At SXSW, Don't Miss These IEEE Spectrum Events

We bring you Vint Cerf, a debate on synthetic biology, and the latest news on Moore's Law

2 min read
Text on blue background reads IEEE Tech for Humanity Series at SXSW
Image: IEEE

If you’re heading to Austin this weekend for the festival of tech that is SXSW Interactive, you may have already browsed the massive conference schedule and been completely overwhelmed.

We’re here to help you find the signal in the noise. For guaranteed intellectual stimulation and geeky insights, come to IEEE Spectrum’s three panel discussions. They’re part of IEEE’s Tech for Humanity series of events, which includes not just talks but also meetups and a party on Sunday night (#partylikeanengineer).  

Headshot of man with white hair and beard, text says Vint Cerf: An Internet for and by The People

Vint Cerf: An Internet for and by The People

Sunday March 12, 11 am – 12 pm, JW Marriott, Salon 5-6

On Sunday morning, come hear “father of the Internet” Vint Cerf describe his vision of a fully connected planet. IEEE Spectrum editor-in-chief Susan Hassler will interview Cerf about his People-Centered Internet project, which aims to bring 3 billion people online.

Illustration shows a twisting helix of DNA, text below reads Engineering Life: Artificial Genome Sequence

Engineering Life: Artificial Genome Synthesis

Monday March 13, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, JW Marriott, Salon 8

Bioengineers can now cobble together strings of DNA from scratch, enabling them to alter organisms or potentially build weird new ones. On Monday afternoon, IEEE Spectrum’s biomed editor Eliza Strickland moderates a debate on the future of synthetic biology. Andrew Hessel, an engineer at Autodesk, has proposed a genetics “moonshot” project to construct a completely synthetic human genome. Marcy Darnovsky, director of the Center for Genetics & Society, worries that this new kind of genetic manipulation may lead to high-tech eugenics. 

Illustration shows a computer chip with text below reading Going Beyond Moore's Law

Going Beyond Moore’s Law

Tuesday March 14, 11 am – 12 pm, JW Marriott, Salon 7 

In 1965, Gordon Moore famously predicted that integrated circuits would get more powerful at an exponential rate as engineers found ways to jam more transistors onto the chips. But are we finally reaching the physical limit of Moore’s Law? IEEE Spectrum editor and semiconductor expert Rachel Courtland will host a lively discussion with experts who are envisioning radically new ways to improve computing power. 

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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