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Rose-Hulman Students Bring Talents to First TEDx Event

October 9, 2013

Student TEDx Speaker: Senior electrical engineering student Travis Tatlock was featured in the presentation “The Left-Handed Engineer.” He developed a case study that inspires people to see things “left out.” (Photo by Terry Miller)

Students, faculty, and alumni took center stage for Rose-Hulman’s first TEDx event, conducted in the Hatfield Hall Theater on October 5. This special student-organized occasion covered a variety of topics showcasing that engineers and scientists have skills that cross over into other career fields.

Presentations touched on such topics as “Why Engineering is like Playing The Doors on Solo Ukulele,” “The Left-Handed Engineer,” and “The Art and Science of Fragrance Creation.”

During a summer internship with Texas Instruments, junior electrical engineering student Ray Anderson embarked on a journey to meet 20 Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, and other distinguished people. What he learned from these meetings was the focus of his talk, “Is Albert Einstein Still Alive?”

Travis Tatlock, a senior electrical engineering major, developed a case study that inspires people to see things “left out.”

Meanwhile, mechanical engineering professor Thomas Adams, PhD, showcased how the “A” musical note has a frequency of 440 hertz, how “constrained optimization” is used in engineering and music, and how diet root beer can spark innovation. The Rose-Hulman alumnus plays, composes, and arranges music for solo guitar, often in tunings he considers too silly for anyone else to use.

Guest speakers featured New York City-based brand development expert Celeste Lee, former head of fine fragrance marketing at Givaudan, the world’s largest creator of flavors and fragrances; and commercial photographer Vincent Dixon, who discussed “Replacing a Preconceived Idea.” He was a post-graduate science student living in Paris when a series of serendipitous events unearthed a passion for photography that has taken him throughout the world.

An exchange of ideas on topics of entrepreneurship, sustainability, career preparation, and global service projects were discussed by attendees following the TEDxRoseHulman presentations.

“We wanted students to know that the skills they gain at Rose-Hulman have a wide variety of applications, perhaps even beyond the typical engineering, math, and science jobs,” states co-organizer Claire Stark, a senior chemical engineering major.

Donnita Robinson, a senior chemical engineering major and a co-organizer adds, “I hope TEDxRoseHulman inspires students to think about what truly inspires them and encourages them to act on it. The speakers come from different backgrounds, but have the same message: They’re doing what they love. This allows them to get so much more out of life.”

Other students that helped organize this event were Ranjana Chandramouli, a senior chemical engineering major, Nate Moore, a senior computer science major, and Marcel Snijder van Wissenkerke a senior mechanical engineering major.