BEST Lab 30 Year Reunion (Aug. 7-8, 2015)

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BEST  Lab – Berkeley [Emergent Space Tensegrities | Energy & Sustainable Technologies | Expert Systems Technologies]

The BEST Lab Reunion took place on August 7th and 8th at UC Berkeley. The goal was to bring BEST Labbers, family and friends together to celebrate the collective accomplishments of the BEST Lab, exchange ideas, build synergies, and just catch up with each other.

The BEST Lab celebrated its 30+ years since its founding by Professor Alice Agogino in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. The BEST Lab  (originally known as the Berkeley Expert Systems Technology Lab) has graduated a diversity of scholars, engineers, entrepreneurs, educators, researchers, and innovators working on a range of global, cultural, social and technical design problems. Today, it continues to foster a vibrant community!

The reunion began on the evening of Friday, August 7th   6:30 to 9:30 pm with a family-friendly science fiction-themed dinner reception at the Lawrence Hall of Science. In addition to great food and a stupendous view, we were treated with special exhibits, such as the Science Fiction, Science Future exhibit and Sherry Hsi’s TechHive. This exhibit highlights advances in science and technology and visions of how we might create to improve our world.  Did you know that our tensegrity research was referenced in Neal Stephenson’s latest best seller Seven Eves? Or that Alice Agogino’s parents were the inspiration for Jack Williamson’s last science fiction novel Stonehenge Gate (with gender roles reversed; in real life her mom was the physics professor in the novel and her father the anthropologist)?

The Saturday Symposium 9:00 am – 12:30 pm (plus optional tour)  was held on campus featuring a design festival and short talks given by BEST Lab alums and special guest speakers.  The talks were 15 minute TEDx-type talks.  This event will be held in the Innovation Lab of the Memorial Stadium (Go Bears!). See the schedule and videos of the talks.

Afterwards, we also scheduled a visit to the new BEST lab in a design loft in Hesse Hall. We just finished filming for a PBS segment there.

BEST Labbers are encouraged to join our LinkedIn Group “the BEST Lab at UC Berkeley” where we will be sharing contacts and updates. Or the BEST Lab Facebook group. View our BEST Lab reunion album. Please let us know if you have photos to add to it.

– Sherry Hsi & Arianne Agogino Gieringer
Lawrence Hall of Science
BEST Lab Reunion Co-Chairs

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