Howard Hughes Medical Institute @ Stanford

After my PhD I left UW-Madison for Prof. Mark Schnitzer’s group at Stanford and HHMI, where I worked with laser physicists and biologists to design automated neuroscience systems to increase experimental throughput.  These robotic systems are more than a convenience, as they can eliminate the need for sedatives, permit re-sampling of the same neurons over […]

If I Were: Macy’s/JCPenny

The first way to view the ongoing struggles of department stores like Macy’s, JC Penny, Yonkers, and others is by likening them to their internet adversaries. From this vantage we see their hip, sprawling, prime-retail stores as grossly inefficient warehouses, bleeding margin on customer acquisition: advertising to get people in the door labor: presentation, refolding, […]

Enable your customers

Here’s one of many articles describing the challenge of maintaining personal privacy amidst the spread of data brokers http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article166488597.html The core and often unacknowledged challenge here is the asymmetry, that people will generally modify their behavior (self-censor in some contexts) according to their surroundings and present purposes.  This ability falters when we do not know […]

Solar Trains < Solar Railways

When I first saw the headline “India’s first solar-powered train makes its debut,” I envisioned something that actually grappled with their substantial energy requirements and somehow leveraged their uniquely distributed infrastructure.  But, instead, the described pilot project puts solar panels on passenger cabin roofs for climate control.  So, small potatoes. But recalling 2014’s Solar (freakin’) […]

PhD Defense: Redundant Design and Adaptive Control of an Interleaved Continuum Rigid Manipulator

This past Monday I completed my PhD in Mechanical Engineering, bringing to a close my years as a student and my time at UW-Madison.  While I expect to break out parts of my research and dissertation in greater detail in the coming weeks, for now I want to post my dissertation and a recording of […]

A Longer View On Academic Publishing Platforms And Innovation

TLDR: Patentese values superficial bets on the future of technology and society, to the detriment of technology and society. I’ve been watching the relationship between researchers, publishing platforms, and IP evolve with some interest. To choose some examples: Elesiver buying Mendeley Patent Trolls (for instance) IBM Watson’s attempts at culinary creation Paul Allen launching AI2 […]