TEDx Caltech Insights Jan. 14, 2011

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Highlights from  my day at TEDxCaltech.com. Follow  #TEDXCALTECH in Twitter.com
It was a wow, belly blowing, mind-bending, brain cell twitching, eye-popping and heartfelt joy and amazing insight.
Must see – This is a must see and listen event. The imagery presented at TEDxCaltech brings to life the archaic, distant, elitist, and abstract work of scientists closer to day to day understanding. This is important because it makes the knowledge accessible to inspire others and show the possibilities of dreams. In a couple of weeks visit www.TEDXCaltech.com to preview the videos.
As a learning professional, these are thoughts I found very meaningful.

Visualization of data – Science is moving forward beyond just data gathering, research to dissemination, distribution and using data help to solve real life problems. With the aid of computers along with the desire to manipulate and enhance the use of data, scientists are discovering even greater contributions of science. Data should be empowering. It should be accessible. The data should be configurable to add value. It should enable easy learning. Pamela Bj√∂rkman, Eric Heller, Alexander Szalay and Curtis Wong shared software and research approaches that magnified the imagery of their work.

Many speakers touched on the value of stories and how science is full of opportunities to connect data with stories and creating new meanings. Whether it is in their presentation style or in organizing research, I found it exhilarating that speakers required stories and metaphors to relate to their body of knowledge. Christopher Sykes shared his experience working with Richard Feynman on producing a documentary. Feynman’s video tells lots of stories. They are producing an “eLearning” type of tool featuring all of Richard Feynman’s lectures.

Closing the gap between digital haves and have nots. I am so used to technologies that I often forget the impacts on new opportunities to share brilliant ideas to hungry minds. I sat down over lunch with a professor. She was telling me about how TED.com and similar efforts have inversely affected the supply and consumption of smart ideas. With TEDxCaltech.com, it is now possible to share with science-minded students, teachers, professionals and everyone who are science inclined but will never have the chance to see the great minds in sciences, face-to-face.

Practical use of TED.com – Another person I spoke with in the event, tells me that she includes TED.com and other video providers as part of her class. The videos become references and sources to inspire possibilities. 

Christopher Sykes – Single biggest thrill is meeting Christopher Sykes. He introduced me to Web of Stories. Another fantastic video production!