News at Princeton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Engineering our future


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Princeton professors Ed Felten, Ron Weiss and Yin Lu Young describe how their cutting-edge research today can positively influence the future. View all Giving to Princeton videos.


Video Closed Captions

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Ed Felten:
Some of the most interesting things we work on happen

Ed Felten:
at the intersection between human nature and technology.

Ron Weiss:
About 12 years ago, I became fascinated with the

Ron Weiss:
notion that we might be able to program cells as easily as we program computers.

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Ed Felten:
Well, technology is ultimately there to solve problems for people.

Yin Lu Young:
With all the concerns with global warming, I think it's about time that we

Yin Lu Young:
worry about it, and that we do something positive

Yin Lu Young:
to influence the future.

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Ed Felten:
So if you think of the circuit board as a city,

Ed Felten:
the individual chips are like buildings where parts of the

Ed Felten:
election are being conducted. And if somebody can change what's

Ed Felten:
inside one of those buildings, if they can change the machinery that's in there by replacing a chip.

Yin Lu Young:
A tsunami, for example -- you need someone who knows how to design the building,

Yin Lu Young:
who knows how to keep it still such that it can resist the force of the wave impact.

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Yin Lu Young:
You also have to worry about the wave going back down,

Yin Lu Young:
because whatever comes up has to go back out.

Ron Weiss:
You can actually imagine scenarios where some rogue countries are developing weapons of biological terrorism,

Ron Weiss:
and they start to develop all these pathogens that we've never seen before.

Ed Felten:
I was trying to help convince the members of Congress and everyone else who was

Ed Felten:
there that this was a problem they needed to look at seriously.

Yin Lu Young:
Because policymakers need to understand what changes

Yin Lu Young:
need to be made, and why, and how much it will cost.

Yin Lu Young:
To try to understand what engineers are talking about.

Ed Felten:
I think of myself as more of a quality control officer for electronic voting.

Ron Weiss:
We should be able to take antibiotics that almost all the time actually kill the bacteria and we become better, healthier in 24 hours.

Ron Weiss:
Why shouldn't that be the case with cancer?

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Yin Lu Young:
Princeton is a place that looks to be the leader in the world.

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