As a young boy, Thulsi Wickramasinghe was fascinated by the cosmos. The future astrophysicist and his grandfather would wake at 3 a.m. and walk along the shore in southern Sri Lanka, discussing the magnificent stars and constellations above them until the rising sun overtook the night sky.
Every year, the R&D 100 Awards—nicknamed the “Oscars of Invention”—showcase the best new technologies from around the world. Most researchers go their entire career without even being nominated. Edwin Tracy (formerly Trzeciak, Class of 1968) just won his second, putting him in elite company and positioning him at the forefront of his field of renewable-energy research.
Conducting Robots is research-based, multidisciplinary course taught by four faculty members from Computer Science, Interactive Multimedia, Mechanical Engineering, and Music. The course allows students from each discipline to construct artificial systems capable of conducting an orchestra and visualizing feedback. In essence, the students create a robotic “maestro” that mimics the arm movements and facial expressions of a human conductor at work. The course was originally created with the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation.