x = independently organized TED event

Theme: New Frontiers

This event occurred on
February 19, 2011
7:00am - 7:00pm CST
(UTC -6hrs)
Champaign, IL
United States

TEDxUIUC aims to provide a venue for some of the world’s top thinkers and most remarkable doers to inspire and create a better world. The event takes place annually at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. TEDxUIUC 2011 took place on February 19, 2011, and showcased 18 thought-provoking live talks and performances under the overarching theme “New Frontiers.”

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Business Instructional Facility
Champaign, IL, 61820
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Christoph Adami

Chris Adami is Professor of Applied Life Sciences at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA, and a Visiting Professor at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University. He obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His main research focus is Darwinian evolution, which he studies at different levels of organization (from simple molecules to brains). He has pioneered theapplication of methods from information theory to the study of evolution, and designed the “Avida” system that launched the use of digital life as a tool for investigating basic questions in evolutionary biology. He wrote the textbook “Introduction to Artificial Life” (Springer, 1998) and is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal.

Timothy Bretl

Timothy Bretl received his B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Mathematics from Swarthmore College in 1999, and his M.S. in 2000 and Ph.D. in 2005 both in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. Subsequently, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, also at Stanford University. Since 2006, he has been with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering and an Affiliate of the Neuroscience Program. His current research interests are at the intersection of robotics and neuroscience.

David Goldberg

David E. Goldberg is CEO of ThreeJoy Associates, Inc.,, a consulting and coaching firm, and he also co-directs iFoundry at the UIUC, a programmatic incubator dedicated to the transformation of engineering education. In 2004, he co-founded ShareThis a web startup with offices in Palo Alto, Cincinnati, and New York. Trained as a civil engineer at the University of Michigan, Dr. Goldberg is perhaps best known for his work on genetic algorithms. In 2006, he co-founded and bootstrapped a series of workshops on philosophy and engineering that continue to this day, and in 2010 he edited the collected volume Philosophy and Engineering: An Emerging Agenda (with Ibo van de Poel, Springer, 2010).

William Gropp

William Gropp is the Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Deputy Director for Research for the Institute of Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1982 and worked at Yale University and Argonne National Laboratory. His research interests are in parallel computing, software for scientific computing, and numerical methods for partial differential equations. He is Co-Principal Investigator of Blue Waters, a sustained Petascale computing system. He is a Fellow of ACM and IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Art Kramer

Art Kramer is the Director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Swanlund Chair and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois. A major focus of his lab’s recent research is the understanding and enhancement of cognitive and neural plasticity across the lifespan. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, a member of the executive committee of the International Society of Attention and Performance, and a recent recipient of a NIH Ten Year MERIT Award. His research has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Saturday Night Live.

Sherban Lupu

Sherban Lupu is Professor of Violin at the University of Illinois. He is the Artistic Director of the George Enescu Society of the United States, and the Artistic Director of the Brasov International Music Festival (Romania). He is the recipient of the prestigious “Arnold Beckman” Award from the Research Board of the University of Illinois. His solo appearances include The Kennedy Center, Gstaad Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elisabeth Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, and Carnegie Hall. Lupu recorded works by Ysaÿe, Bartók, Enescu, Wieniawski, Ernst, Stravinsky, Bloch, and Ginastera, and has released the recording of the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by Bach.

Deana McDonagh

Deana McDonagh is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Prior to joining the University of Illinois she was a Reader in User-Centred Design at Loughborough University in the UK. She is an Empathic Design Research Strategist who focuses on enhancing quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products, leading to emotional sustainability. Her research concentrates on emotional user-product relationships and how empathy can bring the designer closer to users’ authentic needs.

Jeffrey Moore

Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, is an alumnus of Illinois who returned to join the faculty. His research focuses on large organic molecules and polymers in three main areas: macromolecule construction, self- healing polymers, and materials for energy storage. He has a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is a member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Antonino Musumeci

Antonino Musumeci is at present a professor emeritus living in the Champaign-Urbana area. He thought in the field of literature at the University of illinois at Urbana-Champaign for over thirty years. Upon retirement, he has chosen to depart from his familiar inquiries and to re-invent himself, pursuing interests left for a long time in the closet of wishful but differed desires: the art of cooking and that of writing stories. Thus, storytelling, which he had cultivated throughout his professional career as a major critical curiosity, has now become a cherished artistic endeavor.

Barry Pittendrigh

Barry Pittendrigh holds an endowed chair professorship at the University of Il- linois. He has been the director of several large international projects, including the body louse genome consortium and a USAID-funded program, in five West Af- rican countries, focused on the control of pests of cowpeas. Due to the challenges associated with deploying effective pest control strategies into these regions, he has co-initiated two compli- mentary projects that seek to address both the creation of appropri- ate content for developing nation farmers and effective strategies to share such materials. He is the co-founder of Scientific Animations Without Borders, an international team of scientists, artists, and vol- unteers dedicated to bringing critical practical scientific knowledge to the poorest people on the planet.

Gabriel Popescu

Gabriel Popescu received the B.S. and M.S. in Physics from University of Bucharest, in 1995 and 1996, respectively. He obtained his M.S. in Optics in 1999 and the Ph.D. in Optics in 2002 from the School of Optics/ CREOL (now the College of Optics and Photonics), University of Central Florida. Dr. Popescu continued his training with the G. R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory at M.I.T., working as a postdoctoral associate. He joined UIUC in August 2007. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a full faculty appointment with the Beckman Institute for Advance Science and Technology. He is also an affiliate faculty in the Bioengineering Department.

Alexander Scheeline

Alexander Scheeline is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his B.S. in chemistry at Michigan State University and his Ph.D., also in chemistry, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a post-doctoral appointment at NIST and a short stint at the University of Iowa, he has been at Illinois except for one year spent as a program officer at the National Science Foundation. His research interests focus on analytical chemistry, including optical spectroscopy, instrumentation development, nonlinear dynamics, and microsensors. He chairs the UIUC Faculty/Student Senate Committee on the Library and serves on the Senate Executive Committee.

Daniel Simons

Daniel Simons is head of the Visual Cognition Laboratory at the University of Illinois. His research explores the ways in which our beliefs and intuitions about the workings of our own minds are often mistaken and why that matters. He is best known for his experiments revealing striking failures of perception and the limits of visual awareness. His research is exhibited in science museums worldwide and his writing has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune. He recently co-authored the book, “The Invisible Gorilla, and Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us” (Crown, 2010).

Mark SubbaRao

Mark SubbaRao was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received Bachelors of Science in Engineering Physics from Lehigh University, his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Astrophysics from The Johns Hopkins University. His research interests concern the large-scale structure of the Universe and scientific visualization. He was a builder of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, developing its spectroscopic analysis software. He is currently employed at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum where he serves as Director of the Space Visualization Laboratory and chair of Adler’s Internal Research Committee. At the planetarium he is actively engaged in the production of exhibits, shows and programs which expose museum visitors to the wonders of modern astrophysical research.

Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle is a professor, author, consultant, researcher, and licensed clinical psychologist who has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of people’s relationships with technology. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. Her many books include a trilogy on digital technology and human relationships: The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit, Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, and most recently, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other. Her investigations show that technology doesn’t just catalyze changes in what we do – it affects how we think.

Deke Weaver

Deke Weaver is a writer-performer and media artist. Experimental theater, film/video, dance, and solo performance venues have presented Weaver’s interdisciplinary performances and videos in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Europe and the United States. A resident at Yaddo, HERE, a two-time fellow at Ucross, a four-time fellow at the MacDowell Colony, a three-time recipient of NEA regional film/video grants, and a 2009 Creative Capital grantee, he also contributes film and video to dance and theater works in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently an assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Tiffany White

Tiffany Barnett White is Associate Professor of Business Administration and Bruce and Anne Strohm Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois, College of Business. She joined the faculty at Illinois in 1999 and received a Ph.D. in marketing from Duke University in 2000. Professor White is a consumer psychologist with research interests in the area of consumer-brand relationships. Her research addresses affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of these relationships, including self-brand attachments and the development and deterioration of consumer trust. Her research has been published in top journals in marketing and consumer psychology. She is married and the mother of two children.

Donald Wuebbles

Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. He was the first Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment at Illinois, and was Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences for many years. Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in numerical modeling of atmospheric physics and chemistry. He has authored over 400 scientific articles, relating mostly to atmospheric chemistry and climate issues. He received the 2005 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. EPA, has been honored by being selected a Fellow of two major professional science societies, and shares in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change.

Organizing team


San Francisco, CA, United States
  • Cristian Mitreanu
    Producer / Director / Curator
  • Srinivas Venugopal
  • Charu Noheria
    Customer Relations Manager
  • Matthew Lesh
    Operations Manager
  • Derek Larsen
    Graphic Designer