As MIT celebrates 150 years, join a conversation about what really fuels our passion, featuring MIT Professors Daniel Hastings, Alan Lightman, Alex Byrne, Troy Van Voorhis, and Moderator Rosalind Picard.
Have you ever thought about the inner lives of your professors? What they really believe about Life, the Universe, and Everything? What decisions they make in their careers and how their beliefs make a difference? Come and see 4 distinct professors from a range of disciplines, tenures, and beliefs at MIT share and have an open dialogue about what makes them tick.
Sponsored by the United Christian Organization, the Department of Philosophy, and the LEF
Format: 10 minute presentation from each professor, followed by a moderated discussion based on questions from the audience. Followed by mingling and refreshments in the Kresge lobby.
Translation for the ASL community will be provided.
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Dean for Undergraduate Education, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT
Daniel Hastings, the MIT Dean for Undergraduate
Education, is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering
Systems. Hastings has taught courses and seminars in plasma physics, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, aerospace policy, technology and policy, and space
systems engineering. Dr. Hastings served as chief scientist to the U.S.
Air Force from 1997 to 1999. He led several influential studies on where the Air Force should invest in space, global energy projection, and options for a science and technology workforce for the 21st century. Come hear what an MIT professor and dean believes about life, the universe, and MIT!
Adjunct Professor of Humanities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
As both a distinguished physicist and an accomplished novelist, Lightman is one of only a small number of people who straddle the sciences and the humanities. He was the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities. His essay "In the Name of Love?" was the first article about love and language published in Nature, the prestigious international science journal (October 8, 2001), and his "The First Law of Thermodynamics" was the first short story published in the physics journal Physics Today (May 2005). He has lectured at more than 100 universities nationwide about the similarities and differences in the ways that scientists and artists view the world. Lightman refuses to put his beliefs in a box - so you'll have to come hear his perspective at The Veritas Forum!
Troy Van Voorhis
Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, MIT
Troy Van Voorhis received his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Rice University and his PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, he joined the faculty of MIT where he is now a rising star in the chemistry department. His research focuses on the intersection of quantum mechanics and chemistry. In particular, his work addresses questions of how solar energy can be efficiently captured and stored. He is head of the Van Voorhis Group at MIT. But what would he say about ultimate reality and his work in chemistry? Come find out!
Professor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alex Byrne is a professor of philosophy at MIT, specializing in philosophy of mind, perception, consciousness, metaphysics, and epistemology. He has written a number of papers on color, and is working on a paper on self-knowledge. He also dabbles in philosophy of language, meta-ethics, and Wittgenstein. Having received his Ph.D. from Princeton, Byrne arrived at MIT in 1994. He is currently offering a course on the philosophy of religion. He recently authored a brief piece in the Boston Review, entitled "God: Philosophers Weigh In." Come hear Prof. Byrne weigh in on April 2nd!