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Transforming the Next Century

05/23/2003 3:45 PM Kresge
Rafael Reif, Provost, and Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science; Tomas Lozano- Perez, '73, SM '77, PhD '80, TIBCO Founders Professor of Computer Science and Engineering ; Jeffrey H. Shapiro, '67, SM '68, EE '69, PhD '70, Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering

Description: This panel serves as a fitting finale to the 100th anniversary celebration of EECS, focusing as it does on a fundamental shift in electrical engineering and computing toward biology, and toward a physics of the nearly unimaginable.

Tomas Lozano-Perez describes how the designs of nature serve as both models and modeling clay for engineers. Researchers have learned to extract pieces of DNA and paste them onto "chips" to determine what type of proteins are expressed from particular segments of genetic code. They are pursuing a "wiring diagram" of the extremely complex and wireless workings of human cells. And the ultimate prize is a bioengineered drug, fashioned from molecules that can bind precisely with a protein to disable the reproductive machinery of a virus like HIV.

Jeffrey Shapiro is working at the intersection of quantum mechanics and engineering. He is developing ways to manipulate photons to achieve not only more secure communications (quantum cryptography), but to attain the far more futuristic goal of quantum computing. Of course, once you have quantum computers, you're going to network them and so you'll need a quantum Internet _ and for that, the only hope is quantum teleportation. That may sound like Star Trek squared, but Shapiro expects to see laboratory demonstrations of qubit teleportation within five years.

Host(s): School of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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