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Opening Keynote (Day 1)| Captain Scott Kelly
History-Making U.S. Astronaut & Retired U.S. Navy Captain
Captain Scott Kelly’s epic Year In Space solidified his status as one of the greatest pioneers in history. Now, in his acclaimed speech appearances, he brings audiences to the edge of their seats with transcendent insights that inspire and challenge them to dream big, test the status quo, and “choose to do the hard things.”
One of a select group of Americans who embody a defining moment in the nation’s history, he captivated the world and seized the imagination of millions during his record-breaking voyage—proving that the sky is not the limit when it comes to the potential of the human spirit. On his trip, Scott, together with his identical twin brother Mark on Earth, paved the way for the future of space travel and exploration as the subjects of an unprecedented NASA study on how space affects the human body.
This year, the world awaits another exciting landing with the arrival of Scott’s widely-anticipated memoir, “Endurance: My Year In Space and Our Journey to Mars” slated for release in fall 2017. His book has also been optioned as a Hollywood film by Sony Pictures.
With awe-inspiring stories from space and personal reflections on leadership, teamwork and testing limits, Scott inspires others to believe that they can reach any goal, no matter how ambitious or audacious. As he looks back on the expedition that shuttled him into history books, audiences revel in the presence of a true American hero and gather unique takeaways on persistence, resilience and self-determination that transform the way they view their own journey through life.
President's Keynote (Day 2) | Tim Wu
TIM WU is an author, policy advocate, and professor at Columbia Law School, and
director of the Poliak Center for the study of First Amendment Issues at Columbia
Journalism School. Wu's best known work is the development of Net Neutrality theory,
but he also writes about private power, free speech, copyright, and antitrust. In 2014, he
ran as the progressive Democrat candidate for lieutenant governor of New York. His
book The Master Switch (2010) has won wide recognition and various awards.
Wu worked at the Federal Trade Commission during the first term of the Obama
administration, and has also worked as Chair of Media reform group Free Press, as a
fellow at Google, and worked for Riverstone Networks in the telecommunications
industry. He was a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner and Justice Stephen Breyer. He
graduated from McGill University (B.Sc.), and Harvard Law School.
Wu is a contributing writer at NewYorker.com and a former contributing editor at The
New Republic. In 2006, Scientific American named him one of 50 leaders in science and
technology; in 2007, 01238 magazine listed him as one of Harvard's 100 most influential
graduates; in 2013, National Law Journal included him in "America's 100 Most
Influential Lawyers"; and in 2014 and 2015, he was named to the "Politico 50." He
formerly wrote for Slate, where he won the Lowell Thomas Gold medal for Travel
Journalism. In 2015, he was appointed to the Executive Staff of the Office of New York
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a senior enforcement counsel and special
advisor. He lives in New York.
Closing Keynote (Day 3) | Dr. Eugenia Cheng
How To Bake Pi: making abstract mathematics palatable
Why does mathematics inspire love in some people and fear in others? Why do some people think mathematics is important for everyone while others think it is a collection of gibberish touching little of the world beyond the brains of some rare geniuses? Why do some think it is a creative art akin to poetry and music, while others think it is a boring tool for producing answers? In this talk mathematics will be presented as a way of thinking, and not just about numbers. Using a variety of unexpectedly connected examples including music, juggling and baking, as in the title of Dr. Cheng's recent book. Her aim is to show that maths can be made fun, intriguing and relevant for people of all ages, by means of hand-on activities, examples that everyone can relate to, and peculiar anecdotes.
This presentation will explore surprisingly high level mathematics including some advanced abstract algebra usually only seen by maths undergraduates or PhD students, yet show how to make it accessible even to children. The message is relevant to those who wish to spread their love of maths, as well as those who wish to overcome their fear of it. There will be a distinct emphasis on edible examples.
Dr. Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and pianist. She is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and won tenure in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She is now Honorary Fellow at the University of Sheffield and Honorary Visiting Fellow at City University, London. She has previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice and holds a PhD in pure mathematics is from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching her aim is to rid the world of "math phobia". Her first popular math book, How to Bake Pi, was published by Basic Books in
2015 to widespread acclaim including from the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, and she was interviewed around the world including on the BBC, NPR and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Eugenia was an early pioneer of math on YouTube and her videos have been viewed over a 10 million times to date. She has also assisted with mathematics in elementary schools and high schools for 15 years. Her next popular math book, "Beyond Infinity" was published in March 2017. Eugenia also writes the column "Everyday Math" for the Wall Street Journal, is a concert pianist and runs the Liederstube, a Not For Profit organization in Chicago bringing classical music to a wider audience. She recently completed her first mathematical art commission, for Hotel EMC2 in Chicago.
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