Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Scientific American Frontiers Logo
TV Schedule
Alan Alda
For Educators
Previous Shows
Future Shows
Special Features

You Can Make It On Your Own


A Factory On Your Desk
Never Forget a Face
The Toy Symphony
Teetering to Victory

A Factory On Your Desk

MIT Media Lab: Neil Gershenfeld
A Faculty Profile of Neil Gershenfeld, Director, Center for Bits and Atoms and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences.

Neil Gershenfeld's Home Page
Includes links to his projects, books and biography.

Technology Review - The Programmable Building
The MIT Media Lab's Neil Gershenfeld tours the building of the future, where interchangeable power sockets, switches and appliances snap into the walls-then plug into the internet.

Seeing Through the Window

What form will new human/computer interfaces take? An excerpt from Gershenfeld's 1999 book, When Things Start To Think. Published on July 27, 2001.

Never Forget a Face

Wearable Computing at the MIT Media Lab
Researchers strive for the day the wearable computer can act as an intelligent assistant - with heads-up displays, unobtrusive input devices, personal wireless local area networks, and a host of other context sensing and communication tools,
Check out the latest fashion sin. Wearable Computers, Mobile Body-Worn Technology, advanced textile circuitry and cyborg-building technologies. Includes information on portable MP3 hardware, and other cutting-edge mobile technology.

Alex (Sandy) Pentland Homepage
MIT professor Alex (Sandy) Pentland is a pioneer in wearable computers, health systems,smart environments, and technology for developing countries.

"The next generation of IT users is too poor to use IT right now"

It's up to Pentland to translate the MIT Media Lab's "IT for the masses" slogan into reality. Pentland recently visited Delhi, where Sudhir Chowdhary asked him how he proposed to do this in an April, 2002 issue of India Today.

What are Wearable Computers?
This site from the wearables lab at the Industrial Ergonomics Group at the School of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering at The University of Birmingham, U.K defines the five characteristics of a wearable computer. Contains links to other rel
evant web sites.

The Toy Symphony

Tod Machover's Home Page
Includes links to the research, biography and news about the director of the Hyperinstruments (or Opera of the Future) group at MIT's Media Lab.

The Toy Syphony Home Page

A High-Tech Operatic Makeover
Tod Machover Gives Opera a New Face. Writer Bence Olveczky catches up with the busy composer at his Media lab office to ask him about his music, MIT, and things in between.

Toy Symphony Hyperscore Show Case:

Download Tod Machover's composing software from this site - and learn about the other musical toys under development at his lab.

Tod Machover's interactive, musical journey into your mind - presented simultaneously in physical and cyber space.

An Interview with Tod Machover - Valis Opera
An interview about Machover's opera Valis, based on a story by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. By Peter Stenshoel, on a site for fans of Philip K. Dick.
Joshua Bell's Official sites for his bio, tour, discography, video channel, audio channel, personal news, and more.

Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics
The Stanford University Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics is a multi-disciplinary facility where composers and researchers work together using computer-based technology both as an artistic medium and as a research tool.

Teetering to Victory

The 2002 International Design Contest

Students from around the world designed and built robots to compete at the competition at MIT. Includes the scoreboard with complete results, video clips and links to more information.

The Precision Engineering Research Group (PERG)
Part of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and directed by Alexander H. Slocum, PERG focuses on the design and manufacture of innovative precision machines.

Design and Manufacturing Class at MIT
Learn more about the Course 2.007 profiled in this episode and find out what's in store for the next competition.

How Stuff Works - Building and Engineering
Learn more about how bridges and houses are constructed, and the mechanics of hydraulic cranes.

Innovative Engineers of Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci is celebrated as the inventor of extraordinary machines and mechanical devices that entered the common heritage of technical culture only several centuries after his death. This close examination of the history of technology reveals the development of engineering and technical skills in the Renaissance, to which other talented figures contributed as well. From the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy.




Scientific American magazine links
Show credits

Alan with a flashlight

© 1990-2003 The Chedd-Angier Production Company, Inc. All rights reserved.



Teaching guide Email scientists Watch online Web links & more
A Factory On Your Desk Never Forget a Face The Toy SymphonyTeetering to Victory Teaching guide Science hotline video trailer Resources Contact Search Homepage