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Some Cool Facts about TED and TEDx, Part I

Hey everyone!

We’re less than two weeks away from TEDxRoseHulman! If you’d like to attend our event, don’t forget to register here. We only have a limited number of seats in Hatfield Hall, but we will still be simulcasting the show to various rooms across campus! Everyone is also invited to our dessert reception immediately following the event.

As promised, we’ll be handing out free TEDxRoseHulman t-shirts for people who know answers to our trivia questions, whose answers are listed below! Keep reading and stop by our table in the Union from 10:50-1:30 on Sept. 25th, 26th and 27th for a chance to win free stuff!

-TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. Their events work to bring people together from these three seemingly separate worlds.

-TEDx is under the umbrella of TED, and the ‘x’ denotes an independently organized event.

-TED’s motto is ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

-TEDx events have been held in over 130 countries.

-Over 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a degree in engineering.

-There are over 16,500 TEDx talks online. About 168 of these talks have been elected to be featured on the official TED website.

-TEDx talks have a combined 120 million views online.

It’s a Small World After All – Science Without Borders

Last weekend I was lucky enough to travel to Budapest and even more lucky to meet two lovely Brazilians staying at the same place. Turns out one of them had a cousin in the city studying at Budapest University. (This story is going somewhere I promise). Well, he is a mechanical engineer who came over in the summer to learn English for his classes in the fall on engineering.

What is so interesting about all of this? The program he is traveling under is called Science Without Borders, the same program that sends dozens of wonderful people to Rose-Hulman last year and will again this year.

Science without Borders was started in 2011 by the Brazilian as a joint project between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science. Although it is in its infancy, this programs will send one hundred thousand Brazilian students abroad to learn not only about science but also about the cultures of various other communities. The scholarship covers almost everything for the students for a year.

As someone who is doing the same thing in the private sector, the value of this program is extremely high. I have learned not only so much about engineering and work but values of other people and a language as well. Yet even more important, it shows that science has no borders and the largest problems need to be thought on and worked on in global setting.
This massive incentive will shape a new generation of engineers. It does not only affect the students who are traveling but the people who interact with them in class, the dorms, and on the street. These different views meeting can only bring about a better understanding of each other and a stronger world community.

Being dropped into a new culture to learn is an exciting yet scary event. On one level there is so much to learn and experience; everything is a new thing. Yet on the other hand, everything is a new thing, “how does the subway work?” and “I cant read this menu/products in the grocery store/general store sign…rats” (this led to the most interesting tasting coffee of my life). This song is a reminder that a mixture of butterflies in the stomach is so amazing yet a little scary.

Making Connections

Hi there! I’m Nate Moore, another of your friendly TEDxRoseHulman event organizers. I wanted to talk a little bit about the spirit of TEDxRoseHulman – what we’re trying to accomplish.
If you’re familiar with Rose-Hulman at all, you know we do a great job training engineers. We consistently top the rankings for the quality of the STEM education we offer.
We produce great engineers – but do we produce great leaders?

Good leadership requires mental flexibility – the ability to make connections across far-flung fields, connections that change the way we think about a problem. We hope TEDxRoseHulman helps students make those connections. Listening to several speakers from many distinct backgrounds will give you a new perspective on what you can do as an engineer.

Maybe I can explain this best with an example. TEDMED was held last year in Washington, DC with a similar goal – to bring together a diversity of opinion on the subject of healthcare. One of the talks I liked best was by Robert Gupta. In “Does beauty have the power to heal?”, he manages to successfully combine neurology, the treatment of mental illness, and violin playing – talk about making connections!

See you at TEDxRoseHulman!


Why Should We Care? – A Young Person’s Need for Inspiration

Often times people ask me when I talk about a TEDx event, “Claire, that seems cool but why should I care? I still have 2 years left of college.”

When it comes to my generation there seems to be a juxtaposition of what is expected and how to perform. Every day you hear of new tech companies started by young individuals making millions if not billions of dollars. (Do Google, Facebook, Instragram, Twitter, and Reddit ring a bell?) Yet at the same time various young people are feeling pressure at to the point of suicide such as Aaron Swartz. Mental health in general has suffered, as 5% or more of students say that they have had depression.

These advancements in technology are creating a whole new world both digitally and physically. The internet is constantly being redesigned with new designs and advancements as processing power improves as do graphics. The “real” world is being changed with the Arab spring and events in Turkey, both would have been harder if not impossible without social media. Social media is trying to become “the media” as Buzzfed starts covering congress and TechCrunch does more in-depth reporting on tech companies’ balance sheets.

This meshing of the abstract and reality makes the world smaller and bigger, a new playground where engineers, artists, politicians, and everyone else has a bigger louder voice. The rules are being rewritten and knowledge outside of the book is becoming more important as is the need to make creative changes.

People my age have a whole new view of the world. I have always grown up with a computer and am constantly online trying to see what new science improvements I can use to help others. This connectivity is a gift that needs to proliferate beyond the digital space into real conversions at the coffee shop to the office. It needs to spread to old school businesses that have a tighter control structure but see they need to adapt. M&M, GE, Dr. Pepper, Adidas, and Logitech website redesign helped bring them back into touch unlike Midas, Circuit City, Blockbuster, Borders and Hostess (all of which have collapsed).

This is the world I and people my age will soon be changing with greater force. Every day there is more news of unstable governments, financial crisis, terrorist attacks and raising debt of students, yet also hope of new technical advancements and people standing for beliefs.

This is why we should care. This is our world, and it is a brave new one.

This song is a little old, but it helps me remember not only what can go wrong, but what I can do to get things right.

A Focus on International Development

Hello, my name is Marcel, and I’m a junior Mechanical Engineering student at RHIT.  I’m one of the TEDx Rose-Hulman event organizers, but i’m also the project manager of Rose-Hulman’s Engineers Without Borders’ current project in the Dominican Republic.  For me, it has been incredibly eye-opening to see such extreme poverty so close to the country we live in (the DR is just south of Florida!).  Engineers Without Borders focuses on community-driven development programs and works to design and implement sustainable engineering projects in developing countries.  Our Rose-Hulman chapter has already completed three monumental projects in the Dominican Republic – a medical clinic roof, a septic system for the clinic, and community latrines for a nearby village.  More information about our organization can be found at our EWB webpage:

Throughout my time here at Rose-Hulman, seeing the hard work of other EWB members, our partners, and members of the local community that are involved in our projects has inspired me to strive towards more audacious goals for our organization.  This summer, we’ll be starting a new program in Ghana, which marks the beginning of a 5-year partnership with a local Non-Governmental Organization called the Gomoa Gyaman Youth Association.  I hope that as we continue to reach out to communities that need our help, our members continue to inspire others to do great work, just as I was inspired when I first joined.

Looking forward to May 10th, 2013!

-Marcel Snijder