Visits and Events 2017-2018
FALL SEMESTER 2017
Campus Visit: September 3-10, 2017
Campus Visit: September 6-8, 2017
Campus Visit: September 25-28, 2017
Three Cheers For “Shut Up And Calculate!” In Fundamental Physics
Monday, September 25, 2017
7:30-8:45 pm, Schwartz Auditorium, Rockefeller Hall
The famous Cornell physicist David Mermin once said that the standard approach to understanding Quantum Mechanics was to “Shut Up And Calculate!”, a quote also often (mis)attributed to Richard Feynman. Over the years, “Shut Up And Calculate” has become something of a pejorative characterization of an approach to physics, said by some to be intellectually lazy and philosophically unsophisticated, the method of philistines merely “solving equations” rather than “Asking Profound Questions”. In this talk I will explain why this is utter nonsense, giving a full-throated three cheers for “Shut Up And Calculate“ in fundamental physics. I will describe, through both historical and contemporary examples, how the very experience of grappling with the most conceptual issues in physics forces the “Shut Up and Calculate“ approach on us. Far from being the product of an unwillingness to think about big questions, “Shut up and Calculate” is born of the deepest thinking about, and the greatest respect for, such questions, coupled with a desire to find concrete paths to attacking them, rather than gaping at them in perpetual awe. I will also argue that the “Shut Up And Calculate” philosophy is certain to grow in influence over time, as we draw ever closer to uncovering laws of physics governing the most fundamental elements of reality.
There is a pre-lecture reception that will be held outside of Schwartz Aud. from 6:30-7:30 pm
The event is free and open to the public.
BETHE HOUSE Weekly ANSATZ
What Lies Beyond the Horizon?
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
7:15 pm, Bethe Residence House, West Campus
QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION
Ask Anything about Anything
Wednesday, September 28, 2017
4:30 pm, 700 Clark Hall—(changed from original venue of 401 Physical Sciences)
Campus Visit: October 9-14, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
5:30 pm (Venue to be announced)
Science, Policy, and Service: Some thoughts on the way forward
We live in a world where computing devices and systems have more societal impact than ever before, and yet they are simultaneously more difficult to test, debug, patch or even understand than ever before. Questions are constantly arising regarding how reliable and secure they are, and some autonomous systems are even raising broader discussions about fairness and ethics as well. In the midst of this, policymakers are—often with relatively little technical background—deciding what to do in terms of regulation and management of these systems. While computer science plays a prominent role in policy circles, policymaking for other science and technology fields like climate science, medicine, and many others is also both very complex and deeply important.
For 20 months from August, 2015 to April 2017, Prof. Martonosi was a Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) engaged in computing and communications policy within the United States Department of State. Established in 2003, the JSF program is one of many governmental programs aimed at improving and augmenting in-house science and technology expertise. In this talk, she will discuss the role of scientists and technologists in policy circles, drawing from her own personal experiences. Prof. Martonosi will also conclude with some thoughts on how — and why — scientists can and should be personally engaged in these issues over the months and years to come.
Campus Visit: October 15-21, 2017
SPRING SEMESTER 2018
Campus Visit: March 26-30, 2018