reflections on the technium

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay

Brown Bag at the Movies – Selected technical topics(8)

For this installment of Brown Bag at the Movies we will be viewing (abstract below):

  • Thomas Goetz: importance of information presentation in healthcare
  • Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral
  • Aaron Koblin: Artfully visualizing our humanity
  • Arthur Benjamin’s formula for changing math education

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CEP COMMENT: Interesting point about using fear and how it is NOT effective in changing peoples behavior…

Thomas Goetz: importance of information presentation in healthcare
<http://www.tedmed.com/videos-info?name=Thomas_Goetz_at_TEDMED_2010&q=published&year=all&loader=false>
19:13
ABSTRACT

Wired Magazine’s Thomas Goetz passionately talks about the importance of information presentation in healthcare.

BIO
Thomas Goetz <http://thedecisiontree.com/blog/thomas-goetz/> is executive editor at WIRED Magazine and author of the new book The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine <http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LQ0ETG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=refleonthetec-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217153&creative=399701&creativeASIN=B004LQ0ETG>. Former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler calls The Decision Tree “a game changer,” and Dan Pink calls it “one of 2010’s most important books.”

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CEP COMMENT: Check out his power station design <http://www.heatherwick.com/teesside-power-station/>

Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral
<http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_heatherwick.html>
16:52
ABSTRACT

A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station … And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light.

BIO

Thomas Heatherwick <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Heatherwick> founded Heatherwick Studio <http://www.heatherwick.com/> in 1994 with his aim being “to bring architecture, design and sculpture together within a single practice.” On the team, architects, landscape architects, designers and engineers work from a combined studio and workshop, where concept development, detailing, prototyping and small-scale fabrication take place. The studio’s work spans commercial and residential building projects, masterplanning and infrastructure schemes as well as high profile works of public art.

From his biography at the Design Museum :
Heatherwick finds pleasure in what other designers might perceive as unconventional commissions, like the entrance and carpark for Guys Hospital, near London Bridge. He responded with an organic woven façade, created from stainless steel braid that requires little maintenance and creates a new system for routing traffic. In this context, what Heatherwick cites as his dream design job is unsurprising: a large-scale car park for the 1970s new town, Milton Keynes. “It’s is a weird place but I find it exciting because its infrastructure is taken so seriously,” Heatherwick explains, “It needs multistory car parks. But what world-class example of a well designed car park can you think of? There’s not much competition and they’re a very cheap building typology so you could build the best car park in the world for a fraction of the cost of the fanciest new art gallery… I’d like to work on the world’s best car park.”

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CEP COMMENT: Interesting data visualization concepts…

Aaron Koblin: Artfully visualizing our humanity
<http://www.ted.com/talks/aaron_koblin.html>
18:18
ABSTRACT

Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data — and at times vast numbers of people — and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the “Wilderness Downtown” video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore how modern technology can make us more human.

BIO

Aaron Koblin <http://www.aaronkoblin.com/> finds art through the unlikely confluence of massive data sets and personal intimacy. His work ranges from animating the paths of every North American airline flight, to using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform to pay workers to “draw a sheep facing left,” which were then placed in “The Sheep Market.”

Koblin was creative director for Radiohead’s video “House of Cards,” which received a Grammy nomination. He is now the Creative Director of the Data Arts team in Google’s Creative Lab. From there, he collaborated with Arcade Fire to produce a video that blends images of the viewers home, taken from Google Maps’ Street View, into the experience.

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CEP COMMENT: Bottom line, teach and learn statistics and probability.

Arthur Benjamin’s formula for changing math education
<http://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_benjamin_s_formula_for_changing_math_education.html>
3:02
ABSTRACT

Someone always asks the math teacher, “Am I going to use calculus in real life?” And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age.

BIO
Arthur Benjamin makes numbers dance. In his day job, he’s a professor of math at Harvey Mudd College; in his other day job, he’s a “Mathemagician,” taking the stage in his tuxedo to perform high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other astounding math stunts. It’s part of his drive to teach math and mental agility in interesting ways, following in the footsteps of such heroes as Martin Gardner.

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Written by Chuck Petras

June 2, 2011 at 20:31

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