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This page last changed 2023.12.20 08:40 Visits: [11 times today, 10 times yesterday, and 4975 total times] since 20210323
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In the Works – Potential Topics

Topic Possibilities

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We'd like your thoughts on these and other topics you are interested in seeing or maybe presenting. Send your thoughts via email to or contact John Rudy, Peter Albin, Bob Primak, or Steve Isenberg directly – Thank you.
This list last changed 2023.12.20 11:40

Note – numbering is for reference only and it has no other meaning. Numbers were assigned generally in the order topics were added to the list.
“fup” is short for “follow-up”

#1Women in Science, Scientists in Other Cultures (Charlie ask Dan for suggestions; GeorgeG to ask CAAL; Someone should ask Indian Association for speaker possibilities) (Need contact with Black Americans – Harry to search). (Umesh fup; Dan K fup; StephenQ fup)
[9/6]Harry contacting Lex friend about speaking
#2Advances in Surgery and/or Medicine (interesting but need speaker); past, present, future. Dan Kleppner or George to fup with Barbara Hughey (Dan Kleppner knows her)
#3Past Predictions on future technology. How did these play out? 1970s or thereabout. David Kaiser to give such a talk? Historian of science.

Director of the Harvard Museum, John Duran
DanK to fup (Steve Quantro fup)

StephenQ fup
#4Quantum Technology, relating to recent discovers/accomplishments (eg 9000 years in 36 microseconds). DanK to search for speaker
#5Anti-drone technology: Drones, missiles and guidance systems, electronic warfare, etc
#6The Rubin Observatory (a remarkable ground-based optical observatory, scheduled to see first-light in two years (~2025) (Marc Gorenstein)Ted K
#7Further consideration: Can we do anything more about climate change? Do we want to get into data collection and looking at whether the data we use now are applicable to the long-range questions about climate change? Are data sets really applicable to the problem we are studying? Ted Kochanski and Jerry Harris have proposed doing more about this topic. Still following up with the group about the nature of our interests on this topic. Keep on list? Push to future.
#8Further consideration: COVID update ca. Feb. 2023? Universal vaccine for all COVID variants? Common antigen for the virus. Not new science. But there are new developments. Likely not much to present, per JerryS. JerryS to fup.
#9Cosmic Background (Rainer Weiss) (PeterA & DanK to attempt contact)
#10Larry Sass on 3-D house printing, TedK
#11The art of Space-Time (Anna Barnackna/CEO Mind Mix) Gravitational Lens Effect. (Since the discovery of the first lensed quasars in 1979, this quirky phenomenon has become central to cosmology, as light rays from distant galaxies are deflected (a bit) by gravitational effects of both dark matter and dark energy. DM and DE are the two big mysteries of cosmology – and in physics for that matter.)TedK to contact Barnackna
#12History and Technology of Deep Sea Exploration (SpeakerTBD)
newsletter from Woods Hole
Mythbusters video on implosion
Ballard talk (18m)
#13Development of car navigation devices starting in ~1910 and evolving to the present day using digital computers, map database, and GPX. (Donald Cooke)[4/27/24] Cooke not sure when he can present
#14The development of photogrammetry from ~1930 to the current state of the art using a $500 “toy” drone and free software to produce orthophotography 50 or more times as detailed as the imagery in Google Maps and Google Earth. (Donald Cooke)[4/27/24] Cook not sure when he can present
#15History and Practice of Heart Surgery and MedicationJohnR
#16Future Predictions from the Past.
Predictions for 2035 (Quantum Supremacy, or others)
#17Talks at Google
#18Retro Technology, how it works and how to use. Sliderule, rotary telephone, abacus, etcJohnR
#20Altruism and Science (DanK)
#21Current state of animal transplants into humans. (JerryK)
#22Current state of autonomous driving.
#23Alarm systems you can buy/rent and the systems and webcams you can install yourself. How they work, best choices, etc.(Jonathan Levis)JohnR; previously sched 7/17

Video Possibilities

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  1. Cryptocurrency and the IRS: What No One Knew About Taxes [24min]
    Bob offered to do a bit of digging into “Crypto Culture” (social psychology of the crypto craze) and recent exchange collapses. (How they collapsed and whether this appears to experts to be a real bubble bursting or something else. BobP, Harry to update us on crypto basics.
  2. Why Craters are Round (Neil deGrasse Tyson explains; need to turn out the “comedian”) [~14min]
  3. Other Mark Rober youtube videos (he did Squirrel vid)
  4. How James Webb Telescope Orbits Nothing [15m] (LarryW recommended)
  5. Diary for a Pandemic Year (8m) (Dick Wagner)
    A composition prepared for the MIT commencement of 2021 using layering of tracks. The visuals may bring back memories.
  6. Secret Windows Features, Wifi passwords, HDMI Cables & Ports, and more, part of Tech for Seniors (from 3/21/2022, episode 104) (1h11m)
  7. Black Holes: Seeing the Unseeable (60min; World Science Festival) (John Rudy)
    Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is observing black holes; latest achievement is first image of supermassive black hole in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Video explores the breakthroughs.(this video dated around June 2022)
  8. Physics of the Future (39m) Dr. Michio Kaku (John Rudy)
    John R. to f/u. Technical topics brought down to a layman's perspective. Sabine Hassenfelder – Dan K. could give refs. Would need someone to look into these videos and choose some examples. MIT Frank Milchuk(sp?). More advanced topics. See next item.
  9. Can we tell if there's a wormhole in the Milky Way? (5m) by the scientific skeptic, Sabine Hossenfelder
  10. 2020 Fusion progress at Tokamak Energy (5m) (1/4/2021) (Larry Wittig)
  11. Breakthrough in nuclear fusion? (1h39m) (2/24/2016 by Prof. Dennis Whyte of MIT) (Larry Wittig)
  12. Strange Items (18.5m) (John Rudy)
  13. Is the Universe really a hologram? (11m) by the scientific skeptic, Sabine Hossenfelder
  14. Why can't anything go faster than the speed of light? History of the speed of light part II (12m) Dr. Becky speaks (Barry Kort)
    mostly about relativity with maybe 5 seconds on why you can't go faster than speed of light [smi] GeorgeG additional material and fup
  15. Quantum Entanglement and Action at a Distance on Video. Suggested by Ted. K. Dick W. could give his follow-up impressions after the videos.
  16. Lisa Randall at Harvard – particle physics. (Dan Kleppner)
  17. A Hackers Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society's Rules and How to Bend Them Back (Bruce Schneier) a Harvard Science Book Talk Series Lecture (59m)
  18. uniform circular motion 18.5m suggested by our own Charles Holbrow.
  19. perfect husband (1m) a bit off-topic
  20. 7 into 28 (LouC) (3.5m) a bit off-topic
  21. New Office Math (1m) a bit off-topic
  22. Quantum Fields the Real Building Blocks of the Universe TedK
  23. Brian Greene “World Science Festival”
  24. Something Strange Happens When You Follow Einstein's Math - Veritasium posted 4/30/2024 (37m) – Warning - one comment reads “Now I know what my dog feels like when I talk to him”

Rich Ralston suggested topics

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Website for MIT Lincoln Lab: Surf this yourselves to see if areas of R&D or system development would be of interest to you and the LCTG. LL develops technology which, as it matures, is incorporated into a prototype subsystem or system to demonstrate new capabilities for transfer to industry for government use. Intellectual property can be licensed by MIT for commercial applications

Some topics I (Rich Ralston) propose within the next year, including the August 21 meeting.

  1. (Low noise moved to 6/29/2022)
  2. Flash LIDAR (LADAR) with single-photon sensitivity for rapid 3-D imaging with applications from look-through-foliage military surveillance to self-driving vehicles. (~90 minutes) – not to be recorded for later viewing
    Dr. Simon Verghese, head of Waymo’s (Google) sensor development for self-driving cars. In their 5th generation, the sensors are designed to meet the challenging requirements of moving people and goods safely and efficiently in dense cities and on highways. The goal is to make them affordable while meeting the performance needed for driverless operation in various applications and weather conditions. The talk will review some history of the project and describe a few use-cases for sensors and machine learning on Waymo vehicles.
  3. High-sensitivity passive IR focal planes for wide-area surveillance. (Copious Imaging, a spin off in Lexington from LL). (~45 minutes)
  4. Bio-agent warning sensor with single aerosol particle sensitivity. (~45 minutes)
  5. Nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond for quantum sensing. (~45 minutes)

Topic ideas needing speakers

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  1. home theater, camera monitor, media player
  2. Headsets and cameras for Zoom; auxiliary microphones?
  3. Your experience with Raspberry or other tiny computer
  4. Troubleshoot your Internet connectivity
  5. Utilities, for a utilities meeting
  6. Construction of the new Suez Canal
  7. Railway Car identification (George Burnell; Greg Sheehan)
  8. “Book Review” of Walter Isaacson’s book Code Breaker about the competing CRISPR teams. Maybe we can bring back Allan Kleinman
  9. Backup Strategies, ranging from the kinds of backup we use (Data, System Image, Cloud, other) to how to make and maintain (and test) our backups, and what the various hardware and software options are for making and maintaining a reliable backup.

Orphaned (scheduled, but couldn't be presented then)

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  1. Computational Photography - changing what's used as a camera. link e.g., replacing DSLR with cellphones; more (Jonathan Goode?, Harry Forsdick?) (needs a lead)
  2. How one builds a web application (e.g., using spreadsheets) (Harry Forsdick)
  3. (Harry) Getting Streaming Programming Into Your TV (what to do when your TV just isn't smart enough)
  4. [orig sched 7/28/2021] CERN and the Hadron Collider. History, Why It Was Built, Hoped Outcomes, Discovery of Bison, What is Next (Harvey Newman, professor Cal Tech). Harvey will introduce the status and outlook for the LHC, its past and present and near term outlook, and provide a panorama of the future including some of the leading programs. (John Rudy)
  5. [orig sched 8/25/2021] Archeology presented by Jeffrey Rose (archeologist) in Israel (Stan Rose)
    Stan R to fup
lctg_in_the_works.txt · Last modified: 2024.05.28 11:47 by Steve Isenberg