines America, past and present. He covers culture, politics and social issues from within the knowledge that ours is not a post racial community. Coates will read from his first novel, set before, during and after the Civil War, told through a series of voices those of slaves and former slaves, of slave owners, and more.

From there, he will speak about how creating those voices led him to think about the idea of the writer's voice and what it takes to create stories that are not just read, but remembered.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

For more information, contact:
Shinika Spencer


Harvard Fall Freecycle

Wednesday, Nov.30th, 2011
9am-10:30am: drop off items
11am-2pm: browse, take and celebrate

Harvard, Maxwell Dworkin, 1st Fl. Lobby, 33 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Freecycle is back! Don’t trash your office leftovers, freecycle them! File folders, cabinets, printers/cartridges, books, lamps and other office supplies. Please, NO: TVs, computers, large electronics, or large furniture. Save big items for Craigslist, the ReuseList or Harvie.

Please bring items to donate on the day of the event (9-10.30am). All leftover items will be donated to local charities.


"From Democratic Consensus to Cannibalistic Hordes: The Principles of Collective Behavior"
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
11:00am - 12:00pm
Harvard, BioLabs Main Lecture Hall, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge

Speaker: Iain Couzin, Princeton University
Hosted by: Olveczky and Pierce Labs


Photonic Quantum Control from Simulation to New Architectures for Quantum Computers

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


MIT, Building 36-428

Optics & Quantum Electronics Seminar Series

Speaker: Prof. Philip Walther, University of Vienna

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Optics, EECS/RLE

For more information, contact:
Donna Gale


“Winning the Clean Energy Race”: Dr. Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Wednesday, November 30, 12:00-1:00pm
Morss Hall, Walker Memorial
Lunch will be served following Secretary Chu's remarks.

The MIT Energy Club and MIT Energy Initiative are pleased to welcome U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to MIT who will be giving an address on November 30, 2011 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm EST on "Winning the Clean Energy Race."

Registration is now open at and we highly encourage you register as soon as possible to guarantee a spot. The event is open to all MIT personnel, student and faculty from other neighboring universities, professionals, and other members of the community.

Speaker Biography

As United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu is charged with helping implement President Obama's ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis, and create millions of new jobs.

Dr. Chu is a distinguished scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997). He has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy challenges and stopping global climate change - a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu was the Director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies. He also taught at the University of California as a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.


Beyond Conventional Climate Sensitivity: Mechanisms of Pliocene Warmth
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
MIT, Building 54-918
EAPS Department Lecture Series talk

Speaker: Professor Alexey Fedorov, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: $0.00
Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS)
For more information, contact:
Jacqui Taylor


The effects of microstructure on transport and chemistry within porous composite electrodes for fuel cells and batteries
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
MIT, Building 4-159
Center for Energy and Propulsion Research - Reacting Gas Dynamics Seminar

Speaker: Prof. Robert J. Kee, Mechanical Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines

Professor Kee holds the George R. Brown Distinguished chair in the Division of Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Kee's research efforts are primarily in the modeling and simulation of thermal and chemically reacting flow processes, with applications to combustion, electrochemistry, and materials manufacturing. His fuel-cell research concentrates on elementary chemistry and electrochemistry formulations and their coupling with reactive fluid flow. Primary applications are to solid-oxide fuel cells operating on hydrocarbon fuels. Dr. Kee is the principal architect and developer of the CHEMKIN software, and primary author of Chemically Reacting Flow: Theory and Practice (JohnWiley & Sons, 2003).

The performance of electrochemical devices depends greatly upon the structure and microstructure of porous composite electrodes. Because of great scale disparities between the complete electrode and its microstructure, effective transport properties (e.g., electronic and ionic conductivity) are required to model at the larger cell and system scales. A number of alternative approaches have been developed to model transport within porous electrode structures and to derive effective properties.

Percolation theory leads to analytic expressions that relate effective properties to intrinsic material properties in ways that depend upon microstructural characteristics. Effective properties can also be estimated from the direct computational simulation of transport through synthesized structures. Experimental techniques can deliver geometrically accurate 3D representations of actual electrodes. Actual electrode microstructures can be discretized with finite-volume representations and conservation equations solved to predict transport within complex 3D microstructures. In addition to advancing fundamental understanding and insight, such models provide the means to evaluate the validity of more-approximate models that are derived from synthesized microstructures.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): RGD Lab

For more information, contact:
Jeff Hanna


“North America’s New Age of Energy Abundance: Prudent Oil and Natural Gas Development”
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Harvard, Science Center D, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Featuring James Hackett, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Future of Energy

James T. Hackett is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, one of the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. He joined the company in December 2003 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Houston-based Anadarko is active in the United States, Algeria, Brazil, China, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Ghana and is executing strategic exploration programs in several other countries.

Before joining Anadarko, Mr. Hackett served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Devon Energy Corporation following its merger with Ocean Energy where he served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, itself a product of a merger in 1999 with Seagull Energy Corporation where he was Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. He joined Seagull from Duke Energy where he led its Energy Services Division as President. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President of Pan Energy when the company merged with Duke Power to create Duke Energy. His energy experience includes positions in engineering, finance and marketing with NGC Corp., Burlington Resources and Amoco Oil Co.

Mr. Hackett is Chairman of America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) and is on the Board of several industry associations including the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petroleum Council. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He is a director of Fluor Corporation and Halliburton and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is the former Chairman and now member of Houston Grand Opera’s Board and serves as Vice Chairman of the Baylor College of Medicine, and on the Boards of the Welch Foundation for Chemistry, the Business Roundtable, and the Trilateral Commission. He is also a Board Member and adjunct professor at Rice University.

Mr. Hackett holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. He and his wife Maureen have four children.

Contact Name: Lisa Matthews


Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge

A lecture and booksigning by Piotr Naskrecki.
In his newest book, Relics, world-renowned zoologist Piotr Naskrecki travels the globe to photograph “relics,” creatures or habitats that, while acted upon by evolution, remain remarkably similar to their earliest manifestations in the fossil record. From horseshoe crabs of the Atlantic to orchids of New Guinea, Naskrecki has created a time-lapse tour of life that has persisted nearly untouched for hundreds of millions of years. Free and open to the public


Smart Grid Webinar Sessions on December 1st
11:00AM EST
12:00PM EST

Attend this complimentary event to learn from leading smart grid experts. Speakers will discuss DOE smart grid initiatives and share the latest research on how utilities should articulate the value of smart grid investments.

US DOE Smart Grid Perspectives & Implementation Experience

The Value of Smarter Energy: Making the Case for Orchestrating the Network
Dan T. Ton, Program Manager, Smart Grid Research & Development, U.S. Department of Energy
Bridget Meckley, Energy & Utilities Leader, IBM Center for Applied Insights


"The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Solving the Energy Challenge"
Thursday, December 1, 2011
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Northwest Lecture Hall B-103, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Lecture:

Speaker: Steven Chu, US Secretary of Energy
Contact Name: Michelle Cicerano (617) 495-4448
Reinventing the Energy Future

December 01, 2011


MIT, Building E62-262

Andrew Chung, Partner at Khosla Ventures, will discuss how venture capitalists and entrepreneurs can address the energy crisis and invest in our future by placing big bets and searching for "black swans." Such opportunities may carry greater risk and higher failure rates, but are more likely to have a revolutionary impact on our world. To borrow the words of Robert Kennedy, "Only those who dare fail greatly can achieve greatly."

Category: MIT events/clubs: interest clubs/groups

Sponsored by: MIT Energy Club, Energy & Environment Community

Admission: Open to the public

For more information: Contact MIT Energy Club


"Environmental Consequences of International Trade, with Focus on China"
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Harvard, Pierce Hall 100F, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge

XU Ming, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Systems, School of Natural Resources and Environment; Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
Abstract: Globalization has been primarily facilitated by international trade in the way that countries specialize in producing products and services in which they have comparative advantages. One of the environmental consequences of international trade is the creation of pollution havens in the sense that developing countries become more specialized in pollution- and energy-intensive industries. This talk will summarize the author’s past research on evaluating environmental impacts embodied in international trade, focusing on US-China trade and China’s exports.
Contact Name: Chris Nielsen

Howard Gardner: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed
WHEN Thu., Dec. 1, 2011, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
WHERE Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138
TYPE OF EVENT Discussion, Forum, Lecture, Question & Answer Session
BUILDING/ROOM Harvard Graduate School of Education, Askwith Hall
CONTACT PHONE 617-384-9968
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Education, Lecture, Special Events
NOTE Speaker: Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, HGSE
Introduction: Kathleen McCartney, Dean and Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development, HGSE
Howard Gardner will discuss the challenges faced by traditional education in light of two forces: the post-modern critique from the humanities and the disruptive potentials of the new digital media. As addressed in his most recent book, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues of the Twenty-First Century, Gardner will describe how the core ideas of truth, beauty, and goodness can survive and even be strengthened in education across the life span. Expanding on the argument in his book, he'll describe promising approaches for educators.
Professor Gardner will sign his new book prior to the forum. Copies will be available for purchase.

"Products, Plastics, Putrefaction and Power: Rethinking how we Manage Materials to Achieve Just Sustainability"
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Harvard, Peabody Museum Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge
Samantha MacBride, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University.

This is part of the series, “Trash Talk: the Anthropology of Waste.” ADMISSION IS FREE and the Peabody's Geological Lecture Hall is located at 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, a 5 minute walk from the Red Line's Harvard Square station.


"When the Experts are Uncertain: Scientific Knowledge and the Ethics of Democratic Judgment"
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Harvard, Austin Hall, 100 North, Harvard Law School, 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Melissa Lane, Professor of Politics, Princeton University
Lectures are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available.
Please visit for a full listing of this year’s events.

Abstract: This paper explores the problem of the relation of democratic judgment to expert knowledge, focusing in particular on the case of scientific knowledge and the implications of its forms of uncertainty. It begins by broadly characterizing the problem of knowledge in political theory and in democratic theory in particular, drawing on the history of political thought – and in particular on democratic Athens and its philosophical critics – to do so. The model of popular judgment – and its relation to organized domains of expert knowledge – is elicited from this history as a promising lens for contemporary democratic theory. The paper then turns to the evaluation of the relation of democratic judgment to expert knowledge in a variety of modern disciplines, surveying certain positions in social epistemology and in social psychology. It identifies an excessive limitation to the question of identifying experts to whom to defer in the former literature, and an excessive tendency to manipulation in the question of how to correct for known biased heuristics in judgment in the latter (also indeed borrowed by the former). Both of these weaknesses will be exacerbated in the case of significant scientific uncertainty of certain kinds, as attends our current knowledge of the likely course of climatic change. As an alternative, the paper concludes by proposing a focus on enabling the public to engage in judging the broad outline of scientific claims, including an assessment of where uncertainties do and do not affect it and of what kinds. While this is a more demanding standard than deference and identification alone, it may also prove more robust.

Contact Name: Abigail Bergman Gorlach 617.495.0599
NE Games SIG Event: Building the Talent Pipeline: A Collaboration of the Game Industry and Academia
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Microsoft NERD Center One Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA 02139
Speaker: Tim Loew of Becker College, Phillip Tan of the MIT Gambit Game Lab, Monty Sharma of MassDigi, Terrence Masson of Northeastern University, Mark Claypool of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Mary Jane Begin of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Talent is the essential ingredient to success in game development. The MIT Enterprise Forum's New England Games SIG provides a look at the state of collaboration between industry and academia with this panel discussion.
Register at

How can we build a stronger pipeline of talent and what more can be done to improve the number and quality of graduates from schools in the region? This panel of game industry veterans and academic leaders will discuss this topic, as well as provide an overview of the Massachusetts Digital Game Institute???s (MassDigi) outreach from K-12 to colleges/ universities across the Commonwealth and MassDigi???s industry focused programs. In addition, colleges from around the region will provide an overview of their video game programs.

6:00pm-7:00pm: Networking & Light Appetizers, Refreshments
7:00pm-8:15pm: Panel
8:15pm-9:00pm: Post-Panel Networking

Come early or stay late to enjoy light appetizers/ drinks and to network with your peers.

Moderated by Robert Ferrari of Bare Tree Media;

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: No charge, but pre-registration required


Sponsor(s): MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge

For more information, contact:
Amy Goggins


"Ideal Cities in the Tropics: Lucio Costa's 1957 Brasilia Pilot Plan"

Thursday, December 01, 2011


MIT, Building 7-431

Architecture Lecture Series

Speaker: Fares el-Dahdah

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Department of Architecture

For more information, contact:


The EU Energy Policy in the 21st Century
WHEN Thu., Dec. 1, 2011, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
WHERE RCC conference room, 26 Trowbridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Environmental Sciences, Lecture, Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Real Colegio Complutense
SPEAKER(S) Rafael Caballero Sánchez
COST Free and open to the public
NOTE In English

Social Good 2.0: Breakfast with Cause-Related Tech Startups
Friday, December 2, 2011
8:30 AM
Space with a Soul, 281 Summer Street, Boston, MA (map)

The past few years have seen a surge of activity around technology and the nonprofit world. Boston is a hotbed of innovative ideas that might really be interesting to cause-related organizations - but it seems like new ones emerge daily. Who has time to keep track - let alone hear what they might be able to offer you? Join us for a morning breakfast highlighting the latest additions to the cause-related technology startup scene in Boston.
Free registration:


Supply and Demand at a Municipal Utility: How Local Solar Generation Can Help Utilities Meet Peak Loads

December 02, 2011


MIT, Building 1-246

Brian Crounse received his M.S. in Environmental Engineering from MIT in 2000. He serves on the Concord Municipal Light Board.

In the Northeast U.S., peak electrical loads typically occur on hot summer days. For a municipal utility, meeting these peak loads is expensive, and requires infrastructure that is underutilized most of the time. Of the strategies that a municipal utility can employ to address peak loads, local solar generation offers an intriguing mix of load matching, reduced transmission requirements, low emissions, and, for the first time, competitive economics. This talk will explore the rationale and implications behind the Concord (MA) Municipal Light Board's solar energy strategy.

Category: lectures/conferences

Sponsored by: MIT Energy Club

Admission: Open to the public

For more information: Contact MIT Energy Club


Rambax Senegalese Drum Ensemble. Lamine Toure and Patricia Tang, co-directors.
Friday, December 02, 2011
MIT, Lobdell, MIT Stratton Student Center

Open to: the general public

Cost: FREE

Tickets: NOT TIX REQ.

Sponsor(s): Music and Theater Arts

For more information, contact:
Clarise Snyder


"Investigating the Gulf Oil Spill: Challenges and Opportunities"
Monday, December 5, 2011
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Harvard, Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building, HKS, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge

Energy Technology Innovation Policy/ Consortium for Energy Policy Research
Energy Policy Seminar Series:

Speaker: Richard Lazarus, Harvard Law School

Lunch will be provided.

Contact Name: Louisa Lund,


"Minds for Sale"
Monday, December 5, 2011
12:15pm - 2:00pm
Harvard, 124 Mt. Auburn St, Suite 100, Room 106
Spekaer: Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law & HKS

Please RSVP to by the Thursday before.


The Fate of Civic Education in a Connected World: A "Fred Friendly" Seminar
Monday, December 5, 6:00 pm
Harvard, Austin East Classroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School, 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Free and Open to the Public; RSVP required for those attending in person at

Featuring Professor Charles Nesson as Provocateur and Ellen Condliffe Lagemann (Bard College), Peter Levine (Tufts University), Harry Lewis (Harvard SEAS), Elizabeth Lynn (Project on Civic Reflection) and Juan Carlos de Martin (Berkman Center) as participants.

Civic education is the cultivation of knowledge and traits that sustain democratic self-governance. The broad agreement that civic education is important disintegrates under close scrutiny. As the social networks of individuals become less based on geography and more based on friendships and common interests, consensus on shared civic values seems harder to achieve. American education is under stress at every level, and schools and colleges must re-imagine their commitment to civic education. This seminar will probe tensions that make civic education difficult, for example:

What's the problem? Doesn't everyone agree that civic education is important? Is civic education being squeezed out in schools, either because of the demands of subject testing or the desire to avoid political controversy?
Does the connectedness of social media support or impair the sorts of connections that lead to active citizenship?
Every tertiary institution wants to be a "global university." What, if any, are the civic responsibilities of a global institution? What civic values are transnational? Should American students learn the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
What about civic education outside of school--for adults, prisoners, and the home-schooled, for example?
Then there was model UN; now there are online simulations. Do they achieve the same ends?
Does civic education include instruction in civic activism, using social media for example?
With connectedness come instantaneity and constant interruptions. Is it even possible to maintain anyone's attention on understanding anything as subtle as the complexities of representative government?
This lively, "Fred Friendly" style seminar is timed to coincide with publication of two edited volumes: Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (David Feith, ed.; Rowman & Littlefield), and What is College For?: The Public Purpose of Higher Education (Ellen Condliffe Lagemann and Harry Lewis, eds.)


Bioclimatic Devices and Adaptations at Alijares Palace (Alhambra, 14th century) and other Nasrid Buildings

Monday, December 05, 2011


MIT, Building 7-431


Speaker: Luis Jose Garcia Pulido, Post-Doctoral Fellow, AKPIA@MIT

Web site:

Open to: the general public
Cost: FREE
Sponsor(s): Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
For more information, contact:
Jose Luis Arguello


Elijah Wald Presents the History & Early Blues' Traditions

Monday, December 05, 2011


MIT, Building 4-231

Speaker: Elijah Wald

Bluesologist and author Elijah Wald presents the history and early traditions of the blues.

Open to: the general public

Cost: free

Sponsor(s): Literature Section




An Update on Deep Energy Retrofits for Buildings - the Intersection of Human-Based and Energy Efficient Design
Thursday, December 08 2011
7:00pm reception, program begins at 7:30 pm
1st Parish Unitarian Church, 3 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge

Speakers: Henry MacLean (Timeless Architecture) & Friends

Contact :
The BASEA forums are held September through May, the second Thursday of each month, except as noted. The forums are free and open to the public.


Renewable Energy-Related Transmission for New Englanders: By Land and By Sea
Friday, December 9, 2011
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Foley Hoag LLP, 155 Seaport Boulevard, 13th Floor, Boston

New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable

We welcome two new speakers to our December 9 Roundtable: Associate Deputy Minister for Energy, Mario Gosselin, Québec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife, and Deepwater Wind CEO, William Moore.

Our 126th New England Electric Restructuring Roundtable focuses on renewable energy-related transmission for New Englanders - both by land and by sea. Utility-scale wind, hydro, and even solar must be sited in proximity to the resource, which is often far from population centers, thus necessitating the building of new transmission lines. The siting, cost, and cost allocation related to these lines is often no less (and sometimes more) controversial than the renewable energy resources they are built to transmit. And the promise of off-shore wind development on the East Coast presents a bevy of additional new technical and other challenges. At this Roundtable, we will explore numerous, very current, renewable energy-related transmission studies and proposed projects.

Our first panel focuses primarily on land-based renewable energy-related transmission. Starting off the panel is Associate Deputy Minister for Energy, Mario Gosselin, from Québec's Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife, who will discuss Québec's current and planned renewable energy resources that could be exported to the Northeast. David Whiteley , Executive Director for the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) then discusses the collaborative scenario planning analysis currently underway on transmission and renewables for the entire Eastern Interconnect (comprising 24 RTOs and over 40 states). Next, First Wind Executive VP/CDO, Kurt Adams, provides a wind developer's perspective on transmission, including potential transmission projects in Maine. David H. Boguslawski, VP for Transmission Strategy/Operations atNortheast Utilities rounds out the panel with a presentation on a transmission owner's perspective on connecting New England wind to the grid and NU/NSTAR's proposed Northern Pass Transmission Project to bring approximately 1,200 MW of mainly hydro power from Québec to New England through New Hampshire.

Our second panel brings together three CEO's to discuss sea-based renewable energy-related transmission. Robert Mitchell, CEO ofAtlantic Wind Connection kicks off the panel with a discussion of Atlantic Wind's proposal to construct a transmission line 20 miles off-shore, between New Jersey and Virginia, to facilitate off-shore wind development (aka Google Line) Edward Krapels, CEO pf Anbaric Transmission, then discusses Anbaric's just- announced (11/14) Bay State Offshore Wind Transmission System, to be located 25 miles off-shore in Massachusetts, to carry up to 2,000 MW of off-shore wind to the NE Grid. Deepwater Wind CEO William Moore rounds out the panel by discussing the Deepwater Wind Energy Center proposal to build 1,000 MW of off-shore wind off the Rhode Island coast, with transmission to both New England and Long Island.




Free Solar Panels for Houses of Worship

From a recent Mass Interfaith Power & Light ( email
"We've recently been talking with DCS Energy ( who has an unbeatable offer: if your site qualifies, they design and install the panels at no cost, don't charge you for any electricity, and donate the system to your house of worship after five years. Your only costs will be for a building permit, possibly a structural engineer to verify that your roof can support their weight, and any preparatory work such as roof work or tree removal. If solar panels are so expensive how can anyone give them away for free? First, there is a federal grant program that is only available until November that pays for 30% of the cost of the system. Then there is an accelerated depreciation option that gives certain kinds of investors another tax advantage. Finally, the state awards a special allowance called a "Solar Renewal Energy Credit" (SRECs) to owners of solar electricity systems which are sold at auctions to utilities who buy them to meet their requirements under the Massachusetts' renewable portfolio standard. DCS is betting that the price of these SRECs will remain high. Jim Nail, president of MA IP&L, has talked to DCS Energy and is currently having them prepare a proposal for his church, St. Dunstan's Episcopal in Dover. Jim says, "The references I've talked to have been quite positive about the program and the company has been very responsive. "If you think your site might qualify, contact Peter Carli,, with the address of your house of worship and your contact information. He'll take a preliminary look at your site and advise you if it meets their criteria."


Young World Inventors Success!

Young World Inventors ( finished their Kickstarter campaign ( to fund insider web stories of African and American innovators in collaboration successfully.

New contributions, however, will be accepted.




Massachusetts Attitudes About Climate Change – An opinion survey of Massachusetts residents conducted by MassINC and sponsored by the Barr Foundation found that 77% of respondents believe that global warming has “probably been happening” and 59% of all respondents see see it as being at least partially caused by human pollution. Only 42% of the state’s residents say global warming will have very serious consequences for Massachusetts if left unaddressed. The 18 to 29 age group is more likely to believe global warming is appearing and caused by humans compared to the 60+ age group. African-American (56%) and Latino residents (69%) are more likely than white residents (40%) to believe global warming will be a very serious problem if left unaddressed. The MassINC report, titled The 80 Percent Challenge: What Massachusetts must do to meet targets and make headway on climate change (, contains many other findings.


The presentations from the recent Affordable Comfort National Home Performance Conference are available online at

Lots of good information from what some call the best energy conference in the USA on Deep Energy Retrofits to Community Energy Challenges with details on insulation, heat flow, energy metering, ducting, hot water, and many, many other topics. If you are a practical energy wonk, this should make your eyes light up.


Free Monthly Energy Analysis

CarbonSalon is a free service that every month can automatically track your energy use and compare it to your past energy use (while controlling for how cold the weather is). You get a short friendly email that lets you know how you’re doing in your work to save energy.


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, contact

------------------------'s Guide to Boston


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

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