[act-ma] Energy (and Other) Events

George Mokray gmoke at world.std.com
Sun Apr 4 16:52:46 PDT 2010


Monday, April 05, 2010

Transportation at MIT: Reliable Route Planning with Evdokia Nikolova
Speaker: Evdokia Nikolova, EECS, MIT

Time: 12:00p–1:00p

Location: 33-116

The evolution of the different modes of transport has undeniably led  
to a tremendous improvement in the productivity and comfort of our  
society and bettered our standard of living. Yet it has brought about  
significant new challenges, which are seemingly reversing that trend.  
Although we can traverse far longer distances in an hour's time than  
half a century ago, we have moved further away from work, our commutes  
are physically and psychologically exacerbated by heavy congestion,  
traffic accidents have become more severe and deadly, there is more  
pollution. In this talk, I will address a fundamental problem in  
transportation: reliable route planning.

How do we get to the airport on time? Ideally we would like to take  
the shortest path, but in the presence of uncertain traffic what does  
that mean? One natural objective is to choose the path that maximizes  
our probability of arriving on time. We develop algorithms that bridge  
stochastic, nonconvex, and combinatorial optimization to solve a class  
of reliable route planning problems, and show how they generalize to  
other situations. We also ask the question: What happens when drivers  
have a general idea of how long it will take them to reach their  
destination, and while driving, ?look out of the window? and make  
myopic choices for their route. We show that this natural behavior can  
lead to vastly suboptimal route plans which exacerbate congestion, and  
we contrast it with the optimal routing strategy.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Transportation at MIT

For more information, contact:
Sally Chapman
sallyc at mit.edu

Monday, April 05, 2010

Profiting From Regulation: An Event Study of the European Carbon  
Market (Joint with Energy & Environmental Economics Workshop)
Speaker: Erin Mansur (Yale)

Time: 2:30p–4:00p

Location: E52-244

Profiting From Regulation: An Event Study of the European Carbon Market

Web site: http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/5424

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): IO Workshop (Sponsored by Analysis Group)

For more information, contact:
Theresa Benevento
theresa at mit.edu

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Community-based Energy Innovations
Time: 12:00p–2:30p

Location: 9-450B

Presentations by students:
Jacquelyn Dadakis
Eric Mackres
Joshua Sklarsky
Shiva Prakash

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): EPP

For more information, contact:
Nina Tamburello
epprequest at mit.edu

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Transportation at MIT presents: Chris Zegras on "Transportation, the  
Built Environment and Green House Gas Emissions in Developing Cities."
Speaker: Chris Zegras, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 3-270

Transportation at MIT Seminar Series
This semester, the Transportation at MIT seminar series will cover a  
variety of transportation topics including: Propulsion, Vehicles,  
Sources of Transportation Energy, Environmental Impacts and Climate  
Change, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Urban Transportation,  
Automation, Transportation Networks, Dynamic System Control, and  
Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have reached their  
highest levels since before the industrial revolution. And, yet, under  
current trends, greenhouse gas emissions will only increase. Much of  
this forecast growth will occur in urbanizing areas of the developing  
world. After all, the 21st Century will be an urban century. Already  
over one-half the planet's population lives in urban areas and almost  
all net global population growth this Century will likely be in the  
world's developing cities. Thus, mitigating the climate change risk  
will require a strong focus on the urbanizing developing world.

In this presentation I examine the potential for altering the patterns  
of urban growth in developing cities as a way to mitigate  
transportation's contribution to the climate change risk. I first  
outline a basic framework for understanding the factors contributing  
to transportation greenhouse gas emissions, including the potential  
influence of the built environment - that is, the form and design of  
the cities we build. I then examine evidence of the relationship  
between urban passenger transportation energy use/greenhouse gas  
emissions and the built environment in two very different developing  
contexts: Chile and China. I end with some discussion of the  
implications of this evidence, including within the context of the  
current global climate regime.

Web site: http://transportation.mit.edu/events.php

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Transportation at MIT

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Frank DiSalvo: Materials Challenges in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
Speaker: Frank DiSalvo, Cornell University

Time: 4:15p–5:45p

Location: 66-110

MITEI Seminar Series
A year-long series of seminars given by leaders in the energy field  
sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative.

Fuel cells are the only technology that theoretically can convert  
chemical energy to electrical energy at nearly 100% efficiency. This  
compares to about 35 % efficient for the average power plant and  
perhaps 25-30 % for transportation vehicles.

Yet many barriers remain to realizing the full promise of fuel cell  
technology, especially for automotive applications. The main barrier  
is that the materials uses in the heart of the fuel cell (the  
electrodes and membranes) are not up to the job. They are too  
expensive and have poor durability. Finally relatively few fuels can  
be directly used in the cells.

This presentation will focus on the challenge to find better electrode  
catalysts and catalyst supports. Catalysts are easily poisoned and/or  
have low activity. If nearly ideal catalysts can be found, then fuel  
cell technology has a much better chance to transform the way we use  
energy and to greatly increase the efficiency of the process. Current  
catalyst supports are based on carbon blacks, but corrode too rapidly.

In this seminar, we will discuss the research at the Energy Materials  
Center at Cornell (EMC2) that is directed at addressing the above  

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative

For more information, contact:
Jameson Twomey
jtwomey at mit.edu

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Oil Markets and Politics: Why the Left and the Right Both Get It Wrong
Speaker: Robert Vitalis, Professor of Political Science, University of  

Time: 4:30p–6:30p

Location: E51-095

Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar
A recent history of US policy, "Imagining the Middle East," starts  
from the premise that longstanding US interests in control of or  
access to oil is to be contrasted with those dimensions of policy that  
are more properly understood as culturally constituted through "a  
framework of meaning." In fact, the idea of access to oil is no less  
culturally constituted. It takes a great deal of work to make it seem  
both tangible and commonsensical. Its materiality is a mirage.

Robert Vitalis is a professor of political science at the University  
of Pennsylvania. The London Guardian named his last book, "America's  
Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier," a book of the year in  
2006. His next book, "The End of Empire in American Political  
Science," moves away from the Middle East to explore the unwritten  
history of race and empire in American international relations theory  
and its critical African-American internationalist tradition.

The Bustani Middle East Seminar is organized under the auspices of the  
MIT Center for International Studies, which conducts research on  
contemporary international issues and provides an opportunity for  
faculty and students to share perspectives and exchange views. Each  
year the Bustani Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants,  
and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States  
to MIT to present recent research findings on contemporary politics,  
society and culture, and economic and technological development in the  
Middle East.

Web site:http://web.mit.edu/shass/temp/bustani/bustani_seminar.htm

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Center for International Studies

For more information, contact:
Pardis Parsa
pardisp at mit.edu

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

MITEI presents Christof Ruhl, the Chief Economist at BP
Speaker: Christof Ruhl, the Chief Economist at BP

Time: 10:30a–11:30a

Location: E19-319

The subject of the talk will be Global Oil & Gas Markets.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative

For more information, contact:
John Parsons
jparsons at mit.edu

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Making the Case for Arts and Culture: Why Focus on the Arts When Job  
Creation and Affordable Housing Are So Pressing?
Speaker: Susan Silberberg-Robinson, Emily Axelrod, Maria Rosario Jackson

Time: 12:30p–2:00p

Location: 9-450

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

For a number of years, arts advocates have been looking at the impact  
of arts and culture in communities. From regional economic impact  
studies to a more focused look at impacts on social networking, there  
are a number of research initiatives underway across the country. This  
session presents information from some of those initiatives and also  
explores anecdotal evidence of community impact from a variety of  
projects, including research at the Urban Institute, insights from the  
newly created MetLife Innovative Space Awards, and anecdotes from  
almost two decades of experience at The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban  

Susan Silberberg-Robinson is a Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning  
in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Her planning  
consulting practice largely centers on arts and culture and also on  
waterfront planning in the City of Boston. She is the Associate  
Director of the MetLife Innovative Space Awards which seeks to  
identify innovative ways organizations provide affordable artist space  
and engage with communities.

Emily Axelrod has been Director of the Rudy Bruner Award since 1996.  
Prior to this, she worked in a variety of planning positions in both  
the private and public sectors.

Maria Rosario Jackson is a senior research associate and director of  
the Urban Institute's Culture, Creativity and Communities Program.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Department of Urban Studies and Planning

For more information, contact:
Ezra Glenn
eglenn at mit.edu

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

MIT Food and Ag Collaborative - Poster Session
Time: 5:45p–8:00p

Location: 32-124

Come see the projects MIT students have been working on in the field  
of food and agriculture! We are presenting this work in conjunction  
with the Legatum Center's poster session, so please stop by and learn  
more about how MIT students are transforming food systems.

Web site: http://food-ag.mit.edu

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Agriculture Forum

For more information, contact:
Elizabeth McVay Greene
elizabeth.greene at sloan.mit.edu

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Post-Disaster Response + DUSP: a student-faculty discussion
Speaker: Cherie Abbanat, Lorlene Hoyt, Amy Stitely, Phil Thompson,  
Larry Vale

Time: 5:30p–7:00p

Location: 9-450

Post-Disaster Response + DUSP: a student-faculty discussion

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Friday, April 09, 2010
Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History
Speaker: Anne Secord, University of Cambridge

Time: 2:30p–4:30p

Location: E51-095

"Observing Nature at the Edges: British Naturalist on the Shore during  
the Napoleonic Wars"

During twenty two years of military action against France the British  
developed near-obsessive habits of watchfulness. Fears of infiltration  
by spies and invasion by the French combined with worries about  
deceptions by fellow citizens to produce regimes of vigilance and  
surveillance. This watchfulness extended to the study of nature,  
especially of organisms such as seaweeds, which did not form readily  
perceived natural families. British marine botanists quelled taxonomic  
anxiety by adopting a cautious empiricism based on scrutiny; they  
ascertained ?true appearances? through both self-surveillance and the  
continual appraisal of other observers.

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

Friday, April 09, 2010
Clean Energy and International Development
Mathias Craig, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Blue Energy Group  
(MIT, MS - Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Time: 3:00p–5:00p

Location: 4-153

How can MIT graduates foster meaningful change after life in  
Cambridge, MA? Ask Mathias Craig, an MIT alumnus who founded Blue  
Energy Group. Mathias' sustainable energy organization brings jobs and  
hybrid wind-solar technology to remote communities in Nicaragua.

Co-sponsored by Department of Urban Studies and Planning -  
Environmental Policy and Planning Group; MIT Renewable Energy Projects  
in Action; and the MIT Wind Energy Group

Web site: http://www.blueenergygroup.org/spip.php?rubrique59〈=en

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): EPP

For more information, contact:
Kathy Araujo
kmaraujo at MIT.EDU

Friday, April 09, 2010

International Development Night @ the MIT Museum
Time: 6:00p–8:00p

Location: N51, MIT Museum

Showcasing activities, programs, and ventures pursuing international  
development innovations in clean energy, future cities, safe water,  
healthcare, microfinance,village utilities, mobiles, humanitarian  
innovations, and much more!

Free and Open to the public
Hosted in collaboration with the 16th Annual
International Development Conference at
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

Web site: web.mit.edu/idn/events

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Graduate Student Life Grants, The Technology and Culture  
Forum at MIT, International Development Initiative

For more information, contact:
Laura Sampath
idn-contact at mit.edu


Monday, April 5, 2010
12:30 - 1:30 PM

"The Public Health Emergency Response to the Recent Earthquake in Haiti"

Jean-Rénald Clérismé, PhD
Member and Advisor to the Office of President René Préval
Republic of Haiti

Introduction by Dean Julio Frenk.

Q&A to follow.
A light lunch will be provided.

Harvard School of Public Health
Kresge Building, Room G1
677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

Prather Lecture: E.O. Wilson on "Biodiversity and the Future of Biology"
Mon., Apr. 5, 2010, 6 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA
Environmental Sciences, Presentation/Lecture, Science
The Departments of Molecular & Cellular Biology and Organismic &  
Evolutionary Biology at Harvard
Regular: $10 (4 ticket limit per person); Students: $5; Harvard ID  
Holders: Free (limit of 2 tickets per person while supplies last)

Tuesday, April 6:
4:00 PM.
"The Superorganism."
EO Wilson

Location: Harvard Science Center
The study of insect societies is today one of the fastest growing  
major branches of evolutionary biology. It has revealed a great deal  
about the general principles of the origin and evolution of advanced  
social behavior, and has shed light on the enormous ecological success  
of the social insects (with ants and termites making up over half of  
the insect biomass around the world). The evolution from organism to  
superorganism has been the major transition between levels of  
biological organization, easiest to penetrate and understand.

Free, advance tickets not required.

For more information on the Prather Lecture Series, please call  

Wednesday, April 7
4:00 PM.
EO Wilson

Location: Science Center
The boundary between science on one side and the humanities and  
humanistic social sciences on the other is not an intrinsic  
epistemological divide but a broad borderland of previously poorly  
understood causal relationships. The borderland is now being explored,  
and offers increasing opportunities for collaboration across three  
great branches of learning. A definition of human nature will be  
offered and examples from the borderland will be used to illustrate it.

Free, advance tickets not required.

For more information on the Prather Lecture Series, please call  

It's Easy Being Green: Prospects for the Green Party in Germany and  
Wed., Apr. 7, 2010, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Lower level conference room, 27 Kirkland St., 02138
Presentation/Lecture, Social Sciences
Center for European Studies

Bigger than Carnegie, Faster than Starbucks: Business Lessons from a  
Global Nonprofit Leader
Thu., Apr. 8, 2010, 4 – 5 p.m.
Spangler Auditorium, Harvard Business School, 280 Soldiers Field Road
Business, Presentation/Lecture
Harvard Business School
John Wood, founder and executive chairman, Room to Read
Free and open to the public ($10 suggested donation for non-students)
Registration required
sviv at mba2011.hbs.edu

International Diffusion of Microfinance
Thu., Apr. 8, 2010, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Room 226, Suite 200-North, 124 Mt. Auburn, Cambridge MA
Business, Presentation/Lecture, Social Sciences
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Guy Stuart
christina_marchand at harvard.edu
In the past 30 years, microfinance has evolved from small experiments  
in lending to the poor in Latin America and Bangladesh to a global  
financial services industry with access to global capital markets. In  
this seminar, Guy Stuart will argue that the diffusion of microfinance  
across the globe is the tale of two dynamics: one in which credit-led  
microfinance easily diffused throughout the developing world "beneath  
the radar" of regulators, and another in which savings-based  
microfinance has struggled in many countries to take hold because of  
the lack of an appropriate enabling environment, most prominently  
government regulations.
A light dinner will be served.
Claus Offe, visiting professor of government, Harvard University
Free and open to the public
beerman at fas.harvard.edu
Reception to follow in the Atrium.

Saturday, April 9

16th Annual International Development Conference

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: spacer.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 43 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://act-ma.org/pipermail/act-ma_act-ma.org/attachments/20100404/bf5bd0f0/attachment.gif>
-------------- next part --------------

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: mission2010.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 3813 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://act-ma.org/pipermail/act-ma_act-ma.org/attachments/20100404/bf5bd0f0/attachment-0001.gif>
-------------- next part --------------

The 2010 Harvard International Development Conference will be held  
April 9th-10th, 2010 at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Check  
back for future announcements of keynote speakers, panels, and  
registration details.

The Harvard International Development Conference is a student-run  
event providing a world-class interdisciplinary forum on global  
sustainable development for practitioners and academics. Each year the  
conference attracts over 400 participants from every corner of the  
world. Serving as a forum to foster dialogue among various  
stakeholders, including senior level policy makers, academics, and  
practitioners, the Conference proposes multidisciplinary strategies  
for economic, sociopolitical, cultural, and institutional changes.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: spacer.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 43 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://act-ma.org/pipermail/act-ma_act-ma.org/attachments/20100404/bf5bd0f0/attachment-0002.gif>
-------------- next part --------------

Opening Keynote I:
Friday, April 9th, 2010, 4:30-6PM
Free and Open to the Public

Ms. Rebeca Grynspan,
UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of UNDP


Monday, April 5

"Inside the Activist's Study" featuring prominent journalist Amy  
Goodman and
environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Tufts, Barnum Hall 008.

The event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required.

"We're very excited that Amy Goodman will be returning to Tufts for  
our second "Inside the Activist's Study," and that our other guest is  
Bill McKibben.  Bill's work on environmental issues is more important  
than ever given the pressing issues of climate change, and we know  
that the dialogue between one of American's best and most progressive  
interviewers and one of the country's leading environmental educators  
will yield important information in a lively format," said  
Communications and Media Studies Director Julie Dobrow.

The first "Inside the Activist's Study" event featuring Amy and David  
Goodman was at capacity and well received by students and community  
members alike. Modeled after the "Inside the Actor's Studio" TV show,  
this new series brings together prominent journalists, actors,  
filmmakers, and a wide-array of activist leaders to discuss the use of  
media to promote social change. The event features in-depth interviews  
and audience participation.

An American environmentalist and writer, Bill McKibben is the founder  
of 350.org <http://350.org>, an international climate campaign. Bill  
frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, and the  
risks associated with human genetic engineering. Beginning in the  
summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations  
against global warming in American history. His books include /The End  
of Nature; The Age of Missing Information;The Comforting Whirlwind:  
God, Job and the Scale of Creation; A Year of Living Strenuously;  
Enough; Wandering Home//Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and  
the Durable Future. /Bill is a frequent contributor to various  
magazines including /The New York Times/, /The Atlantic Monthly/, / 
Harper's/, /Orion Magazine/, /Mother Jones/, /The New York Review of  
Books/, /Granta/, /Rolling Stone/, and /Outside/. He is also a board  
member and
contributor to /Grist Magazine/. and most recently

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a  
national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on  
over 800 TV and radio stations in North America. David Goodman is a  
contributing writer for /Mother Jones/ and co-author of /Static:  
Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders and the People Who Fight Back. /

For more information about this event or the Communications and Media
Studies program at Tufts University, please visit
http://ase.tufts.edu/cms/. For information on the Peace and Justice
Studies program, please visit http://pjs.tufts.edu/. For more
information about the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service,
please visit http://activecitizen.tufts.edu

  Contact:  Julie Dobrow, (617) 627-4744, Dale Bryan, (617) 627-2216

Thursday, April 08, 2010

CIERP presents Climate Change and Economic Development
Speaker: Dr. Rosina Bierbaum

Time: 12:00p–2:00p

Location: Alumnae Lounge, 15 South Campus Road on the Tufts Meford/ 
Sommerville Campus

The Energy, Climate, and Innovation Program in Fletcher's Center for  
International Environment and Natural Resource Policy and the  
International Development Group Present:
Climate Change and Economic Development

Featuring distinguished guest speaker:
Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, Dean of the University of Michigan's School of  
Natural Resources and Environment and Co-Director of the World Bank's  
World Development Report 2010

Dr. Bierbaum has served as Dean of the University of Michigan's School  
of Natural Resources and Environment since October 2001. In April  
2009, President Obama named her to the President's Council of Advisors  
on Science and Technology (PCAST). She was selected in April 2008 to  
author the recently released World Development Report 2010. This  
report features a different topic every year, with the 2010 edition  
focusing on helping states to think about how sustainability,  
mitigation, adaptation to climate change, and development can be  
achieved simultaneously.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Campus Events, CIERP

For more information, contact:
Mieke Wansem
Mieke.Wansem at tufts.edu


April 9, 2010

12 noon - 2:00 p.m.

Patrick Bond on South Africa, the World Bank, and Climate Justice

encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th floor, Boston, MA

South Africa now has its 4th post-Apartheid president... But the  
country is  more unequal than ever! It is also under consideration for  
a World Bank loan to "modernize" it ailing electrical power generation  
and distribution infrastructure. Revamping its grid would normally be  
a decisive opportunity to set a new course, redress inequalities and  
develop a green strategy. But activist-intellectual Patrick Bond warns  
that the opposite seems likely with the Bank loan. It will strengthen  
the private sector and sharpen the gap between rich and poor: urban  
residents prepay their electricity at 4 times the rate of large  
transnational corporations. Further, the proposed loan will finance  
the world's 4th largest coal-fired plant and raise rates on working  

On April 8, 2010, the World Bank will make its decision. Patrick Bond  
will reflect on the outcome on Friday, April 9, 2010, from noon to
2:00 p.m. at encuentro 5 (in Boston's Chinatown, see below for more

Also invited to the conversation is Tufts University professor,  
William Moomaw who consulted with the World Bank and who is in support  
of the loan.

This Bank critic meets Bank supporter discussion allows for a reasoned  
engagement of ideas.

For Patrick Bond's biography, see:
For William Moomaw's biography, see: http://fletcher.tufts.edu/faculty/Moomaw/

This event is hosted at encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th floor,
Boston, MA 02111. It is within blocks of the Orange, Red and Green
line stops (Chinatown, Downtown Crossing and Boylston). See
http://www.encuentro5.org for more directions. Also check website for
updates before coming to the event.

Down:2:Earth Boston - April 9,10,11
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

A variety of events including talks by James Hansen and Mayim Bialik,  
workshops on everything from the future of energy to butter-making and  
special features such as our Local Bites event and a Water Sculpture  
by Christine Destrempes.


More information about the Act-MA mailing list