Tech Talks are presented by the Center for Technology & Society (CTS) in collaboration with the Florida Institute of Technology’s Lifelong Scholar Society. Our second season features an exciting mix of technology-based topics that have an impact on society at large.

Voyager at 40: The Real Interstellar

Presented by Dr. Scott Tilley (Biography)

F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, Room 118
Florida Tech Campus
Dec 1, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.

Voyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977, from Cape Canaveral, with Voyager 1 closely following it on September 5. Both spacecraft are still active, traveling through space over 10 billion miles from home. This talk celebrates 40 years of scientific discovery that still continues today. You’ll learn about the design and engineering of the spacecraft, the discoveries it’s made, the challenges it’s overcome and what the future holds for this far-flung emissary from Earth.

Star Wars XL

Presented by Dr. Scott Tilley (Biography)

F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, Room 118
Florida Tech Campus
Dec 1, 2017 | 8:00 p.m.

The original Star Wars movie debuted in 1977—40 years ago. The entire Star Wars franchise has always been larger than life, but its roots are in a combination of the wild west, heroic romance, and science fiction. Much of the technology from A New Hope seemed far-fetched at the time: lightsabers, the faster-than-light Millennium Falcon spacecraft, and Death Stars. With the latest Star Wars installment about to open, what can The Last Jedi teach us about our own world? Will we travel between the stars? Are we alone in the universe? Can we tell who is on the dark side? Come to this thought-provoking talk to hear more about what we can learn from Star Wars to ensure our survival. May the Force be with you.

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Register for both Voyager and Star Wars XL (two Tech Talks for the price of one).

Person of Interest: Big Data, Privacy and Security

Presented by Dr. Scott Tilley and Dr. Tauhida Parveen

F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, Room 118
Florida Tech Campus
February 2, 2018 | 8:00 p.m.

The TV show Person of Interest featured a powerful computer that could predict terrorist activity based on analysis of past behavior and real-time data streaming into the machine from thousands of camera and sensors. It was deployed in New York City, but its reach was much broader. If the machine spit out your Social Security number, you became a "person of interest" to the government. The show was fictional, but the machine's abilities are not. We already live in a world where we can be traced, analyzed and surveilled without our knowledge. Is online privacy an oxymoron? How secure is your personal data today? How much is it worth? Who owns it?

Tauhida Parveen is University Department Chair of Software Engineering at Keiser University. She is also Lead Instructor at Thinkful, a NYC-based startup focused on the online education experience for tomorrow’s developers. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. She is a co-founder of Big Data Florida. Her recent books include "Software Testing in the Cloud: Migration & Execution" (Springer, 2012).

Scott Tilley's Biography

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Drones

Presented by Dr. Cliff Bragdon

Center for Aeronautics and Innovation
March 22, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.

Drone technology is rapidly becoming an aerial threat to transportation systems. We are developing an inventory of drone swarming and its potential impact on our 500+ FAA-certified air carrier airports in the U.S. is significant. If properly executed by terrorist groups from certain countries (which are aggressively developing advanced delivery systems), this could seriously affect airports in three areas: fuel farms or storage facilities on or near airports, communications and IT systems and air traffic control (ATC) networks. Effective countermeasures and a drone management plan need to be instituted to protect our potentially at-risk transportation-based infrastructure, critical for safe, secure and efficient mobility.

Cliff Bragdon is president of the Global Center for Preparedness and Resilience. He is an Emeritus Professor, past Dean, and former Vice-President at the Florida Institute of Technology. He is the author of "Transportation Security" (Butterworth-Heinemann Homeland Security, 2008).

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Genetic Engineering

Presented by Dr. Scott Tilley (Biography)

Center for Aeronautics and Innovation
April 26, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.

Scientists have successfully edited the DNA of human embryos to remove a potentially fatal heart condition. This means that, for the first time, humans are able to change their own genome. Technically, this development is an incredible scientific advancement. The tool used for genome editing is called CRISPR-Cas9. The potential medical benefits from genome editing are significant, but so are the ethical implications. Performing experiments on human embryos is already the subject of much debate. If genome editing becomes commonplace, couples could procure "designer babies," with all the physical traits they desire. Genome editing has also been done on animals, such as pigs, to make them organ donors for humans. Are we on the path of improved health and increased longevity? Or are we revisiting the Island of Doctor Moreau?

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