Brandenberger World Tour

Tag: Brandenberger World Tour

TEDx Lawrence

Professor Ádám Galambos spearheaded bringing a TEDx event to the Lawrence University campus this Friday, and I have been along for the ride.   The theme is Reimagining the Liberal Education, and we have some impressive people from around the country coming in to re-imagine things with us.  The university’s TEDx Lawrence site will contain the live web feed.  The Appleton Post Crescent posted a story Wednesday, and here’s what Ádám had to say:

Liberal education has a great deal to contribute to society. It’s up to us to figure out how we’re going to be a part of creating our future.

I hope this will result not just in intellectual exchange, although that’s really important, but also action, taking those new ideas to change in the world.

Professor Scott Corry will be featured on a Post-Crescent webcast tomorrow as well! (Link here)

Incoming Randolph College President, Bradley W. Bateman, will be on hand talk about the role of advising at liberal arts colleges.   This is a timely piece given that advising at large universities came under fire earlier this week.  Also, coincidentally enough, President Bateman was my undergraduate advisor once upon a time, though I don’t recall him ever suggesting that I should go to graduate school and become a professor (?).

One of the marquee speakers is Jeff Selingo of the Chronicle of Higher Education and author of the about-to-be-released College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students.  That talk is set for 9:35 a.m. Friday.  We are also very excited to have Andy Chan from Wake Forest coming in to talk about links between education and career development.  And, one of the co-founders of Coursera, Daphne Koller from Stanford, will join us via video feed to tell us about the MOOCs.


LU has a strong presence as well, with President Beck and Dean Pertl sharing their visions of the future. The tireless Bob Perille (’80), founder and champion of of the Lawrence Scholars programs, will be on hand to talk about (you guessed it) the Lawrence Scholars programs. Rick Davis (’90) from George Mason will invoke the role of the liberal arts in fomenting collaboration and Jennifer Herek (’90) will be on hand to talk about spreading the liberal arts to technical education in Europe.

In addition, Jenny Kehl from UW-Milwaukee will be on hand to talk about how central collaboration and interdisciplinary work will be to tackling some of our toughest environmental issues.

All TEDx events showcase videos from TED events, and as part of that we will be watching the Erik Brynjolfsson video that Professor Finkler discussed in a previous post.

The full schedule is here. 

It should be a good one.  Professor Brandenberger and I were co-organizers, and fortunately John handled some of the more delicate interpersonal matters.  We’re interested in seeing how this goes over.  If you have a few minutes, tune in to the webcast and let us know what you think.  Here is that link.  



This is Flickey

It looks like the In Pursuit of Innovation crowd is at it again, this time trotting out the revolutionary new Flickey app.  Check out the This is Lawrence video currently featured at the LU homepage for the transformative nature of some of these I&E projects.

And, if you happen to be the ambitious type, you might consider taking ECON 211 / PHYS 201 this fall — perhaps you will be next year’s feature from the thought to action crowd.

Local Sports Team in Contest of Interest

Steely McBeam

The pride of the Fox Valley, the Green Bay Packers, will be mixing it up with my former hometown heroes, the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Super Bowl.  The game will take place, weather permitting, this Sunday in balmy Dallas, Texas.

Although the contest itself is predominantly of interest to denizens of northeastern Wisconsin and southwestern Pennsylvania, many from across the nation and around the world will tune in for antics of the mascots (pictured), the often-irreverent commercials, the many wagering opportunities, or simply as an excuse to feast on some tasty snacks (despite some unexpected side effects).  Yum.

This year, we are also treated to some added intrigue by a number of touching personal-interest stories.  Or if you aren’t into Olympics-coverage style tearjerkers, perhaps you’d like to see how some famous movie directors have portrayed the Big Game.

Econ majors might be interested in some of the simple economics of the Super Bowl (summary here), such as secondary-market ticket prices (more than you think) and estimated economic impacts (less than you think).  You might also be interested to know that Green Bay punter Tim Masthay abandoned a lucrative career as an economics tutor at the University of Kentucky, where “he picked up anywhere from three to six hours a day as a tutor, helping student athletes … with economics and finance courses. That paid $10 an hour.”

$10 an hour?  Not bad.

I'll just have the salad

My allegiances here are more with the black-and-gold than the green-and-gold.  Indeed, earlier this year communications director Rick Peterson introduced me as “a big Steelers fan,” so there you have it.  I also made a friendly wager with Professor John Brandenberger on the outcome of the game (even spotting him the three points that the Packers were favored by at the time of the bet).   I have a feeling I’m going to be buying over at Lombardi’s.

Though my heart is with the Steelers, I’m guessing that the general spirit of the community and quality of the celebratory culinary fare will be better with a Packers win.

Via the Faculty & Grants Newsletter

Brandenberger and Galambos strike again.  This via the Faculty & Grants Fellowships Newsletter:

This summer, the In Pursuit of Innovation course — co-taught by Professors John Brandenberger (Physics) and Adam Galambos (Economics) — received a two-year $23,000 grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance substantially to enhance the support for student projects and to fund guest speakers. Team projects play a central role in the course, and the NCIIA grant will allow students to dream bigger and to go further in pursuing their chosen innovations. It is expected that some teams will go beyond producing a prototype and will bring their idea close to being commercialized. The Innovation course, to be offered for the third time in Winter 2011, is one of the core courses of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship program, which is Lawrence University‘s model for integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into liberal arts education.

The program currently features three core courses that are to be complemented by additional topical courses dealing with environmental issues, politics, economic development, and other subjects that reflect interests of participating faculty. As a result of the program, several courses in economics as well as several courses in the arts will have newly added entrepreneurial components for the first time this year.

Invited experts also play critical roles in the program‘s core courses, including Innovation. These experts also help the program grow, expanding opportunities for students to engage in real-world entrepreneurship and innovation, through structured practical opportunities to take their course-based projects to commercialization, or internships in businesses or nonprofits that foster entrepreneurship or innovation. The NCIIA grant will help pay for travel expenses of several highly regarded experts who will contribute to the next offering of the Innovation course. The expectation is that students who take I&E courses will gain knowledge and cognitive skills that will equip them to be “change agents.” Combined with LU‘s emphasis on critical thought and information synthesis, the conceptual and practical knowledge gained through these courses will prepare students to undertake imaginative and ambitious innovative and entrepreneurial activities.

The Strangest Man?

All right, who said it?

I am not interested in literature, I do not go to the theatre, and I do not listen to music. I am occupied only with theories.

Is that Professor Galamobos talking about what he did on his sabbatical leave? His advice to students taking Econ 300 during winter term?  Professor Brandenberger talking about how LU professors used to be back in the day? Our new mantra for the Math-Econ major?

Not at all.

It’s Nobel Prize winning physicist, Paul Dirac, describing the work ethic that led him to international superstardom, if only he would have desired such a thing.  I picked up Graham Framelo’s biography of Dirac this past summer, and I would definitely recommend it as a good read for break, or a gift to that bookworm in the family.

Here’s a short review:

Continue reading The Strangest Man?

This week’s SpecialTea: Fresh Ideas in Innovation

Our weekly EconTeaBA will get an intellectual boost from physicist and in-house innovation expert Professor Brandenberger on Monday. As this post noted a few days ago, he recharged and refreshed his thinking on innovation at a conference in Berkeley, where the world’s top thinkers on innovation gathered two weeks ago. The conference was organized by The Economist, and the list of speakers included Amar Bhidé, Robert Reich, Clayton Christensen, David Kelley, Michael Porter, Jared Diamond, Ray Kurzweil… and the list goes on. Professor Brandenberger will tell us about what these great minds had to say about the future, about innovation, and how that has changed his views on the subject. And there will be cookies, tea, coffee.

Innovation Summit on Left Coast

The Economist is hosting an innovation summit this week, and our own John Brandenberger is serving as our correspondent for the affair.    The speakers list is too long to get into here, but it includes many well-known folks in the field.  This morning’s keynote is from Jared Diamond, author of the classic Guns, Germs, & Steel, and there are dozens of other high-profile folks.

We look forward to the report.