Tech Day means fun and games at MIT on Satuday, June 7


CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Tech Day at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is always fun and games. This year it's official.

The annual event will explore the theme "Technology at Play: The World of Sports, Games and Toys." The all-day program will take place at MIT's Kresge Auditorium and the Stratton Student Center on the day after commencement, Saturday, June 7.

Topics to be discussed include "Airplanes, Baseball and the Fun of Flight," "Sports, Money and the Pursuit of Happiness," "Play as Child's Work," and "The Frontiers of Human Performance."

In addition, the Technology at Play Expo will feature exhibits, demonstrations and presentations from noon-5pm at La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Stratton Student Center. Among the participants will be Tectrix, producer of exercise bicycles with computer games; FPD Technology Inc., maker of innovative inline skate wheels known as Black Daisies; and Science Media, producer of sports science toys.

Other exhibitors are North American Air Carnival, Reflective Technology and Sensable Technologies. Mechanical Engineering Professor David Gordon Wilson will demonstrate human-powered vehicles, including a catamaran and a folding bicycle. LCS Professor Charles Leiserson will be there with Cilkchess, a computer chess program. Mechanical Engineering Professor Jeffrey Di Tullio will demonstrate his dimpled baseball bat. Delta Design, an engineering game designed by Associate Professor Louis L. Bucciarelli, will also be on display.

Four speakers are featured in the morning session in Kresge Auditorium:

��������������������������� Stephen C. Jacobsen, a professor at the University of Utah and chairman and CEO of Sarcos Inc., will talk "On the Design and Manufacture of Some Interesting Machines" at 9:30.
��������������������������� Seymour A.������������������Papert,������������������Lego Professor at the Media Lab, will take "A New Look at Play as Child's Work" at 10:10.
��������������������������� Edward F. Crawley, head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will discuss "Airplanes, Baseball and the Fun of Flight" at 10:50.
��������������������������� Woodie Flowers, Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will discuss "The Many Dimensions of Hard Fun" at 11:30. Professor Flowers, known for his inventiveness and whimsy, is expected to treat the audience to a typical Woodie Flowers surprise ending.

The afternoon will be devoted to panel discussions:

  • Dr. Howard W.������������������Johnson, 12th President of MIT, will moderate a discussion of "Sport,������������������Money and the Pursuit of Happiness: What are the Impacts of Sports and Games on Society." The panelists will be Kenneth Wang, President of US Summit Co.; Richard Dattner, an architect, and Albert L. Zesiger, principal, Zesiger Capital. The session will take place from 3&endash;5pm in the mezzanine lounge on the third floor of the Stratton Student Center.
  • "Pushing the Limits: What Are the Frontiers of Human Performance?" will be moderated by Martha L. Gray, Kieckhefer Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and interim director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Sciences and Technology. The panelists are Thomas B, Sheridan, professor of engineering and applied psychology; Laurence R. Young, Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics, and Hugh M. Herr, PhD candidate in biophysics at Harvard University. This discussion will take place from 3-5pm in the Twenty Chimneys room on the third floor of the Stratton Student Center.
  • A third panel, "The Technology of Play," will be moderated by Douglas E. Glen, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Mattel Inc. Panelists are Tod Machover, professor of media arts and science, the Media Lab; Jennifer W. Glos, research assistant, gesture and narrative language group, the Media Lab, and Rudrapatna V. Ramnath, adjunct professor of aeronautics and astronautics. This discussion is scheduled for 3-5pm at the Kresge Little Theater, Kresge Auditorium.

The program is sponsored by the MIT Alumni Association.


Topics: Technology and society, Special events and guest speakers

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