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2017 Speakers:

Sproull Lecturer: Dr. Robert J. Lang, Robert Lang Origami

Robert J. Lang has been an avid student of origami for over forty years and is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with over 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. He is noted for designs of great detail and realism, and includes in his repertoire some of the most complex origami designs ever created. His work combines aspects of the Western school of mathematical origami design with the Eastern emphasis upon line and form to yield models that are at once distinctive, elegant, and challenging to fold. They have been shown in exhibitions in New York (Museum of Modern Art), Paris (Carrousel du Louvre), Salem (Peabody Essex Museum), San Diego (Mingei Museum of World Folk Art), and Kaga, Japan (Nippon Museum Of Origami), among others. In 1992 Dr. Lang became the first Westerner ever invited to address the Nippon Origami Association’s annual meeting; he has since been an invited guest at international origami conventions around the world. He lectures widely on origami and its connections to mathematics, science, and technology, and teaches workshops on both artistic techniques and applications of folding in industrial design. Dr. Lang is one of the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics; he has been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan Magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society, and has presented refereed and invited technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings. He has consulted on applications of origami to engineering problems ranging from air-bag design to expandable space telescopes. He is the author or co-author of thirteen books and numerous articles on origami art and design and in 2011 was elected an Honorary Member of the British Origami Society. Dr. Lang was born in Ohio and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Along the way to his current career as a full-time origami artist and consultant he worked as a a physicist, engineer, and R&D manager, during which time he authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications and 50 patents awarded and pending on semiconductor lasers, optics, and integrated optoelectronics. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a member and past Vice-President of the IEEE Photonics Society, and from 2007–2010 was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics. In 2009, he received the highest honor of Caltech, the Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2013, he was chosen as one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. Dr. Lang resides in Alamo, California.



Prof. John Crocker, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

John’s research concerns the mechanical properties of small objects, ranging from single molecules to living cells. His nanotechnology work is centered on self-assembly, growing useful devices and structures from smaller parts in a biology-inspired, organic fashion. John uses DNA as a programmable adhesive, directing microscopic parts to spontaneously form a crystal-like ordered pattern. His lab has pioneered new methods for quantifying the mechanical response of both single molecules and cells to small forces.



Prof. John Hart, Mechanical Engineering, MIT

John Hart is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mitsui Career Development Chair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hart directs the Mechanosynthesis Group, which aims to advance the science and technology of manufacturing in areas including additive manufacturing, nanostructured materials, and precision automation. Hart teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in manufacturing processes, advanced materials, and research methods. He has Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from MIT, and a B.S.E degree from the University of Michigan, all in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining MIT in 2013, Hart was Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Hart has received numerous prestigious awards recognizing his accomplishments in research and teaching, and his impact on the development of innovative materials and manufacturing technologies. These include: the R&D100 Award (2008, 2009), the DARPA Young Faculty Award (2008), the ASME Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal (2009), the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (2010), the AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award (2011), the NSF CAREER Award (2012), the ONR YIP Award (2012), and the ASME Best Paper Award in Compliant Mechanisms (2013). Hart is also internationally recognized for his efforts to communicate principles of nanotechnology to the public, including his Nanobliss site.



Prof. Larry L. Howell, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University

Larry L. Howell is a professor and past chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he also holds a University Professorship. Prior to joining BYU in 1994 he was a visiting professor at Purdue University, a finite element analysis consultant for Engineering Methods, and an engineer on the design of the YF-22 (the prototype for the U.S. Air Force F-22). He received his PhD and MS degrees from Purdue University and his BS from Brigham Young University. He is a licensed professional engineer and the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Theodore von Kármán Fellowship, the BYU Technology Transfer Award, the Maeser Research Award, several best paper awards, and the ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Award. He is a Fellow of ASME, past chair of the ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Committee, past co-chair of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences, and a past Associate Editor for the Journal of Mechanical Design. Prof. Howell’s technical publications and patents focus on compliant mechanisms, including origami-inspired mechanisms, microelectromechanical systems, and medical devices. He is the author of the book Compliant Mechanisms published by John Wiley & Sons. As a young man he served as an LDS missionary in Finland, and he and his wife, Peggy, are the parents of four children and live in Orem, Utah.



Prof. Jiwoong Park, Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago.

Prof. Park’s research group builds modern integrated circuits using atomically thin materials by combining chemical and physical approaches. His group also develops ways to transform these ultrathin circuits into three-dimensional, deployable devices and to actuate and communicate with them. He received a B.S. degree in physics from Seoul National University (1996) and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley (2003), where he investigated electron transport in single molecules. After graduation, he became one of the first Junior Rowland Fellows at the Rowland Institute at Harvard University. In 2006, he joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University as a faculty member where he stayed until 2016. Professor Park is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award (2008), the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2009) and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2010).



Dr. Peter Trefonas, Corporate Fellow, Electronic Materials, The Dow Chemical Company

Dr. Trefonas is a corporate fellow at Dow where he works within the Dow Electronic Materials business group. Trefonas made major contributions to the development of many successful products which are used in the production of integrated circuits spanning multiple device design generations, from 2 micron to 14 nm node technologies. These include photoresists, antireflectant coatings, underlayers, developers, ancillary products, and environmentally safer green products. These electronic materials have had a high commercial impact, and have helped to facilitate the progress of the Information Age. He is an inventor on 61 US patents, has over 25 additional published active U.S. patent applications, is an author of 99 journal and technical publications, and is a recent recipient of both the 2014 ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award and the 2014 SPIE Willson Award. Trefonas earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry with Prof. Robert West at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 and his Bachelor of Science in chemistry at the University of New Orleans in 1980. Originally a native of New Orleans, Trefonas has lived with his family in Medway, Massachusetts for the last 27 years. His research career began at Monsanto Electronics Materials Company. He then co-founded a start-up company called Aspect Systems Inc., which acquired lithographic chemicals technology spun off from Monsanto. He continued in electronic materials R&D as his career moved via acquisitions by Shipley Company, Rohm and Haas Company, and Dow. Prior to graduate school, Trefonas was also the creator of several commercial computer games which were popular on early microcomputer platforms. He won the 2016 SCI Perkin Medal. This honor recognizes Trefonas’ contributions in the development of chemicals that enable microlithography for the fabrication of microelectronic circuits. His outstanding work in the creation of polymer photoresists used in the lithographic process, especially the development of antireflective coatings, enables patterning of smaller features, fitting more circuits in the same area. These advances in miniaturization enable the faster microprocessors and multitude of new electronic devices that are such a large part of daily life.



Dr. Marc Miskin, Postdoctoral Associate, Prof. Itai Cohen’s lab, Physics, Cornell University




2017 Organizing Committee:

Prof Itai Cohen, Physics, Cornell University


Prof. Paul McEuen, Physics, Cornell University


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