For almost 80 years, the California Institute of Technology has offered its Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series, and this winter and spring are no exceptions. The late Caltech physicist Earnest Watson conceived the series as a public lecture program designed to explain science to the local community.
Seating is available on a free, no-ticket-required, first-come, first-served basis. All lectures are on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium, 332 South Michigan Avenue, on Caltech's campus in Pasadena.
Robotics: Moving Beyond the Factory Floor Joel W. Burdick, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering January 23
The goal of deploying robots in a wide variety of human-oriented and unstructured settings poses many interesting research challenges.
Formation of the Nervous System Marianne Bronner-Fraser, Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology February 20
How do complex organisms develop from single cells?
New Materials for Perfect Vision Julia A. Kornfield, Professor of Chemical Engineering March 6
Cataracts can now be treated surgically by the replacement of the opaque lens with a synthetic lens. Polymer physicists and chemists at Caltech and an eye surgeon at UCSF have developed new materials to make a "laser-adjustable lens" to provide optimal vision for every patient.
Planets Orbiting Nearby Suns
David Charbonneau, R. A. Millikan Postdoctoral Scholar in Astronomy April 3
The question of whether or not the stars of the night sky are encircled by families of planets similar to our own has intrigued us for centuries.
Can a Machine Learn to Play "Where's Waldo?" Pietro Perona, Professor of Electrical Engineering April 24
In our daily life we can recognize our shoes, our mother-in-law, and the family cat just by looking. How do we do it? Can we build a machine that does that too?
The Wind and Raising the Obelisk Morteza Gharib, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering May 8
Dr. Gharib will describe how ancient civilizations could have lifted heavy objects with the power of the wind.
Einstein at Caltech: Publishing the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein Diana Kormos Buchwald, Associate Professor of History; Director and general editor of the Einstein Papers Project May 22
An ongoing scholarly project has revealed numerous novel findings on Albert Einstein's scientific thought, his career, and personal life.