PROGRAM DETAILS

Electrified!:

From Artificial Light to Artificial Brain

Instructor
Stephen Kowel
Category
Science / Other
S144

Course Description

Right now you are receiving, transmitting, processing and storing electrical signals. Electricity provides the power and the information services crucial to our modern society. This series will describe our understanding of electricity and how it delivers energy and everything digital – medical prosthetics, photography, surround sound, computing, and smart phones. Indeed, even our thoughts are electric. Understand the electricity of today in your home and in your body, anticipate the coming advances in technology, and consider the challenges that thinking machines will pose for humanity tomorrow. 

Confused about FPL bills and BestBuy ads? Use a hairdryer in the bath? Do golf clubs attract lightning? Afraid eyeballs melt when looking into the microwave? What is a Dolby? Ready for Olympians electro-doping? Will the government read your mind? Are machines the final stage of human evolution? These questions and more will be examined. The material may be shocking, but "en-lightning."

Lectures

1. Electricity: An overview of the science and the technology; the quantum electron; the brain-computer connection.
2. Power and Portent: The story of AC generation and distribution; electrical hazards at home; the infrastructure vulnerabilities.
3. Electromagnetic Radiation: Lightning, radio, microwaves, light, X-rays.
4. Electronics and Artificial Intelligence: The digital age today; will machines think tomorrow?

About the Instructor

  • Dr. Stephen Kowel received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held faculty positions at Syracuse University, the University of California, Davis, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of Cincinnati, where he also served as Dean of the College of Engineering.  Dr. Kowel has contributed to more than 100 papers and patents in the fields of acousto-optics, electro-optics, liquid crystal adaptive lenses, and 3-D autostereoscopic displays.  He has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and of the Optical Society of America (OSA).