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We The Geeks
“We the Geeks" is a new series of Google+ Hangouts to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. Topics such as commercial space exploration, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, turning science fiction to science fact, and others will be discussed with Administration officials and key private sector contributors. Join the conversation using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks and be sure to sign up for email updates about future "We the Geeks" hangouts.
What You Missed:
The day before Thanksgiving, Bill Yosses — the White House Executive Pastry Chef — and a lineup of top food experts “talked turkey” and doveinto our dinner plates to explore the science of cooking. They drilled down into the science behind behind brining and marinating, how different kinds of bread can be made and how various levels of heat affect the chemical composition of ingredients. And we explored the ways astronauts make food and spend Thanksgiving in space.
- Anne Burrell, Food Network Chef
- Ron Garan, former NASA astronaut
- Kumar Garg from White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Bill Yosses, White House Executive Pastry Chef
Hear from stellar students who are starting companies and building an entrepreneurial by tuning into “We the Geeks: Students with Startups”.
Leading student entrepreneurs and business moguls talk about how anyone can cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship in his or her own community.
The conversation was moderated by Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and five teenage finalists of the 2013 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The panel of pioneering entrepreneurs, included:
- Barbara Corcoran: real estate mogul and celebrity investor on Shark Tank
- Daymond John: entrepreneur, author, and celebrity investor on Shark Tank
- Jenny Corbin: former graduate student at University of Louisville; Co-Founder of TNG Pharmaceuticals
- Jared Karp: undergraduate at University of California, Berkeley; Co-Founder of Design Engineering Collaborative and BetaVersity
- Spencer Quinn: undergraduate at Brigham Young University; Co-Founder of FiberFix
- Jolijt Tamanaha: undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis; Co-Founder and COO of Farmplicity
Watch the full video below:
Announcing the first ever White House Science Fair, the President called for an all hands on deck approach to grow a generation of Americans who are, “the makers of things, and not just the consumers of things.” And at the 2012 White House Science Fair, the President met student Joey Hudy and launched his marshmallow cannon, noting that Joey’s motto was, “Don’t be bored, make something.”Responding to that call, citizens, communities, and organizations are coming together to give students the tools to design with their minds and make with their hands.
The Hangout was moderated by Kumar Garg, Assistant Director for Learning and Innovation, and JJ Raynor, Policy Advisor at the National Economic Council, and will feature a panel of these leading experts:
- Bre Pettis, CEO, MakerBot, with the Replicator 2 3-D printer
- Mariah Noelle Villarreal, student and Maker Corps Mentor, Maker Education Initiative
- Mark Hatch, CEO, TechShop
- Lisa Brahms, Director of Learning and Research, The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
- Rob Gorham, Deputy Director, America Makes
- Joey Hudy, student and Marshmallow Cannon enthusiast
Watch the full video below:
This “We the (Immigrant) Geeks” Google+ Hangout was on “Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet” – featuring extraordinary immigrant pioneers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), who have made amazing discoveries, developed new inventions, founded high-growth companies, and conducted remarkable research. It was moderated by Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Participants included:
- Anousheh Ansari, co-founder of TTI and Prodea Systems; co-creator of the Ansari X Prize and one of the first self-funded space tourists
- Steve Chen, co-founder of MixBit (AVOS) and YouTube
- Ping Fu, co-founder of Geomagic and chief strategy officer of 3D Systems
- Mario Molina, recipient of the Nobel Prize (Chemistry, 1995) and Medal of Freedom (2013) and professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California-San Diego
- Jan Vilcek, Professor of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine; creator of the Vilcek Prize and recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2012)
Watch the full video below:
In celebration of YouTube's "Geek Week," the White House hosted a conversation about the state of American robotics and the possibilities for robots to improve life on Earth. Ask your questions now with #WeTheGeeks, and watch the Hangout live right here.
The Hangout was moderated by Vijay Kumar, Assistant Director for Robotics and Cyberphysical Systems, and Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation. John Green, best selling author and popular video blogger, joined the discussion and curate questions for a panel of these leading experts:
The Hangout featured a panel of leading experts including:
- Rodney Brooks, President, Rethink Robotics, with Humanoid Robot, Baxter
- Daniela Rus, Director of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT
- Matthew Mason, Director, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
- Robin Murphy, Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue, Texas A&M University
- Allison Okamura, Principal Investigator, Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab, Stanford University
As thousands of sci-fi and superhero enthusiasts gather in San Diego for Comic-Con, here at the White House we gathered some of the Nation’s top innovators who are designing materials to enable real-life superpowers—including invisibility and super-strength.
- James Kakalios, Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, and author of The Physics of Superheroes
- Nathan Landy, graduate student at Duke University; working on an invisibility cloak
- Zhenan Bao, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University; focusing research on self-healing and touch-sensitive synthetic skin
- Norman Wagner, Alvin B. and Julia O. Stiles Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware; research on liquid armor
- Nate Ball, co-founder of Atlas Devices and inventor of Batman-like Ascender; host of PBS's Design Squad Nation
Geeks have had a lasting positive impact on the lives of millions of people in the developing world—from the innovations and insights that fueled the Green Revolution, to the historic scientific achievements that have marked the “Beginning of the End of AIDS.” Geeks continue to play a central role in building technologies, making discoveries, building businesses, and engineering solutions that benefit people and communities around the world.
- Nikhil Jaisinghani and Brian Shaad, Co-founders, Mera Gao Power (MGP);
- Vineet Bewtra, Director of Investments, Omidyar Network;
- Maura O’Neill, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Counselor, U.S. Agency for International Development;and
- Alix Zwane, Executive Director, Evidence Action.
Watch the full video below, or learn more here.
In the same way that “merit badges” have been used by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and medals have been used by the military to demonstrate achievement, a growing number of foundations, government agencies, companies and non-profits are exploring “digital badges” as the 21st century equivalent of a resume-builder that students and workers can use to showcase their skills, encourage their peers, and find meaningful educational and employment opportunities.
This conversation about the potential of digital badges to help students and adults featured:
- Erin Knight, Sr. Director of Learning & Badges, Mozilla Foundation
- Connie Yowell, Director of Education for U.S. Programs, MacArthur Foundation
- Bryan Norato, student, University of Rhode Island
- Richard Culatta, Acting Director, Office of Educational Technology, Department of Education
We gathered some leaders in space exploration together for a pregame show as asteroid 1998 QE2 safely flew by the Earth and Moon (we won’t have another close visit from this particular space rock for about 200 years). These experts included:
- Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator, NASA
- Bill Nye, Executive Director, Planetary Society
- Ed Lu, former astronaut and CEO, B612 Foundation
- Peter Diamandis, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources
- Jose Luis Galache, Astronomer at the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center
Grand Challenges are ambitious goals on a national or global scale that capture the imagination and demand advances in innovation and breakthroughs in science and technology. Watch our conversation with:
- Matt Grob, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., to discuss the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE and other bold research initiatives at Qualcomm
- Rob High, IBM Fellow, Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Watson Solutions, to discuss what’s next for Watson and the field of cognitive computing
- Kathryn Latham, recent graduate from Duke University with a degree in engineering and participant in the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program
- Sebastian Thrun, a research professor at Stanford, a Google Fellow, and a co-founder of Udacity, to discuss Google’s self-driving car and Google X