Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Great Inventions That Matter
This introductory seminar starts by illuminating on the general aspects of creativity, invention, and patenting in engineering and medicine, and how Stanford University is one of the world's foremost engines of innovation. We then take a deep dive into some great technological inventions that are still playing an essential role in our everyday lives, such as fiber amplifier, digital compass, computer memory, HIV detector, Covid-19 testing, personal genome machine, cancer cell sorting, brain imaging, and mind reading. The stories and underlying materials and technologies behind each invention, including a few examples by Stanford faculty and student inventors, are highlighted and discussed. A special lecture focuses on the public policy on intellectual properties (IP) and the resources at Stanford Office of Technology Licensing (OTL). Each student will have an opportunity to present on a great invention from Stanford (or elsewhere), or to write a patent disclosure of his/her own ideas.