The explanations below constitute most of the pre-activity briefings for the dorm programming.referencesforculturalcontent.doc
contains all references for everything in this folder.nanotechminorprogramhistorywithaudio4.pptx
contains slides with the content. Note that the links to KEEN cards are NOT permitted for students. That web site is for faculty only.
Slide 2: "I wouldn’t put my kids into an educational system that didn’t teach them how to think" - from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
Slide 6: Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade demonstrates the importance of the ability to make connections. The “We Are Here to See the Tapestries” scene further illustrates the importance of being able to improvise on the spot. A line from a subsequent Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, states, "I don't think he thinks that far ahead." Engineering design and prototyping require a combination of both time for careful forethought as well as the ability to "think on your feet".
Slide 7: In "Star Trek: The Next Generation", Captain Jean-Luc Picard dies on an operating table because his heart, previously damaged by a Nausicaan blade, cannot be saved. The omnipotent "Q" gives Picard a "second chance". Picard plays it safe, only to find out that he is now a lieutenant instead of a captain. "The Jean-Luc Picard *you* wanted to be, the one who did *not* fight the Nausicaan, had quite a different career from the one you remember. That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus."
Slide 8 contains a series of personal inspiration. My father, Mobil’s first environmental engineer, gave me a draft of Clean Water Act to review at age 5. He challenged me "You go to college to learn how to think." I summarized my response in a KEEN card entitled "Questions and Issues Sheets: A Quick Way to Define Projects" not available to students.
Tom Crivello, Century 21 real estate broker and my 1st boss told me: " I want to go from the 5th most productive agency in NJ to the highest selling agency in America" before computers became personal. We accomplished that by sending postcards saying “This house just listed or sold” to 20,000 homes & condos per month.
Mike Klein, my Univ. of Delaware UG thesis advisor & editor of Energy & Fuels: "You’ll never be a good professor." I took that as a challenge.
"Make the PowerPoint slides & poster 1st, then the text will largely write itself."
Levi Thompson, Univ. of Michigan: When shipped a defective liquid nitrogen (LN2) cylinder 3.5 years into my Ph.D., I asked Prof. Thompson whether I would need to re-do six months of experiments if I didn’t fix the leaky relief valve, he said yes. … I replaced the relief valve with the LN2 jet, almost giving me frostbite. That career-defining moment made my life come into focus. He also insisted that I “know the literature.” Now I teach students how to conduct a literature and patent review in several classes. The number of articles and patents discussed is converted into a curiosity grade. By asking students to show how they integrate the literature into their design, they fulfill KEEN's connections mission. There is a different Honors Program activity for a literature review
Chris Marshall, Argonne National Laboratory: “Check your ego at the door. If you make me look good, I will make you look good”. I got experience as a go-fer for a 1000-person catalysis conference that helped me when planning conferences later in my career. He also insisted, "Make sure you get the low hanging fruit,” which I did at all subsequent jobs.
Ted Motyka & Jim Klein, Westinghouse Savannah River Company, as well as Chris Marshall, emphasized he importance of having a closed mass and energy balance on all my experiments. I tell students to walk the plant facility, check flowsheets &
piping & instrumentation diagrams (P&ID's; if they exist), and document changes on the 1st day of employment.
Slide 9 summarizes lessons I learned from several of sports' fine coaches. From former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight: "My job is to get more out of you than you thought you were capable of." Former Super Bowl champion NY Giants coach Bill Parcells quotes music instructor Harold Craxton: "Amateurs practice until they get it right, but professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong."
Super Bowl champion New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s Rules of Leadership are as follows:
1. Leadership means being exhaustively prepared, but able to adjust in an instant", like during Q&A during/after lecture
2. Leadership means having the discipline to deploy your “dependables”.
3. Leadership means being the boss.
4. Leadership means caring about everything going on in the lives of your people.
5. Leadership means never resting on your laurels.
From Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: Every battle is won, before it is fought.
I use The Art of War references when discussing how to deal with targeted drug delivery or nanorobots in several of my classes.
Slide 24: The Pirates of Silicon Valley hilariously illustrates the risk taking and entrepreneurship of Apple's Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and Microsoft's Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Paul Allen.
Slides 25-31 and 33: Emmett "Doc" Brown from the "Back to the Future" movies illustrates a device capable of converting hydrocarbons into energy that he calls Mr. Fusion to power the DeLorean time machine on slide 26. Dr. Albin Czernichowski invented a real "Mr. Fusion" in 1959 in Cold War Poland and didn't make any money off of it until we established Florida Syngas in 2006-2009. Slides 25-31 describe the history of our waste to fuels and chemicals business and is a classic chemical engineering process design project. Unfortunately we had to sell the business in 2009 when our customer base went toward government-subsidized solar energy. We had been creating value for both ourselves and our customers, but did not want to compromise our values that we would participate only in value-for-value exchange.
Slide 32 refers to The History Channel's The Men Who Built America. This TV series illustrates what it takes to be entrepreneurial and maximize value creation. There are so many examples in this series that you should just watch the entire series from beginning to end.
Definitely one should also check out The History Channe's subsequent The Food That Built America for the following examples: Dr. Kellogg vs. Mr. W.K. Kellogg vs. C.W. Post in the cereal war, Marjorie Post's vision to buy up Clarence Birdseye's method for flash freezing food, Hershey's vs. M&M Mars chocolate, CocaCola, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc. Entrepreneurial mindset is pervasive in The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen series as well.
Slide 70: For those who teach process control or atomic force microscopy (AFM): ObiWan tells Luke to "Use the force, Luke!" in the original Star Wars movie. Luke turns off the targeting scanners and destroys the Death Star. AFM control systems tend to have too high a proportional (P or K) constant in PID control, and will crash an AFM cantilever into a sample more frequently than experienced users do when manually controlling the approach. We make a comparison to how gently golfers hold a club in order to maximize feel. This is best described in Dave Pelz's "Short Game Bible" golf instruction book, which also statistically documents the importance of positive and negative feedback on how the mind learns concepts.
Slide 74: Much like either the bees chasing Piglet in "Piglet's Big Movie" or fighter jets chasing "bogeys" through airspace, the human body's immune system uses multiple types of cells to fight infections.
Slide 81: Au nanoparticles and laser Raman spectroscopy are major topics in our nanotechnology minor. The "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." scene from the James Bond movie "Goldfinger" is an excellent means to introduce to both of those subjects.
Slide 97: If wanting to teach an approximation to human life, consider the episode "Home Soil" from Star Trek: The Next Generation. During that episode, humans attempt to terraform a planet, only to discover an inorganic semiconducting life form that self-assembles and describes humanity as "ugly giant bags of mostly water".
Slide 110: When explaining Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, I compare the electrospinning synthesis method to cotton-candy making. Electrospinning uses a 10-20 kV DC voltage instead of a <= 110 V AC voltage, but both make thin repelling fibers by applying a charge to the fibers' exterior. I reinforce the concept by playing "Sweet Dreams are Made of This" by the Eurhythmics while I make cotton candy.
Slide 130: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is loaded with entrepreneurial concepts. The Golden Ticket concept is used by The Kern Family Foundation for encouraging faculty to come to KEEN meetings and workshops, for instance. To enter the factory, one must use a musical lock. Such a musical lock is also used in Atlas Shrugged to protect intellectual property and a lab. I use it to relate how Mark Burns of The University of Michigan developed a musical unlocking mechanism to trigger sequences of microfluidic valves for lab-on-a-chip and organ-on-a-chip devices. I also use the "schnozberry" scene with the lickable wallpaper from Willy Wonka because "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." Wonka's Inventing Room is a maker's paradise; students particularly enjoy the Everlasting Gobstopper "Rube Goldberg" machine.
Slide 131: A baseball movie called "Field of Dreams" illustrates the risks one must persist through to pursue one's dreams. "If you build it, they will come." This presents an interesting challenge that is unique to the maker's mindset. Makers tend to want to buy the latest tool and seize on an opportunity to make money before a new concept becomes a commodity, but the time to monetize such opportunities are much shorter in making than in many fields. It is not unusual for the cost of new Asian equipment "copies" to be 1/10 of the invented technology in just a few years, after which one's makerspace is left paying off an expensive piece of equipment.
Slide 149: This slide refers to the "one ring to rule them all". My CardDeck: EM Resources for Makers is a master CardDeck that acts like the "one ring" from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings".
Slide 151: I encourage students to "complete their training", as Master Yoda from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back tells Luke Skywalker. From Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, on board a Hindenburg-like Zeppelin airship, Indiana's father tells Indiana that "he left just when he was becoming interesting", a sentiment faculty will have toward non-PhD students. Thus, I tell our students to "choose wisely" when pursuing graduate school (in the words of the knight protecting the Holy Grail later in the same Indiana Jones movie.
Slide 152: Also from "The Empire Strikes Back", I emphasize to makers to "Do or do not; there is no try." and to "unlearn what they have learned", in the words of Master Yoda. I do disagree with Master Yoda on "Size matters not.". From slide 39: People use their curiosity in nanotechnology to discover scientific principles that form the basis for engineers to maximize surface area to volume ratio to create value for customers.
Slides 161-163: In "The Best of Both Worlds" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Capt. Picard is kidnapped by and transformed into a Borg (hybrid human and machine) who then tells the Enterprise crew that "Resistance is futile". Via some "brilliantly unorthodox strategy by a former first officer", the Enterprise crew puts the Borg to sleep before destroying them. The "brilliantly unorthodox" strategy epitomizes what KEEN means by "exploring a contrarian view of accepted solutions".
Slide 172: Students may not want to take a course in "Logic", but references to the Star Trek Vulcan named Spock changes a few minds.
Slide 173: When teaching pillared clays and nanocomposites, I use photos of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and the "Petra" scene from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.
Slide 175: I typically conclude by playing Aerosmith's "Dream on, dream until your dreams come true!"
Slide 177: During the Star Wars movies, Obiwan Kenobi thinks that he can train Anakin Skywalker as well as Master Yoda in the Jedi ways, but Anakin goes to the Dark Side to become Darth Vader. I teach my students proper ethics, but some students are attracted to the Dark Side.
Slide 178: Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death" illustrates the passion it takes to energize a team to persist despite long odds.
Other Cultural References to Include:
1) Most episodes of How It's Made (to reinforce our making goals)
2) Most episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (mostly for the non-technical impact of technical/engineering decisions
3) "Rules of Acquisition". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Season 2. Episode 7.
4) From Babylon 5, Season 2, Episode 3: "The Geometry of Shadows" aired on Nov. 16, 1994: Elric refers to techno-mages: "We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons, and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things." – Elric