O'Reilly Open Source Convention - August 1-5, 2005 - Portland, Oregon
 Convention Coverage

Speaker

Saul Griffith
Howtoons

Saul Griffith is an MIT alumnus with multiple degrees in Materials Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Griffith completed his Ph.D. at the MIT Media Laboratory in 2004 on self-replicating hardware and the role and limits of information and state in the self-assembly of complex structure. While at MIT, Griffith co-founded Low Cost Eyeglasses, a company using two novel technologies to provide prescription eyecare at low cost for rural and developing communities. Also at MIT Griffith also started Howtoons with Joost Bonsen and Nick Dragotta. Howtoons is an alternative curricular for hands-on science and engineering, illustrated in playful cartoons. A deep interest in the use of social networks for engineering and design led Griffith to co-found Thinkcycle, and Instructables, experimental platforms for enabling open source approaches to developing physical objects. Griffith received the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT award for inventiveness, and was awarded the Collegiate Inventors award by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He has received numerous other awards in design and engineering. Griffith's principal research focus is in new multifunctional materials and in minimum and constrained energy surfaces for novel manufacturing techniques. If any description were to tie this seemingly broad array of interests together it is that the last 40 years of developments in logic theory and software and documentation enables new ways to look at the way we build and manufacture things. Why, for example, can't physical objects have source code? If we think of the physical elements of a machine as parts of a program, how do we utilize physics and information to define the resulting objects that the machine/s produce? Why not teach children the elements of logic and programming using hands on physical exercises rather than computers? Why not consider the various processes used in making things as shareable sub-routines in a greater library of manufacturing? Griffith holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, & nanotechnology.
  Saul Griffith


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