Frances Arnold, the Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at Caltech, creates new biological molecules and organisms by forcing their evolution in the laboratory. Maja Mataric, professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California, develops socially assistive robots that provide personalized human–machine interaction for those suffering from autism, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other debilitating ailments. Randii R. Wessen, the Deputy Manager of the Project Formulation Office at NASA/Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has, for the last 27 years, worked on multiple spacecraft searching for Earth-like planets around other stars. The evening was moderated by Jon Spaihts, the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated Alien prequel, Prometheus, and a filmmaker who both understands the value and uses of the language of science to inform his storytelling.
Question and Answer session with our panel of experts. Our world is changing rapidly, thanks in large part to engineers.
This special "engineering sampler" explores the ways in which new systems are being built with synthetic biology, the revolution in human-robot interactions that take place with socially assistive robots, and the worlds beyond our world through space exploration.