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TagEngineering

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Abstract green DNA

An Unlikely Collaboration to Elucidate Life’s Blueprints

Joining together the forces of biology and engineering to improve both fields

What happens when you get sixty biologists and engineers together in a conference for three days? That’s the question asked by Steve Laufman, head of the Engineering Research Group at Discovery. In the recent “Conference on Engineering in Living Systems,” biologists and engineers of every stripe got together to see how the two disciplines could benefit each other. For biologists, learning how engineers examine, design, and plan projects was eye-opening. Traditionally, biologists focus on individual interactions, not whole-systems approaches. For engineers, discovering the details of cellular architecture and control mechanisms was especially enlightening.  The conference had a diverse set of presentations, covering numerous areas of overlap between the two fields. One presentation discussed biologically-inspired robots, as well as how they can…

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Engineering students using a 3D printer

Why Engineering Can’t Be Reduced to the Laws of Physics

When we reduce the engineer’s mind to a computer, the source of innovation disappears

The fundamental problem of modern science is the problem of innovation. Where does novelty come from? This problem shows up in physics, biology, artificial intelligence, and economics. Within physics, the problem is how to account for the fundamental constants of reality. They are all precisely tuned to make sentient and intelligent life—life that can learn about itself and the universe—possible through science. Within biology, the problem is accounting for the source of highly complex genetic sequences that express finely tuned biological functions. In artificial intelligence, the challenge is identifying solutions that are relevant to a given scenario. In economics the problem is identifying the right products for the market. What do all these situations have in common? In each case,…

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Bingecast: Hal Philipp on Patents, Litigation, and Entrepreneurship

If you’ve used a touchscreen, an automated door opener or automated faucet today, it is probably based on the technology of inventor and entrepreneur Hal Philipp. Robert J. Marks and Hal Philipp address patents, litigation, and entrepreneurship today on Mind Matters. Show Notes 0:00:52 | Introducing Hal Philipp 0:01:34 | Robot boxer 0:04:08 | Tektronix, Optical Technology 0:07:25 | Automatic…

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Hal Philipp: Inventor of the Modern Touch Screen

Boxing Robots and Automatic Door Openers Too

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”  Today, this is far from true. Small entrepreneurs fall in the shadows of large corporate giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. So what does it take to bring a clever idea to market?  We talk to Hal Philipp, the inventor and entrepreneur who made touch screens…

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Mission Control Center (MCC), Houston, Texas, during the Gemini 5 flight.

STEM EDUCATION 1. Pursuing Nerd Quality Over Nerd Quantity

Reducing math and science to practice is what engineers do. Scientists didn’t put a man on the moon. Engineers did.
Overall, computer applications will impact our society and culture as much as electricity did. And we’re living smack in the middle of the transformation. Read More ›