Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 8 August 2019

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 8 August 2019
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi

The LASERs are an international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series and the dates for the Bay Area. The event is free and open to everybody. Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Jessica Feldman (Stanford/ Biology) on "Patterning the Cell During Development" How do our cells achieve the elaborate patterning that allows them to carry out specific functions?... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: William Newsome (Stanford/ Medicine) on "The Future of Neuroscience" A very exciting time for neuroscience... Read more
  • 7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
  • 8:10-8:35: JD Beltran (Media Artist) on "Oil paintings, Message Machines, and Snowglobes: Retro-fitting future-facing technology with our Analog Past" How analog forms and materials can remain an integral part of new, digitally-based interactive artworks... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Mehran Sahami (Stanford/ Computer Science) on "Ethical Implications of Machine Learning" Some of the promise and perils that arise from work in machine learning... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

Watch it live on your mobile device by using
periscope @lasertalks
twitter @lasertalks
Watch it live on your personal computer by using
See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • JD Beltran is an artist, designer, filmmaker, writer, curator, and educator. Beltran taps into hybrids of interactive technology and unexpected materials, forms, and the analog. Her work blends the narrative and the abstract in an ongoing investigation of how materials, in their innate forms, can tell stories. Her films, photographs, interactive sculptures and collaborations with frequent artistic partner Scott Minneman have been exhibited internationally, including at the the MIT Media Lab, the Kitchen NYC, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, the Getty Institute, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and multiple Zero1 New Media Biennials. Her work with Minneman, an interactive snowglobe, achieved the New Technological Art Association Award as one of the top 20 Art+Technology artworks worldwide, and she's been awarded grants and fellowships from the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation, Artadia, Stochastic Labs, the Workshop Residency, the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
    • Jessica Feldman is Assistant Professor of Biology at Stanford and leads her own laboratory. She originally studied the genetic regulation of centrosome structure, function, and positioning and the mechanisms dictating internal cellular organization using the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas. She went on to characterize the role of the centrosome during epithelial polarization in C. elegans, working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She started her Stanford lab in the Biology Department in 2014. Her lab studies structural changes that occur at the cellular level during normal development and in disease. In particular, they are interested in understanding how microtubules become spatially organized in different cell types during cell differentiation.
    • William Newsome is Professor of Neurobiology and, by courtesy, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. He is the Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Harman Family Provostial Professor and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received his PhD in Biology from the California Institute of Technology. He served on the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at SUNY Stony Brook before moving to Stanford in 1988. He is a leading investigator in the fields of visual and cognitive neuroscience. He co-chaired the NIH working group that planned the US national BRAIN initiative. He has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception and simple forms of decision-making. Among his many honors are the RAnk Prize in Opto-electronics, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, Karl Spencer Lashley Award of the American Philosophical Society, the Champalimaud Vision Award, and most recently, the Pepose Award for the Study of Vision, Brandeis University. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2011. The long-term goal of the Newsome lab's research is to understand the neuronal processes that mediate visual perception and visually guided behavior.
    • Mehran Sahami is a Professor (Teaching) and Associate Chair for Education in the Computer Science department at Stanford University, where he is also the Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Google. His research interests include computer science education and machine learning. Recently, he has focused on ethical issues in computing, including co-teaching a course on "Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy" with colleagues from the Political Science department at Stanford.
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

    Extended abstracts:

    Beltran takes us through a selective survey of her investigations of culture's fascination with and nostalgia for past forms, products, and the physical, prompting a discussion of how analog forms and materials can remain an integral part of new, digitally-based interactive artworks.

    We are at a tipping point due to several key technological innovations in the past decade. Barriers are falling and pace of discovery is accelerating. The next couple of decades will be a very exciting time.

    Machine Learning has tremendous potential to help us better understand a variety of domains and build tools for automated decision-making. Such tools carry the promise of more accurate predictions and higher efficiency than might be achievable without them. However, machine learning also has the potential to lead to outcomes that reinforce biases, disproportionately impact particular subpopulations, and violate notions of privacy. In this talk, we examine some of the promise and perils that arise from work in machine learning to understand both the ethical issues and competing value trade-offs at stake.

    How do our cells achieve the elaborate patterning that allows them to carry out specific functions? Inside of all of our cells are spatially organized networks of polymers called the cytoskeleton that give cells their shape, facilitate intracellular transport, allow cells to move, and enable cell division. We will take a tour of the cell, learning about the cytoskeleton and how it is repurposed for these diverse tasks in our normal physiology and in diseases such as cancer. I will also discuss how new tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 based genome editing allow us to study these processes inside of a living organism, highlighting how basic research in model organisms is imperative for understanding fundamental aspects of biology and disease.

    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; and Medicine; by Continuing Studies; and by the Office of Science Outreach.