[act-ma] Energy (and Other) Events

George Mokray gmoke at world.std.com
Sun Feb 14 17:04:37 PST 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Multi-Criteria Lifecycle Evaluation of Transportation Fuels Derived  
from Biomass Gasification
Speaker: Addison Stark - MIT, Dept. Mechanical Engineering

Time: 4:30p–5:30p

Location: 5-314

Center for 21st Century Energy - Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory  
Seminar Series

The development of a domestic biofuel industry has been a major policy  
thrust of the United States federal government in the first decade of  
the 21st century. Cellulosic biofuels have been identified as the  
primary candidate for meeting long term sustainability and energy  
security goals. In this work cellulosic biofuels produced via  
thermochemical processing are analyzed. Thermochemical processing  
utilizes well established chemical synthesis technology and allows for  
both feedstock and product flexibility relative to traditional  
enzymatic biofuel production routes. Here, both Spark Ignition Engine  
fuels (Methanol, Ethanol, Mixed Alcohols, and Methanol-to-Gasoline  
Synthetic Gasoline) and Compression Ignition Engine fuels (Dimethyl  
Ether and Fischer-Tropsch Diesel) are considered.

These fuels are analyzed on a lifecycle basis using identified  
criteria affecting each fuels adoptability including: (1) energy  
efficiency, (2) cost of production and shipping, (3) integrability  
into the current distribution infrastructure and (4) compatibility  
with regulatory and policy landscape. A primary conclusion from this  
analysis is that no one fuel is optimal with respect to all metrics.  
Instead, it is likely that a variety of fuels should be employed for  
different applications.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): RGD Lab

For more information, contact:
Patrick Kirchen
pkirchen at mit.edu

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haiti Relief RoundRound Table Discussion with MA State Reps Marie St- 
Fleur and Linda Dorcena Forry

Speaker: State Reps. Marie P. St. Fleur & Linda Dorcena Forry,  
Moderated by Dr. Dale Joachim

Time: 2:00p–3:30p

Location: E15-070, Bartos Theatre, MIT Media Lab

"Sustainable Cooperation with Haiti" Lecture Series
Lectures & discussion of response to the Haiti crisis with an emphasis  
on applicable roles of energy and communication technologies in the  
long nation re-building efforts to come. What began as an IAP workshop  
at the Media Lab focusing on the January 12th crisis in Haiti will  
continue as a lecture series, a string of projects and continued  
discussions on the history, re-construction and nation-building of  

The unprecedented challenges facing Haiti after the earthquake on  
January 12 invite us to analyze foundational aspects of Haitian  
society as rebuilding projects are being put in place to restore  
virtually every single component of the country's infrastructure--- 
physical, health-related educational, socio-economic, political, etc.

This round table, with Massachusetts State Representatives Marie P.  
St. Fleur and Linda Dorcena Forry (both of whom are Haitian-American),  
and Prof. Steven Lerman, Vice Chancellor and Dean of Graduate  
Education will explore the anticipated contributions of research  
universities in Haiti's rebuilding efforts and how these contributions  
will bear on these universities' traditional missions of research and  
teaching. Both state representatives represent districts in Boston and  
have been instrumental as leaders in working with the Haitian  
community and the Mayor's office to support the local Haitian  
community in Boston.

The round table will be moderated by Dr. Dale Joachim and will take  
place at 2:00pm, February 17th?in the?Bartos Theater at the Media Lab  

This event is being held as part of the lecture series "Sustainable  
Cooperation with Haiti" (http://krikkrak.media.mit.edu/lectureseries).

Web site: http://krikkrak.media.mit.edu/lectureseries

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): Media Lab Haiti Initiative

For more information, contact:
Dale Joachim
kristin at media.mit.edu

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future

Speaker: Chris Mooney, Senior Correspondent, The American Prospect  

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 54-915

Special DLS/MASS Seminar Series

Special DLS/MASS Seminar Lecture

Web site: http://eapsweb.mit.edu/news/dls.html

Open to: the general public

Cost: 0.00

Tickets: N/A

Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

For more information, contact:
Jacqui Taylor
jtaylor at mit.edu

Thursday, February 18, 2010

MIT CEER Kick-off Event: China's climate change policy, technologies,  
and investment in the post-Copenhagen era

Speaker: Prof. Gang Chen, Dr. John Parsons, Prof. Kelly Sims  
Gallagher, Ms. Amy Corinne Smith

Time: 3:00p–5:00p

Location: 32-155

What is the deadlock between USA and China on climate change  
cooperation? How to break the deadlock? What's the trend of the carbon  
market, and the implication for China's investment in clean energy?

If you want to discuss any of these interesting questions, or want to  
hear how some of our experts response, please join us for the MIT  
China Energy and Environment Research Group (CEER) kick-off event on  
China's climate change policy, technologies, and investment in the  
post-Copenhagen era on Thursday Feb 18.

We will be honored to present a panel discussion given by

Prof. Gang Chen (Warren and Towneley Rohsenow Professor, MIT  
Mechanical Engineering)

Dr. John Parsons (Executive Director of Center for Energy and  
Environmental Policy Research, MIT Sloan Management)

Prof. Kelly Sims Gallagher (Fletcher College, Tufts University and  
Harvard China project, Harvard University)

Ms. Amy Corinne Smith (Managing Director, Co-Head of Alternative  
Energy Banking, Barclays Capital).

The panel discussion is followed by a social session, fruit/beverage/ 
refreshment will be served.

See you at 3:00 pm, Thursday Feb 18 in MIT 32-155!

Web site: http://ceer.mit.edu/event

Open to: the general public

Date: Friday, February 19 2010
Time: 1:00PM to 2:00PM
Refreshments: 12:45PM
Location: Kiva Conference Room 32-G449

Combining Minds: Coordination and Social Sensemaking

Speaker: Niki Kittur, Carnegie Mellon University
Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL
Contact: Michael Bernstein, msbernst at mit.edu
Relevant URL: kittur.org
The amount of information available to individuals today is enormous  
and rapidly increasing. Continued progress in science, education, and  
technology is fundamentally dependent on making sense of and finding  
insights in overwhelming amounts of data. However, human cognition,  
while unparalleled at discovering patterns and linking seemingly- 
disparate concepts, is also limited in the amount of information it  
can process at once. One promising solution to this problem is through  
social collaboration, in which groups of individuals work together to  
produce knowledge and solve problems that exceed any individual's  
cognitive capacity.

In this talk I describe a series of studies examining the importance  
of coordination in harnessing the power of the crowds for complex  
information processing tasks in Wikipedia and beyond. I also present  
research into visualization and machine learning tools aimed at  
increasing the effectiveness of these systems. Finally, I discuss  
early forays into extending social collaboration to support insight  
and discovery.

Speaker Biography:
Aniket Kittur is an assistant professor in the Human-Computer  
Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his  
Ph.D. from UCLA in cognitive psychology and did his undergraduate work  
at Princeton University in psychology and computer science. His  
research focuses on understanding and augmenting how humans make sense  
of large amounts of information. At the group level he studies the  
dynamics of social collaborative systems such as Wikipedia and  
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and how visualization and machine learning  
tools can increase their effectiveness. At the individual level, his  
research interests center on human information processing in  
categorization and memory. His research employs multiple complementary  
techniques, including empirical experiments, statistical and  
computational modeling, visualization, data mining, and machine  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seminar on Enviromental and Agricultural History

Speaker: Ellen Stroud, Bryn Mawr College

Time: 2:30p–4:30p

Location: E51-095

"Dead as Dirt: An Environmental History of the Dead Body"

Web site: http://web.mit.edu/history/www/nande/modTimes.html

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): History Office, STS

For more information, contact:
Margot Collet
history-info at mit.edu

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

For more information, contact:
Lei Chen
ceer_board at mit.edu


Caspian Energy: Phase II

Brown Bag Lunch
Series: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and  
International Security Program Seminar
Open to the Public - CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, S354
February 16, 2010
12:15-2:00 p.m.
Brenda Shaffer, Senior Lecturer, University of Haifa
Related Project: International Security
Caspian energy production and export is entering its second phase.   
With the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE), and  
the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) operating fully, regional and  
international focus has shifted to examining the second phase of  
Caspian energy production and export: Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Two,  
additional markets for Turkmen natural gas, and export of Kazakhstan's  
natural gas. A number major geopolitical question marks will affect  
the destiny of these energy sources:  Russia's reassertiveness in the  
Caspian region, instability in Iran, transit disputes with Turkey,  
unclear U.S. policy toward the region, and amplification of the  
Nagorno-Karabagh conflict resolution process.
Dr. Brenda Shaffer will discuss these geopolitical quagmires and their  
impact on the prospects for a new round of major production and export  
projects from the Caspian region.
This seminar is co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and  
Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.
Speaker Info:
Dr. Brenda Shaffer is the author of the book Energy Politics  
(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and a faculty member at the  
University of Haifa. Dr. Shaffer previously served as the Research  
Director of the Caspian Studies Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.  
She is also a visiting professor at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic  
Academy.  She is also the author of Borders and Brethren: Iran and the  
Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity (MIT Press, 2002) and the editor of  
The Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy (MIT Press, 2006). She  
serves as a lecturer and consultant on the Caspian region to a number  
of public organizations, governments, and regional security  
organizations, including NATO. Dr. Shaffer's op-eds have appeared in a  
number of newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the  
International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and the  
Boston Globe.
The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies
3rd Floor- CGIS 1730 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard University
Email: pskalnik at fas.harvard.edu
Phone: 617-495-4037
Url: http://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/

February 16, 2010
7:00-9:00 pm
Film Screening & Panel: Food Fight and discussion about Slow Money  
Where: Science Center Lecture Hall A, Cambridge campus
Does the term “foodie” inspire, irritate, or intrigue you? Do you  
wonder what the big deal is about food that is locally grown, organic,  
or “sustainable”? Do you wonder whether your food choices really  
matter? Join the Harvard University Dining Services Food Literacy  
Project for a screening of the award-winning documentary Food Fight  
and a discussion with filmmaker Chris Taylor and Woody Tasch, the  
founder of Slow Money Alliance.  Food Fight explores the political and  
social changes that shaped 20th century American agricultural policy  
and food culture and the changing relationship between consumers and  
big agribusiness.  Slow Money Alliance is a new nonprofit that  
combines principles of philanthropy and investing to “bring money back  
down to earth” by encouraging investment in small food enterprises,  
local food systems, and local economies.  Questions?  Contacttheresa_mcculla at harvard.edu 
  for information. The event is free and open to the public.

Sustainability Film Screening: Food Fight
Tue., Feb. 16, 2010, 7 – 9 p.m.
Hall A, Science Center, One Oxford St., Cambridge, MA
Environmental Sciences, Film, Health Sciences, Presentation/Lecture,  
Social Sciences, Special Events
Harvard University Dining Services' Food Literacy Project
Filmmaker Chris Taylor and Woody Tasch, the founder of Slow Money  
Free and open to the public.
Join the Harvard University Dining Services Food Literacy Project for  
a screening of the award-winning documentary "Food Fight" and a  
discussion with filmmaker Chris Taylor and Woody Tasch, the founder of  
Slow Money Alliance. "Food Fight" explores the political and social  
changes that shaped 20th century American agricultural policy and food  
culture and the changing relationship between consumers and big  
agribusiness. Slow Money Alliance is a new nonprofit that combines  
principles of philanthropy and investing to “bring money back down to  
earth” by encouraging investment in small food enterprises, local food  
systems, and local economies.

Green Public Diplomacy: Sustainability as Finland's Message in the U.S.
Wed., Feb. 17, 2010, 2:10 – 4 p.m.
Belfer Center Library, Harvard Kennedy School
Presentation/Lecture, Social Sciences
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Pekka Lintu, Finland ambassador to the U.S.
jed_willard at hks.harvard.edu
In this seminar, Finland's ambassador to the United States, Pekka  
Lintu, will discuss public diplomacy in U.S. and European relations as  
well as its role in bringing about comprehensive climate change  
policies in the United States.

The Fast Track to Finding a Habitable Exoplanet
Wed., Feb. 17, 2010, 4 – 5 p.m.
Room 1068, Biological Laboratories Lecture Hall, 16 Divinity Ave.
Presentation/Lecture, Science
Harvard Origins of Life Initiative
David Charbonneau

Biodiversity, Ecology, and Global Change Series: "Acute Infectious  
Diseases in Space and Time"

Wed., Feb. 17, 2010, 5 p.m.
Sherman Fairchild Lecture Hall, 7 Divinity Ave.
Environmental Sciences, Presentation/Lecture, Science, Social Sciences
Harvard University Center for the Environment
Bryan Grenfell, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
Free and open to the public
Reception to follow.

Marcel Smets: "Infrastructure Design in the Contemporary Landscape"

Wed., Feb. 17, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy St.
Art/Design, Environmental Sciences, Humanities, Presentation/Lecture,  
Social Sciences
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Department of Urban Planning and  
Design and Department of Landscape Architecture
Marcel Smets, state architect to the Flemish government and professor  
of urbanism, University of Leuven, Belgium
The design of infrastructure is a formative element of the  
contemporary landscape. It inevitably produces a physical presence  
that affects its environs and constitutes a layer of a new totality.  
Infrastructure is not just an isolated entity for organizing transport  
or generating motion. It acts as the cornerstone for generating an  
inclusive new environment.
In this lecture, Marcel Smets will analyze the basic attitudes that  
dominate the design of transport infrastructure in the world today. He  
characterizes five basic approaches:
- Hiding
- Camouflage
- Assimilation
- Detachment
- Fusion
Each of these design approaches will be clearly identified and amply  
illustrated by archetypical examples of different programmatic nature  
(roads, bridges, parking, rail, and airport infrastructures).  
Indirectly, the lecture pleads for a more integrated design effort  
that addresses a new public space typology. Such conception of  
infrastructure as an inclusive landscape design is presented as a  
major requirement for enhancing the quality of today's built  
This lecture also announces the publication of the book, "The  
Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure" (written by Kelly Shannon  
and Marcel Smets, Nai-Publishers, Rotterdam, 2010). More information  
can be found onwww.naipublishers.nl…

Ecologies of Human Flourishing: A Case From Pre-modern South India

Thu., Feb. 18, 2010, 12 – 2:30 p.m.
Center for the Study of World Religion, HDS, 42 Francis Ave.
Humanities, Presentation/Lecture, Religion
CSWR, Harvard Divinity School
Anne Monius, professor of South Asian religions, Harvard Divinity  
School. Response will be given by Archana Venkatesan, assistant  
professor of religious studies and comparative literature, University  
of California, Davis
Free, but reservations are required.
A light lunch will be served at noon; the lecture will begin at noon.

PlanIT Valley: 21st-Century Solutions for Sustainable Urbanization
Thu., Feb. 18, 2010, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Piper Auditorium, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Art/Design, Business, Environmental Sciences, Presentation/Lecture,  
Social Sciences
Graduate School of Design
Celso Ferriera, president (mayor) of Paredes, Portugal; Steve Lewis,  
CEO, Living PlanIT
617.496.3146, jwolfe at gsd.harvard.edu

Eco-Smart Cities and the Convergence of Technology, Design, and Public  

Thu., Feb. 18, 2010, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, Harvard Kennedy School campus
Art/Design, Environmental Sciences, Presentation/Lecture, Social  
Professors Amy Edmondson and Robert Eccles, Harvard Business School;  
Graduate School of Design; Center for Public Leadership, Harvard  
Kennedy School; Leadership Institute at Harvard College
Celso Ferreira, president (mayor) of Paredes, Portugal; Steve Lewis,  
CEO,Living PlanIT
617.495.4663, loren_gary at hks.harvard.edu

Thanks to Fred Hapgood's Boston Lectures on Science and Engineering list

Links to greater Boston college and university lectures and events at http://hubevents.blogspot.com

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