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Science, the Engine of Prosperity

September 30, 2011

Kaku hands  
   

Renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, the world's foremost authority on the future of the future, knows where the most creative and innovative ideas will come from: Leading educational institutions like Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

"Rose-Hulman is a jewel of a university," stated Dr. Kaku while on campus Sept. 23-24 to receive the college's Excellence in Innovation Award and presenting the Oscar C. Schmidt Memorial Lecture.  "So many universities snuff out that flower of curiosity in innovation in their students.  Studying becomes a grind, becomes a chore rather than being a delight in the pursuit of knowledge.  What we have (at Rose-Hulman) is a 'hot house', a hands-on university that really unleashes the creativity and initiative of kids, rather than squashing them and turning them out like computer cards."

Dr. Kaku is a famed futurist, best-selling author, theoretical physicist, acclaimed public speaker, and radio and television personality.  He explores the science of tomorrow: from computing power to artificial intelligence, from the evolution of communications to the reshaping of our genetic inheritance.  His Rose-Hulman lecture examined topics in his latest book, the New York Times best-seller Physics of the Future.  He examined how science will shape human destiny and people's daily lives by the Year 2100.

"Science is the engine of prosperity.  What is the rocket fuel that drives science?  It is innovation," Dr. Kaku stated. 

Future innovations impacting mankind will feature a combination of biotechnology, computers/telecommunication, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology/material science, according to Dr. Kaku.

"Some combination of these will give us the great fourth wave of innovation and creativity that will propel society forward," he said.      

Dr. Kaku became the second recipient of Rose-Hulman's Excellence in Innovation Award, which recognizes people with visionary leadership, passion and a proven track record of success in engineering, science and mathematics.

"Dr. Kaku provides valuable insight on what course our students should take to help pave the way for the future.  He appreciates the role that education will play in shaping our ambitions and aspirations," said Rose-Hulman President Matt Branam.  "As Rose-Hulman looks to examine its role in the future of engineering, science and mathematics education, it was an important time to have Dr. Kaku speak to our students, faculty and staff members."

As the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, Dr. Kaku's goal is to complete Einstein's dream of a "theory of everything" -- a single elegant equation that unifies the fundamental forces of the universe.  His two radio programs "Explorations in Science" and "Science Fantastic" focus on topics such as frontiers in physics, black holes, time machines, hyperspace, the human genome project and genetic engineering.

Kaku Ditteon  
Dr. Michio Kaku leads the way. Behind him,
accomplished Rose-Hulman astronomer,
Dr. Richard Ditteon.
 

Dr. Kaku explains that the most fascinating and complex ideas in science today in many ways so elegant and easy to understand.  His award-winning Discovery Channel television program "Sci-Fi Science," based on his best-selling books, reaches millions of households worldwide.  He has been featured on several documentaries by both the Public Broadcasting System and the British Broadcasting Corporation such as "Einstein Revealed" and "Science Odyssey."  He also appears as a guest on Late Show with David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Conan O'Brien's Conan Show and many others.

Dr. Kaku received a bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) from Harvard University in 1968, graduating first in his physics class.  He went on to the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory at the University of California-Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in 1972.  He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was the first recipient of    Rose-Hulman's Excellence in Innovation Award, during the 2010 Decade of Innovation Celebration in Indianapolis.  Daniels also presented the Oscar C. Schmidt Lecture in 2003 when he was the director of the U.S. government's Office of Management and Budget.

The Oscar C. Schmidt Lecture brings to Rose-Hulman national leaders to discuss issues important to the campus community.  The lecture was established 50 years ago through the generosity of the Cincinnati Butcher's Supply Company in memory of the late Oscar C. Schmidt, a pioneering manufacturer of machinery for the packing industry.