[act-ma] Energy (and Other) Events

George Mokray gmoke at world.std.com
Sun Dec 26 16:08:47 PST 2010

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, fantastic Festival, a sensational  
Solstice (and how could you not with a full moon and an eclipse that,  
unfortunately, was hidden behind clouds - I know because I went out to  
look for it), and a kewl Yule.

Events are still few and far between this week and what there are will  
probably be cancelled due to the present blizzard conditions  
developing.  Glad I have my solar LED lights and a fully stocked pantry.

Happy New Year and, still, Bah Humbug.




MIT Independent Activities Period
January 3 - 28

IAP is a month-long celebration of learning where anyone at MIT, from  
a professor emeritus to the cleaning staff, can present a course or  
lecture.  It is primarily for the MIT community but if you don't make  
a scene you can partake of the educational banquet too.


Inspiration from Nature: Biomimicry Design Competition Preparatory  
Kachina Gosselin
Wed, Fri, Jan 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, 01-04:00pm, 66-160

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Have you ever marveled at the swiftness of a cheetah? The adhesive  
ability of gecko feet? The coherence of a flock of birds? Nature has  
an amazing ability to solve challenges that seem at first glance to be  
insurmountable. Peer into the design of natural systems and perhaps  
glean insight into solutions to the pressing problems facing our  
civilization. Compete to contribute to solving the greatest challenges  
of our generation.

Coordinated with The Biomimicry Institute and with guest lectures in  
topics from engineering to design to business development, this course  
will introduce you to basic biomimicry tools and concepts,encourage  
you to approach engineering problems from a systems thinking  
perspective, and help you create technically novel solutions with the  
simple elegance that nature inspires. This is a preparatory course to  
prepare students for a new biomimicry design competition to be held in  
the spring.

Sustainability is all around us, we just need to learn how to emulate  
Contact: Kachina Gosselin, (617) 893-1988, kachina at mit.edu
Sponsor: Mechanical Engineering


CO2 Emissions Control Options for Coal Based Power Generation
Ja'nos M. Bee'r
Thu Jan 6, 11am-01:00pm, 66-110

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the principle means of long term,  
significant CO2 emissions control in both new and existing coal based  
electric power generating plant.
Main technology options for CCS application, in high efficiency energy  
conversion cycles including
-Pulverized coal combustion in ultra-supercritical steam cycle
-Coal gasification combined gas turbine-steam cycle, and
-Oxygen blown coal combustion cycle are discussed for their RD&D  
needs, Costs and Timeline of deployment.
Contact: Ja'nos M. Bee'r, 66-301, x3-6661, jmbeer at MIT.EDU
Sponsor: Chemical Engineering


The Future of Food (2004 - 89 min)
Heather McCann
The Future of Food examines the complex web of market and political  
forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational  
corporations seek to control the world’s food system. The film also  
explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing  
organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm  
crisis today.
Thu Jan 6, 12-02:00pm, Rotch Library: 7-238


Health Reform in the U.S.
Jonathan Gruber, Professor of Economics
Mon Jan 10, 10-11:00am, E51-345

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up

This talk will discuss the path to national health reform, the content  
of the recent health care reform bill, and where we go from here
Contact: Ruth Levitsky, E52-252, x3-3399, levitsky at mit.edu
Sponsor: Economics


Energy Futures Week featured lecture: An Efficient Future for Energy  
Use in the Built Environment
Neal Elliott Associate Director for Research, ACEEE
Mon Jan 10, 02-03:00pm, 32-141

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Over the past quarter century, building energy efficiency has focused  
on improvements to components and equipment. While component  
efficiencies increased dramatically, the size of our homes and the  
number of energy using stuff has increased even faster. Looking  
forward, the focus for energy efficiency in buildings will need to  
shift to systems rather than components. This shift will involve  
transformations in how we build, and where and how we live. This shift  
does not mean that we can ignore component efficiency, because energy  
using appliances are proliferating, but that we need to take a more  
holistic approach to our communities.

Neal Elliott is the Associate Director for Research of the American  
Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), coordinating ACEEE's  
overall research efforts. Elliott is an internationally recognized  
expert and author on energy efficiency, energy efficiency programs and  
policies, electric motor systems, combined heat and power and clean  
distributed energy, and analysis of energy efficiency and energy  
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/iap
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, E19-370D, jdimase at mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative


Energy Efficiency Research and Education at MIT (Panel Discussion)
Robert Armstrong, Leon Glicksman, John Reilly, Sarah Slaughter
Mon Jan 10, 03:30-05:00pm, 32-141

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Hear about and discuss innovations in energy efficiency research and  
education at MIT with panelists from across the Institute.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/iap
Contact: Amanda Graham, agraham at mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative


Efficiency Forward Forum
Susan Hockfield, Tom May
Tue Jan 11, 11am-12:00pm, E62 Lobby Sloan

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Join President Hockfield and NSTAR CEO Tom May along with invited  
dignitaries as they kick off Efficiency Forward: Partnering for  
Success - A Forum to Recognize Innovations in Energy Efficiency

Co-Sponsored by Campus Energy Task Force, Department of Facilities,  
EHS Headquarters Office, Sloan School of Management
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/iap
Contact: Steven Lanou, slanou at mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative


Energy Education Open House
Jennifer DiMase
Tue Jan 11, 02-03:00pm, E19-319

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Stop by the Energy Initiative to learn about the Energy Studies Minor,  
energy classes, student groups, fellowships, and current research  
projects. Chat with students and faculty involved with energy.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/iap
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, E19-370D, 452-3199, jdimase at mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative


Community Centered Innovation: Insights from Continuum Design
Lars Torres, Kate Mytty, Gaurav Rohatgi, Gianfranco Zaccai
Tue Jan 11, 03-05:00pm, 4-231

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Alison Hynd, Kate Mytty, Gianfranco Zaccai, Gaurav Rohatgi:

In 1999 Gianfranco Zaccai, founder and President of Continuum Design,  
visited South Africa to participate in a design exercise intended to  
develop solutions for a community facing extreme water problems. What  
he came away with was a new set of insights and principles regarding  
the design concerns of rural and peri-urban communities. Come learn  
with Gianfranco, MIT alum Gaurav Rohatgi, and PSC staff as they share  
their design sojourn and provide engaging, hands on design activities  
that will prepare you for more productive design experiences in  
resource scarce communities.

Sponsor: Public Service Center, IDEAS and the MIT Global Challenge
Web: http://www.continuuminnovation.com
Contact: Lars Torres, W20-549, (617) 324-5176, lhtorres at mit.edu
Sponsor: Public Service Center


Technology in Humanitarian Crises: MIT Lincoln Laboratory's Effort in  
Post Quake Haiti
Dr. Marc A. Zissman, Dr. Richard M. Heinrichs, Mischa M. Shattuck,  
Amanda C. Schiff, Michael Hartnett
Wed Jan 12, 12-01:30pm, E40-496, Light Lunch Provided

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Join MIT Lincoln Laboratory staff on the one year anniversary of the  
Haiti earthquake for a discussion about their efforts towards  
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

This presentation will discuss the operation of the ALIRT 3-D laser  
radar over Haiti and show examples of the collected data. The  
information gleaned from this imagery was used to help determine the  
migration of the greater than 750,000 people displaced by the  
earthquake, in order to better plan for shipments of relief supplies.

Additionally, the development of a qualitative assessment tool and the  
data collection methodology will be discussed. This will focus on how  
real-time data supports decisions in humanitarian assistance and  
disaster relief.
Contact: Dr. Marc A. Zissman, LIN-D-309, (781) 981-7606, maz at ll.mit.edu
Sponsor: Lincoln Laboratory


Four Nuclear Lectures
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Dr. Kosta Tsipis will present four nuclear lectures:
Jan. 12, 2010, 2-3PM, room 5-233: The Physics of Nuclear Weapons
Jan. 13, 2010, 2-3PM, room 5-233: Effects of a Nuclear Explosion in a  
Jan. 19, 2010, 2-3PM, room 5-233: Nuclear Proliferation
Jan. 20, 2010, 2-3PM, room 5-233: The Origin, History and  
Accomplishments of "Pugwash"
Contact: Dr. Kosta Tsipis, 3-435B, 253-2228, tsipis at mit.edu
Sponsor: Mechanical Engineering

The Physics of Nuclear Weapons
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Wed Jan 12, 02-03:00pm, 5-233

Effects of a Nuclear Explosion in a City
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Thu Jan 13, 02-03:00pm, 5-233

Nuclear Proliferation
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Wed Jan 19, 02-03:00pm, 5-233

The Origin, History and Accomplishments of "Pugwash"
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Thu Jan 20, 02-03:00pm, 5-233


"Fuel Your Mind" -- A Primer on Transportation Fuels, Current and Future
William H. Green (MIT Dept. of Chem. Eng.), George Huff & Jim Simnick  
(BP Global Fuels Technology)
Thu Jan 13, 09am-04:00pm, 56-114

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up, lunch provided

How is crude oil converted into gasoline and other transportation  
fuels? Is the gasoline available in Boston the same as what is  
available in Chicago? What are biofuels and what is driving the demand  
for these fuels of the future? Which fuel properties matter for  

Please join us in this short course offered by engineers from BP and  
Prof. Green to answer these and other questions, and to gain a better  
understanding of transportation fuels, and fuel processing technology.  
Topics to be addressed include:

1. Fuel Performance Criteria
2. Refining
3. Gasoline and Diesel
4. Biofuels, Ethanol & E85

Contact: William Green, 66-207A, x3-4580, whgreen at mit.edu
Sponsor: Chemical Engineering


Climate CoLab Workshop
Robert Laubacher, Professor Thomas W. Malone, Joshua Introne
Thu Jan 13, 02-05:00pm, NE25-746

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Single session event
Prereq: None

The Climate CoLab is a web forum where people for all over the world  
can work together to create proposals for what we should do about  
climate change. It is a project of the MIT Center for Collective  
Intelligence. The system combines web-based climate and economic  
modeling, structured online conversation, and new kinds of group  
decision making tools.

In this workshop, we invite students to learn about the Climate CoLab  
and share their ideas about how the project might evolve in the  
future. The workshop will start with a presentation on the Climate  
CoLab by Sloan Professor Thomas W. Malone. We then will invite  
students to undertake a series of tasks using the system. The final  
part of the session will be a discussion of possible future directions  
for the project, where we will welcome student input.

The workshop will be of value to students with an interest in  
sustainability, climate change, and emerging energy technologies. It  
will also be useful to students who would like to learn about next  
generation Web 2.0 technologies.

Attendees should bring a laptop so they can use the Climate CoLab  
during the session.
Web: http://climatecolab.org
Contact: Robert Laubacher, NE25-753, x3-0526, rjl at mit.edu
Sponsor: Sloan School of Management


Residential Energy Savings: Real vs. Modeled
Michael Blasnik, Independent Consultant
Thu Jan 13, 06:30-08:00pm, 32-141

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Michael Blasnik will explain:
	How to save the most energy in your home
	Why real world savings don’t always equal modeled savings
	Why the energy efficiency field needs great researchers

Michael Blasnik:
	Has analyzed the energy use of millions of homes over the last 25  
	Heads the energy impact evaluation for the National Weatherization  
Assistance Program
	Is feisty, funny, and informative

This event is cosponsored by MITEI, Sustainability at MIT, the MIT Energy  
Club, HEET, Cambridge Energy Alliance and Greenport
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/iap
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, E19-319, 452-3199, jdimase at mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative


Wind Energy 101
Katherine Dykes
Fri Jan 14, 11am-12:00pm, 3-133

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Come join for an overview of wind energy fundamentals from the  
physical resource, to the technology, to the economics, policy and  
social impacts. For details on our wind energy activities, please see http://windenergy.mit.edu

Co-sponsored by the MIT Wind Energy Sub-Community of the Energy Club
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/iap
Contact: Katherine Dykes, dykesk at mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative


Plasma Science and Fusion Center IAP Series
Peter Catto, Abhay Ram, John Rice, Paul Rivenberg
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

This series introduces plasma physics research and areas of related  
interest at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. See URL below.
Web: http://www.psfc.mit.edu/
Contact: Paul Rivenberg, NW16-284, x3-8101, rivenberg at psfc.mit.edu
Sponsor: Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Using models to study climate
John Marshall
An approach to the study of climate that emphasizes modeling  
hierarchies, but based on a common set of modeling tools. Prof.  
Marshall will illustrate some of the science that such models  
facilitate in the context of paleo climate (focusing on the past 50  
million years), exploring, for example, whether more than one stable  
climate might exist for a given external forcing.
Tue Jan 18, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

Climate change, nuclear proliferation and fusion energy
Rob Goldston, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Tue Jan 18, 03-04:00pm, NW17-218

Fifty Years of Fusion
Dale Meade, Fusion Innovation Research and Energy (FIRE)
Wed Jan 19, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

An Alcator chronicle, or What happened to Alcator B?
Ron Parker
Wed Jan 19, 03-04:00pm, NW17-218

The challenge of fusion burn and ITER
Steven Cowley, Culham Center for Fusion Energy
Thu Jan 20, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

Recreating deep interior states of planets and stars in the laboratory
Rip Collins
Developments in inertial confinement fusion have led to new ways of  
exploring highly compressed materials, such as those found deep inside  
giant planets and low mass stars, where the crushing force of gravity  
makes matter extremely dense. Recent experiments show that such  
compressed materials have rather exotic properties; and some  
fundamental rules of condensed matter, chemistry, and plasma physics  
break down.
Thu Jan 20, 03-04:00pm, NW17-218

MIT study on the future of natural gas
Daniel Cohn
Use of shale gas has created a large increase in the availability of  
low cost natural gas, and with it new opportunities for reducing CO2  
and oil dependence. This talk will discuss the MIT interdisciplinary  
study on the future of natural gas.
Fri Jan 21, 10-11:00am, NW17-218

Diagnosing plasma turbulence in tokamaks
Anne White
Scientists have made great progress in understanding and predicting  
turbulent transport in tokamaks, but challenges remain. Future fusion  
reactor development depends on using fluctuation diagnostics to  
monitor plasma turbulence, and comparing the results with advanced  
theory and simulations. This talk considers recent advances in  
diagnosing turbulent transport in tokamaks, and the path to predicting  
transport in ITER.
Fri Jan 21, 11:15am-12:30pm, NW17-218

Tour of Alcator C-Mod and the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF)
Tour guide TBD
Visit the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, a well-tested approach to fusion  
research that has direct applications to ITER, the world's largest  
tokamak, currently under construction in France. Compare this to the  
Versatile Toroidal Facility, a small student-built tokamak used to  
explore magnetic reconnection, the process observed in solar flares.
Fri Jan 21, 01:30-02:30pm, NW17-218


Introduction to Nuclear Power
Benoit Forget, Paul Romano, Jacob DeWitte
Tue Jan 18 thru Fri Jan 21, 10:30am-12:00pm, 4-149

Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Limited to 50 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Course 1: Historical perspective of nuclear fission; Overview of  
radioactive decay and nuclear fission; Basic concepts of a nuclear  
power reactor. Course 2: Introduction of nuclear reactor safety.  
Discussion of reactivity and feedback mechanisms. Overview of defense  
in depth concepts. Discussion of Chernobyl accident. Course 3:  
Overview of the fuel cycle; From mining to waste disposal, this course  
will discuss ore processing, enrichment, spent nuclear fuel and long  
term disposal. Course 4: Overview of closed-fuel cycles possibilities  
such as Pu recycling and Minor actinides recycling. Introduction to  
fast reactors.

Particularly geared for Freshman.
Contact: Benoit Forget, 24-214, (617) 253-1655, bforget at mit.edu
Sponsor: Nuclear Science and Engineering


Income Inequality in America
Frank Levy
Mon Jan 24, Tue Jan 25, Wed Jan 26, 10-11:00am, 9-450A

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

In 2008, the top 1 percent of households received about 21% of all  
income, twice its income share in 1990 and roughly equal its share in  
1929 at the end of the Gilded Age. Average household income in the top  
1 percent doubled over these years (adjusted for inflation) while  
income of the average household grew by 5 percent.

This activity will consist of three sessions reviewing what we know  
about the causes of income inequality including immigration,  
technological change, the growth of the financial sector and  
international trade. We will also devote some time to discussing what  
is known about the consequences of inequality for national life.
Contact: Frank Levy, 9-523, x3-2089, flevy at mit.edu
Sponsor: Urban Studies and Planning


MIT Physics Lecture Series:g
Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds
Professor Sara Seager
Mon Jan 24, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

For thousands of years people have wondered, “Are we Alone?” With  
about 500 planets discovered to orbit nearby stars, the existence of  
exoplanets is firmly established. Astronomers are now able to  
routinely measure planetary sizes, masses, and atmospheres for a  
subset of hot, big exoplanets. The race to find habitable exoplanets  
is on with the realization that big Earths orbiting small stars can be  
both discovered and characterized with existing technology. Professor  
Seager will answer the four questions she gets asked most often:  
“What could aliens see, looking at Earth from afar?”; “When will  
we find another Earth?”; “Can we go there?”; “If we cannot go  
there, why look?”
Contact: Nancy Boyce, 4-315, 253-4461, nboyce at mit.edu
Sponsor: Physics




It is now possible to order tickets for "R. Buckminster Fuller: THE  
HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE" in Cambridge, MA.  Performances  
start on Jan 14th and run through Feb 5th. During previews (1/14 -  
1/18) all tickets are $35 (for A and B sections). After previews  
tickets are from $25 - $65 (the $25 tickets are for the last two rows  
in the theater).

You can take advantage of a special offer to see the Saturday, January  
22nd 2:00pm or the Sunday, January 23rd 7:30pm performance by using  
the Promotional Code THIRTYVERTI for $35 tickets (Normally $50-$65)  
for those two specific performances. This discount can not be combined  
with any other offers such as Student, $25 advance or Senior Discount  
and are subject to availability.

Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, so please order your  
tickets for the play now.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.AmericanRepertoryTheater.org,  
by phone at 617.547.8300, or in person at the A.R.T. Box Office, 64  
Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Please register for the event on-line at

Jan 22 Special Exhibit
====== ======= =======
After the Saturday, January 22nd 2:00pm performance, the Synergetics  
Collaborative, Foundation for New Directions (FND), Museum of  
Mathematics (MoMath), and American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will  
present an exhibit featuring a special geometry activity led by George  
Hart of MoMath.  Synergetics Collaborative, MoMath and FND will have  
people on hand to discuss, explain, demonstrate and engage  
participants with the displays. Some displays will be hands-on.

Jan 23 Discussion/Seminar
====== ==================
On Sunday, 23 January from 10am to 4pm, the Foundation for New  
Directions (FND) will host a discussion seminar on "Building on Marvin  
Solit's Work".  We plan to break in time so that interested  
participants can go to the theater to see the Dymaxion Car #4  
presentation (see next item).
Please either bring a potluck or pre-register and bring $15 so we can  
provide enough food for lunch and snacks.

Jan 23 Special Presentation
====== ======= ============
After the Sunday, January 23rd 2pm and 7:30pm performances, the  
Synergetics Collaborative and American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will  
present a special presentation by Thomas T. K. Zung on Lord Norman  
Foster's Dymaxion Car #4.  Thomas T. K. Zung was Buckminster Fuller's  
long-time architectural partner, editor of the book Buckminster  
Fuller: Anthology for a New Millenium, and a Distiguished Fellow to  
the Stanford University Libraries.

Anyone with a ticket stub for a performance of the A.R.T. production  
of R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE  
will be able to attend the special events at the A.R.T. by presenting  
their ticket stub to gain access.  The special events are scheduled  
for 4:30pm after a matinee performance and 10pm after the evening  

Please register for the event on-line at

More details are on the event web page at

Editorial Comment:  I have met the writer and director of this play  
and friends who saw it last summer in Washington DC enjoyed it.  I  
will most definitely be at George Hart's presentation, having attended  
a couple of his presentations, learned a lot, and had much fun  
building geometric sculptures of his design.

If you want to see my own geometric modeling, you can watch this video  
at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEinwxzzUEs




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 https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/subscribe/bfs


Artisan Asylum  http://artisansasylum.com/

Sprout & Co:  Community Driven Investigations  http://thesprouts.org/studios

Greater Boston Solidarity Economy Mapping Project  http://www.transformationcentral.org/solidarity/mapping/mapping.html
a project by Wellesley College students that invites participation


Links to events at 60 colleges and universities at Hubevents   http://hubevents.blogspot.com

Thanks to

Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the
Boston Area  http://fhapgood.fastmail.fm/site02.html

Boston Area Computer User Groups  http://www.bugc.org/




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  http://hubevents.blogspot.com is the web version.

If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe to Energy (and Other) Events
email gmoke at world.std.com

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