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In the Works – Potential Topics

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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 2021.04.22 11:07

  1. Search for life on other planets Ian Crawford, April 2018 (36min)
  2. (Dick Wagner) most recent Nobel Prizes in Physiology & Medicine, Physics, and Chemistry - maybe a half hour on each with discussion. I have a background in Physics, Chemistry and Molecular Biology so the topics are not foreign to me. I could also discuss the Economics Prize, since I've recently become interested in economics, but someone else in the group may be more knowledgeable about this prize which was on auction theory. Another topic I could talk about is the discovery of the platinum containing compound that has been used for decades in chemotherapy of cancer. This talk would be from the same perspective as our last speaker (Harry?) in the sense that I was there as the discovery was made. This discovery is a great example of how basic science research really happens.
  3. (Peter to fup with Jonathan Goode) Actual accomplishments of things in the Frontiers of Science.
    a) has quantum computing ever solved a problem?,
    b) has blockchain produced a cost effective solution for anything?,
    c) has the Large Hadron Collider advanced science or provided the real confirmations the string theorists were looking for? (John Rudy knows someone named Harvey might fit)
  4. (Peter to fup with Jonathan Goode) A revised explanation, in an intuitively satisfying way, why do airplanes fly? This was presented earlier using incomprehensible equations that seem unsatisfying and suspicious. Can planes really achieve level flight upside down?
  5. (GeorgeB to fup) Recycling (what happens when you put trash out; computer or lightbulb return to BB or Staples) (Bodoin/Harvey & What Lex Does? How to separate recyclables?) (need speaker. (HarryF to fup) Chris Barnett, theory of recycling (GeorgeB to followup); Chris Barnett, VP waste mgmt
  6. (Peter to fup) A NOVA on DaVinci (Peter- I’d love to get Nancy Alimansky to participate and comment on it –John Rudy)
  7. Women in Science, Scientists in Other Cultures (Charlie ask Dan for suggestions; GeorgeG to ask CAAL; Harry to ask Indian Association; for speaker possibilities) (Need contact with Black Americans – Harry to search)
  8. Advances in Surgery (interesting but need speaker); past, present, future
  9. Solar Panels, Solar Technology. Mark Sandeen (Select Person); Cindy Ariens?; Frank van Mierlo, owner of solar technology company, explains science of solar panels. (Harry email to Mark & Cindy cc:PeterA)
  10. Discussion of Blockchain (enhanced from earlier presentation; including encryption; and uses) (SteveI)
  11. iRobot and associated technologies (Peter to investigate)
  12. idea: Telescopes (JohnR; huge telescope being decommissioned. Rich Ralston has contacts at Lincoln Lab & MIT, possible talks on optical, ground, space, x-ray in space, large bodies in space, etc)
  13. idea: ISO-NE webinar being presented by the Attorney General's office; JohnBrown to see if it is recorded and if it's good for the group [20201125 email b/JohnRudy & JohnBrown]
  14. BBC Horizon video, “Pluto: Back from the Dead” 1hr (PeterA)
  15. BBC Horizon video, “Britain's Next Air Disaster? Drones.” 1hr (PeterA)
  16. Other Mark Rober youtube videos (he did Squirrel vid)
  17. Chris Hess: Musicians record themselves at home on their phones. They send me their files and I build virtual video performances in software. We've done a couple dozen virtual ensemble pieces at First Parish since the lockdown started. I work on a PC, with tools in the Adobe Creative suite. If that's of interest, I could do an introduction to the process and tools and then do some Q&A. Zoom isn't directly relevant, although we do stream the stuff I make over Zoom at virtual Sunday services at First Parish.
  18. Revisit Cloud Storage Options (update from December 2019, steveI)
  19. The first LASER of 2021 explores the relationship between humans, DNA, and data, featuring media artist and TED speaker Refik Anadol in conversation with Dr. Robert Grass from ETH Zurich, and Christine Choirat from Harvard and the Swiss Data Science Center. (90 min)
  20. Count Rumford (Supplemental to Dan's, but emphasis is on history). Howard Cohen; talk is prepared
  21. Automatic Bucks meeting: Programmed Trading and Internet Fastlanes
  22. Approach LHS Grad Brandeis, MD, now at Penn; re Moderna technology Harry
  23. Weather modeling tools: Stella. (Jay Foreester?) Modeling a dynamic system. Harry
  24. Meandering Rivers (proposed by John Rudy) Concord River is a good example. e.g.,
  25. Virus package update; both real-time (e.g., Defender) and off-line (e.g., Malware Bytes). Consider Windows, but also Mac/OSX.
  26. Al Sherman: “Everything” from (John Rudy to contact, where is he, when can he speak)
  27. Al Sherman: “Advanced Renamer” from (NOTE Al can be recorded off-line for replay on Weds.)
  28. Shelly Lowenthal: Total Commander, Irfanview

YouTube Video Possibilities

Rich Ralston suggested topics

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 propose within the next year, including the August 21 meeting.

  1. Low-noise and large-area visible and x-ray focal planes in space- and ground-based telescopes. (~90 minutes)
  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.
  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)
  6. Development of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar for Airports. (LL developed, manufactured by Raytheon.). (~90 minutes)
  7. NOVA video on the Secret of Tuxedo Park. (Culminates in UK bringing magnetron to US during WWII). Rent $3.99 on Amazonk. (60 minutes)
  8. Radar that looks for downdrafts at airports Rich Ralston

Topic ideas needing speakers

  1. home theater, camera monitor, media player
  2. Linux or other O/S
  3. Headsets and cameras for Zoom; auxiliary microphones?
  4. Your experience with Raspberry or other tiny computer
  5. Troubleshoot your Internet connectivity
  6. Utilities, for a utilities meeting
  7. Construction of the new Suez Canal
  8. Railway Car identification (George Burnell; Greg Sheehan)
  9. “Book Review” of Walter Isaacson’s book Code Breaker about the competing CRISPR teams. Maybe we can bring back Allan Kleinman

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

  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. [resched from 6/2/21] Eli Brookner would like to present to the group “Fun Family Talk on Contributions of Radar to Winning WWII”. Abstract from Eli:
    Radar was in its infancy at the start of World War II. The British were using radar effectively along their coastline with a network of antennas on very tall towers to warn of approaching German aircraft, but they needed an invention that would allow radars to be small enough to fit on ships and aircraft. They came up with the cavity magnetron. However they looked to American manufacturing know-how and resources to mass produce this device in a hurry. After turndowns by all the major US firms, a small Boston newcomer, Raytheon Company, came up with a solution and ended up making 85% of all magnetrons used by the allies in the war, and changed the course of the war.</hidden>

visits: 1/4/52 since 20210323

lctg_in_the_works.txt · Last modified: 2021.04.22 11:07 by smi