Upcoming Events: Science & Technology

Tue 4/22

Image - Robots In The Classroom (MLF)

Robots In The Classroom

Date: Tue, April 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Interacting with robots in ways prior generations couldn't imagine.

Elad Inbar, CEO, RobotsLAB
Vikas Gupta, CEO, Play-i
Sheena Vaidyanathan, Computer Science Teacher, Los Altos School District
Tina Barseghian, Senior Editor, MindShift, KQED – Moderator

Robots are making inroads in a wide variety of industries, with particularly interesting applications in the field of education. Both as a means of instruction and as an emerging discipline, today's students are interacting with robots in ways that prior generations couldn't even imagine. In this panel, experts will discuss the implications, benefits and risks associated with robots in the classroom

Tue 5/6

Image - Science & Technology Planning Meeting (MLF)

Science & Technology Planning Meeting

Date: Tue, May 06, 2014
Time: 6:15 PM
Brainstorm visions for the future.

Join fellow Club members with similar interests and brainstorm upcoming Science & Technology programs. All Commonwealth Club members are welcome. We explore visions for the future through science and technology. Discuss current issues and share your insights with fellow Club members to shape and plan programs for the months ahead.  

MLF: Science & Technology
Program organizer: Chisako Ress

Wed 5/14

Image - John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Tru
This event is Postponed

John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Truth Behind the Headlines

Date: Wed, May 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
CEO and Co-founder, RPX Corporation

John A. AmsterCEO and Co-founder, RPX Corporation

Patents have been big news in recent years. Large electronics rivals have made headlines by waging high-stakes legal battles over infringement of smartphone patents. Bankrupt companies have auctioned off their patent portfolios for hundreds of millions – or even billions – of dollars. The most significant development affecting patents, however, has been the rise of non-practicing entities (NPEs), also known as “patent trolls.” NPEs acquire patents and litigate them to extract license payments or legal settlements from an allegedly infringing company. Operating companies spent nearly $11 billion dealing with NPE litigation in 2012 alone.

RPX CEO and Co-founder John Amster will describe how patents have been transformed from legal protection of a novel invention into a major source of operating risk. Today, owners of patents are monetizing their value through costly and inefficient legal processes. The discussion will focus on a different perspective: how patents can and should be transacted using market mechanisms instead, and in the process, save operating companies billions of dollars every year.

Thu 5/22

Image - Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman: Quantum Mechanics -

Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman: Quantum Mechanics - The Theoretical Minimum

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A lively and accessible introduction to a famously difficult field

Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics, Stanford University; Co-author, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Art Friedman, Data Engineer; Co-author, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Come hear physicist Susskind and data engineer Friedman present a lively and accessible introduction to a famously difficult field, the theory and associated mathematics of quantum mechanics, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Susskind and Friedman offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement and particle and wave states, among other topics. They provide a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.

Mon 8/18

Image - Gregory M. Herek: Beyond Homophobia

Gregory M. Herek: Beyond "Homophobia" - Thinking More Clearly About Sexual Stigma and Prejudice

Date: Mon, August 18, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.; Professor of Psychology

Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.; Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis

The concept of homophobia – a word first coined in the 1960s – has played an important role in shifting society’s focus onto the problem of prejudice against people who aren’t heterosexual. But the word homophobia conveys a variety of assumptions that can actually limit our thinking. Drawing from social science research findings, including his own studies over the past 30 years, Herek will explain the value of looking beyond the usual conceptions of homophobia to develop a better understanding of stigma, discrimination and prejudice against sexual minorities, and to formulate effective strategies for changing attitudes.