Since its inception in 2011, the Alumni Association’s Faculty Forum Online (FFO) has provided MIT alumni and community members who are away from campus an opportunity to interact with Institute faculty and researchers on timely and relevant topics.
Hosted by Judith Cole, the Alumni Association’s executive vice president, FFOs are live 30-minute video podcasts—held eight times per year—in which Institute experts discuss their research and take real-time questions from the MIT community via video chat.
In addition to the live webcasts, the entire FFO archive is available for viewing. (Some interviews require an Infinite Connection log in.) After viewing the chats, continue the discussion at Slice of MIT by posting in the comments.
The Dec. 20, 2012, broadcast, The Challenges of Coast Flood Protection with Professor Andrew J. Whittle ScD ’87, marked the final broadcast of 2012. This year’s offerings covered an assortment of research areas, from environmental challenges (climate change and desalination) to global safety concerns (nuclear energy and geopolitics).
A sample of the FFO’s offerings in 2012 includes:
- Research Associate Jim Walsh PhD ’00 describing his travels to North Korea and Iran and his five dinner conversations with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- Professor Sherry Turkle discussing the compulsive attention people pay to their mobile devices.
- Professor Sebastian Seung explains the connectome—the pattern of connections between the brain’s neurons—and how it changes as people learn and grow.
- Professor Andrea Campbell expounding on the impact of tax policy and health policy on the 2012 elections.
- Associate Professor Chappell Lawson offering his thoughts on U.S. border security.
The 2013 season kicks off on Feb. 5, 2012. To keep discussions relevant, FFO guests are announced one week in advance of the webcast. Visit the Faculty Forum Online page to view the entire archive and find out more information.