Lightning Research Talks 2

Annual Science Board Symposium - New Science. New Horizons.

Ultracold Molecules in Crystals of Light: A Highly Tunable System for Exploring Novel Materials, Quantum Dynamics, and Quantum Complexity

Ultracold Molecules in Crystals of Light: A Highly Tunable System for Exploring Novel Materials, Quantum Dynamics, and Quantum Complexity Ultracold molecules at sub-microKelvin temperatures and trapped in crystals of light (optical lattices) present a new regime of physical chemistry and a new state...

Adaptive Intervention: Healing with Data

Why are treatments for chronic disease and addiction so often ineffective? Statistician Susan Murphy believes that generalized treatment approaches simply don’t take into account critical individual differences like patient response, risk, burden, adherence, and preference. By implementing a sequence...

Two Projects in BioInspired AI: (1) Evolving Neural Networks that are Modular, Hierarchical, and Regular, and (2) Robots that Recover from Damage

This talk summarizes two different, but related research projects. (1) Evolving Neural Networks that are Modular, Hierarchical, and Regular: A major open question in biology is how evolution produced the complexity seen in nature. I study this question by attempting to evolve such complexity in computational...

Ties that Bind: The Goodness of Social Networks

Social networks have proven to be fertile ground for understanding human behavior. This fascinating exploration suggests that we’re much more motivated by social incentives that reward others than by economic self-interest alone. Pentland discusses how studying patterns of information exchange...

Eating our Words: What the Language of Food Says About Us

The words we use to talk about food offers surprising insights on history, economics, psychology, and even evolution. Daniel Jurafsky explores the relationship between food and language around the globe, from the origins of America’s national condiment as a Chinese fermented fish sauce to the reason...

Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science

Professor Epstein will presents Agent_Zero, a new theoretical entity developed under his NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, and just published by Princeton University Press. Agent_Zero is a software individual endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded...

Why We Kill: Violence as Socialization

Acts of serious violence – often committed by seemingly average people – leave us only to ask “Why?” Culture, genetics, and low self-esteem are often cited, but growing evidence points to brutalization experienced in childhood, often at the hands of parents or peers. Ginger Rhodes and Richard Rhodes...

The History of the Universe: How we got here and where we are going

The history of the universe in a nutshell, from the Big Bang to now, and on to the future – John Mather will tell the story of how we got here, how the Universe began with a Big Bang, how it could have produced an Earth where sentient beings can live, and how those beings are discovering their history....

The Complexity of Competition: How Contested Resources and the Scale of Competition Shape Cooperation in Human Groups

Cooperation among people across societies is required to solve our most pressing social and environmental problems. Insights from evolutionary biology are already being used to promote cooperative behavior in contexts such as online social networks. Building on such efforts necessitates a deeper understanding...

Complex Divergent Systems: The Essential Role of Divergence in the Evolution and Discovery of Complexity

The process of natural evolution on Earth has discovered over its history a vast diversity of complex (sometimes astronomically so) and ingenious capabilities that often provide inspiration for human inventors, such as photosynthesis, flight, and even human intelligence. While much is known about evolution...

I Get All the News I Need from the Sports Section

Sports players (or teams) are often described as being hot or cold, implying there is something inherently "streaky" about an athlete's performance that extrapolates to the next try. Using data from 10 seasons of professional basketball and more than a century of major-league baseball, physicist Sid...

Maya Archaeology and Its Relevance to the Modern World

Stanislaw Ulam Lecture Series: Seeing the Future in Our Past: Why Archaeology Matters While the great architectural, artistic, and intellectual achievements of Pre-Columbian Maya peoples continue to bedazzle us for their richness, an understanding of the arc of ancient Maya civilization has relevance...

How Insights from Archaeology Might Help Shape Our Future

Stanislaw Ulam Lecture Series: Seeing the Future in Our Past: Why Archaeology Matters Despite its popularity, archaeology’s public perception is not as accurate as it could be. Archaeologists do not have their collective heads immersed in the past, as is often supposed, but are very much concerned with...

City as a Startup

n 2011, Zappo's CEO Tony Hsieh announced a $350 million effort called The Downtown Project to rejuvenate Las Vegas' downtown, home to some lower-end casinos and motels and not a whole lot else. His plan is to spend much of his own personal fortune to transform this lifeless area about a mile north of...

Inferring Partial Interaction Matrices in Generalized Lotka-Volterra Models of Microbial Communities

Several recent attempts to model the dynamics of the human microbiome from metagenomic time series have relied on the standard ecological framework of generalized Lotka-Volterra equations. I demonstrate using simulated data that interaction matrices inferred for a subset of the community are not in general...

Linguistic Divergence in Timor

The island of Timor, located in South East Asia, experienced a wave of migration from the neighboring islands several thousand years ago, resulting in its domination by the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages. The spread of these Languages and their relationships to each other remain...

The Evolutionary Origins of Developmental Programs

Organisms may exhibit stochastic variation in phenotypes as an evolved strategy to survive in fluctuating environments. These phenotypic variations can have different advantages in different environments; for example, a fast-growing antibiotic-sensitive type and a slow-growing antibiotic-resistant type...

Cost effectiveness of including a whole-cell Bordetella pertussis vaccine in current vaccination programs

Recent evidence suggests that the current acellular Bordetella pertussis vaccine (aP) protects against whooping cough disease, but not against secondary transmission of the B. pertussis bacterium. It is likely that the aP vaccine allows for asymptomatic B. pertussis infections, allowing people to unknowingly...

Analog Circuit Design using Genetic Algorithms

In the world of circuit design, genetic algorithms and other optimizers have been increasingly used over the past two decades. This research focuses on the use of GA’s in analog circuit design including varying mutation rates and matrix encoding. The computational expense is also extremely high for the...