Headliners

a variety of microphones (black and white image)
  • 2018-19 Season: Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6, Feb 7, March 7, April 4, and May 2
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center, Saint Paul campus
  • Cost: Individual tickets $20 | Series Pass $85 (5 events for the price of 4!)
  • Connect on Facebook and Twitter: use hashtag #umnheadliners

Go beyond the spin and soundbytes when you join LearningLife for this popular series in which University scholars and researchers share firsthand knowledge of today’s most intriguing stories. From medical breakthroughs and culture clashes to social trends, international affairs, and more, you’ll learn the who, what, where, why, and how from an insider’s point of view and then share your insights in a moderated and lively Q&A.

LearningLife also offers an innovative portfolio of short courses, seminars, and one-day immersions, as well as Encore Transitions, a series of courses designed to help you imagine and prepare for a vibrant post-career life.

February 7, 7 p.m

Maria Gini with robots

Intelligent Machines: AI’s Present and Future

Dr. Maria Gini, Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Computer Science, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota


From Samuel Butler’s Erewhon (1872) and 20th Century Fox’s The Day the Earth Stood Still to Marvel Comics’ Ultron and Clarke/Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, popular culture has long envisioned hypothetical scenarios in which artificial intelligence (AI) becomes the dominant form of intelligence on earth, only to wrest control of the planet from the human race. But how likely is this scenario? And what of the possible benefits of AI?

The field of artificial intelligence has made astonishing advancements in the last few years. Every day we read in the scientific and popular press about how AI is pervasive and has the potential to affect society in major ways; the speed of its evolution is rapid and there is no end in sight.

In the not-too-distant future, intelligent systems and robots will become part of our daily lives, helping with routine tasks (logistical applications), professional services (autism diagnosis), dangerous jobs (search and rescue), and keeping us company (think: R2-D2 companion).

Join us February 7, when award-winning computer scientist Dr. Maria Gini will assess the current state of the art in intelligent systems, dig into its future developments and challenges, and highlight the specific research that is centered on increasing productivity and improving people’s lives.

Maria Gini is a Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Computer Science in the College of Science and Engineering who has earned an international reputation for her research in robotics and artificial intelligence. A Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and IEEE, Gini recently received the National Center for Women in Technology’s Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award.

Learn more about Dr. Gini and purchase tickets.

March 7, 7 p.m.

Tom Hanson profile

The End of Pax Americana

Tom Hanson, former US Foreign Service Officer; Diplomat in Residence, Alworth Institute for International Affairs, University of Minnesota–Duluth

The United States has begun a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Since 1945, Pax Americana has sought peaceful international relations and an open economy, buttressed by US military power. In championing “America First” isolationism and protectionism, President Trump has shifted the political direction toward selective US engagement, where foreign commitments are limited to areas of vital US interest, and economic nationalism is the order of the day.

Join us March 7 when former US Foreign Service Officer Tom Hanson examines what this shift means for US geopolitics and foreign policy.

Tom Hanson is Diplomat in Residence at the Alworth Institute for International Affairs at the University of Minnesota–Duluth. A former US Foreign Service Officer with posts from Norway to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, he participated in the opening of new US embassies in Mongolia and Estonia, worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives, and served as director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, DC.  Hanson is currently Chair of the Minnesota Committee on Foreign Relations, Co-Chair of the Minnesota China Business Council, and an advisory committee member of Great Decisions, Global Minnesota, which honored him with their 2018 Ambassador Award.

Learn more about Tom Hanson and purchase tickets.

 

April 4, 7 p.m.

Janet Kirtley profile image

“Believe Me”: Seeking Truth in an Age of Disinformation

Jane E. Kirtley, JD, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

Ask yourself: Can the public navigate a sea of disinformation without a compass? 

In today’s tumultuous and polarized political climate, journalists and the news media are often accused of bias and of peddling “fake news.” The public, for its part, is both privileged and overwhelmed by having access to more sources of information than ever before. Paradoxically, many people choose to rely exclusively on those sources that simply confirm the viewpoints they already hold. 

By tradition, the press has been the watchdog of government, the seeker of truth, and the champion of the right to know. Yet public confidence in the news media as an institution has declined, even as threats to press independence—not only in the United States but throughout the world—continue to escalate. 

Are the media “the enemy of the American people,” as President Trump has declared? Will the First Amendment to the US Constitution continue to protect journalists as they perform their jobs? Can democracy survive without a free and responsible press? 

Join us April 4 when Jane E. Kirtley, Director of The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, digs deep into the role of the media in an era of “believe me” and disinformation. 

Jane E. Kirtley is the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, where she also is the Director of The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law and an affiliated faculty member of the University’s Law School. 

Learn more about Professor Kirtley and purchase tickets.

Headliners Archive

Dr. Sophia Vinogradov

Investigating Suicide, Self-Injury, and Psychosis: The Importance of the Research, the Risks to the Researchers  
Dr. Sophia Vinogradov
November 1, 2018
Audio not available

Mark Seeley

Climate Change in Our Own Backyards: Evidence and Implications
Dr. Mark Seeley
October 4, 2018
 

Overprescribed: Moving Beyond Opioid-Centered Care
Dr. Erin Krebs
May 3, 2018
 

Net Neutrality: Then, Now, Later
Christopher Terry
April 5, 2018
 

Astronomy’s Golden New Age: Observing the Universe with Gravitational Waves 
Dr. Vuk Mandic
March 1, 2018
 

Hidden Harms: The Supply and Demand of Sex Trading and Trafficking in Minnesota
Dr. Lauren Martin
February 8, 2018
 

Augmenting You: 3D Printed Bioelectronic Devices 
Dr. Michael C. McAlpine
December 7, 2017
Audio not available

From ICE to Sanctuary Cities: The Myths and Realities of Immigration Enforcement
Linus Chan, JD
November 2, 2017

From the Lab: Untangling Alzheimer’s Disease 
Dr. Sylvain Lesné
October 5, 2017

The Art of the Wasted Day 
Patricia Hampl
May 4, 2017
Audio not available

Our Health Economy: The Undiscovered Country
Dr. Stephen Parente
April 6, 2017
Audio not available

Cyber Crime: From Phishing to The Dark Net
Mark Lanterman
March 2, 2017

Best of Class: Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? 
Dr. Jason Hill
February 2, 2017
Audio not available

One for the Record Books: 2016 Election Results and the Implications for Governing
Dr. Kathryn Pearson
December 1, 2016

Beyond Cecil: Lions, Conservation, and Controversy
Dr. Craig Packer
November 3, 2016

Radio K Interview "Beyond Cecil" with Dr. Craig Packer
November 2016

Protecting Your Lunch: Food Fraud and Adulteration
Dr. Amy Kircher
October 6, 2016

Radio K Interview with Dr. Amy Kircher
October 4, 2016

The Anti-Campaign
Dr. Larry Jacobs
May 5, 2016

The Growing Stickiness of Criminal Labels
Dr. Christopher Uggen
April 7, 2016

News from Paris: Deciphering the UN Conference on Climate Change
Dr. Jessica Hellmann
March 3, 2016

When Everyone is Above Average: Inflated Rhetoric in Higher Education
Julie Schumacher
February 5, 2016

Mapping and Interfacing with the Human Brain
Dr. Bin He
December 3, 2015 
Audio not available

Stronger, Faster, Brighter: Wearable Technology and the Future of Clothing 
Dr. Lucy Dunne
November 5, 2015

Energy Evolution: Shaping the Future of Electricity
Dr. Elizabeth J. Wilson
October 8, 2015 
Audio not available

Contemporary Fiction and the Modern Security State
Charles Baxter
May 7, 2015

Copper, Nickel, and Precious-Metal Deposits in Northeastern Minnesota: A Geological Perspective
Jim Miller
March 5, 2015

The Shifting Tides of Global Terrorism
Dr. Jarret Brachman
Feburay 5, 2015 
Audio not available

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Tells Us about Modern Life
Dr. Marlene Zuk
December 4, 2014

Ebola: Rethinking Global Emergency Response
Dr. Jeffrey Bender
November 6, 2014

Explore, Teach, Inspire: Taking Education and Innovation to the Next Level
Dr. Aaron Doering
October 9, 2014

What's Next for Generation Next? R.T. Rybak Tackles the Education Achievement Gap
R.T. Rybak
May 1, 2014

Stem Cell Research and the Frankenstein Complex
Dr. John Wagner
March 6, 2014

Managing Global Crises and the Future of Our World
Dr. Eric Schwartz
February 6, 2014

A Trillion Reasons to Care: Early Evidence and Expectations of the Affordable Care Act
Dr. Jean Abraham
December 5, 2013

Galápagos Fragile Past, Brighter Future
Dr. Julia Ponder
November 7, 2013

Big Data Landscape: Technology, Economy, Society
Professor Ravi Bapna
October 3, 2013

Alleviating Global Poverty
Professor J. Brian Atwood
April 11, 2013

The Secret World of the Body's Blood-Clotting System: An Inside Look at the Elusive Platelet
Professor Christy Haynes
March 7, 2013

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: The Impact of Climate Change on Terrestrial Ecosystems
Regents Professor Peter Reich
February 7, 2013

What's Next? Envisioning the U's Future
President Eric Kaler
January 10, 2013

Fracking: Facts, Fiction, and Fixes
Professor Lawrence Wackett
December 6, 2012

Election 2012 Recap
Professor Kathryn Pearson
November 8, 2012

Post-Revolution Egypt: The Struggle Continues
Professor Ragui Assaad
October 4, 2012

The New Public Square
Professor Heather LaMarre
April 5, 2012
View New Public Square Slides

Ramp Up to Readiness: Should College Be the Goal for Every Student?
Kent Pekel, executive director of the University of Minnesota College Readiness Consortium
March 1, 2012

What's Past is Prologue: The Global Economic Crisis
Professor Tim Kehoe 
February 2, 2012

Treating Man and His Best Friend
Professor John Ohlfest
January 5, 2012

Seven Billion and Counting
Professor Jonathan Foley
December 1, 2011

American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality
Professor Myron Orfield
November 3, 2011
American Metropolitics: PowerPoint Presentation

What's Next?: Debunking the Myths about Retirement in America
Professor Phyllis Moen
October 6, 2011

The Important Life of Bees
Professor Marla Spivak, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Entomology
March 3, 2011

Easing the Economic Slowdown
Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
February 3, 2011

Get Smart: A Power Grid for the 21st Century
Professor Massoud Amin
January 6, 2011

Book Versus Nook (and iPad and Kindle and Kobo and...)
Douglas Armato, director of the University of Minnesota Press
December 2, 2010
Download Book Vs Nook MP3

Election 2010: Reading the Tea Leaves
Professor Kathryn Pearson
November 4, 2010
Download Election 2010 MP3

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine: The Controversy and the Science
Professor Jonathan Slack, director of the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota
October 7, 2010
Download Stem Cell MP3

The New Frugality
Chris Farrell, journalist and personal finance expert
April 4, 2010
Download New Frugality MP3

The Curious Culture of Wall Street
Professor Karen Ho
March 4, 2010
Download Wall Street MP3

Who Really Makes National Security Policy?
Vice President Walter Mondale and Larry Jacobs, director of the Center of the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
February 4, 2010
Download National Security MP3

A Way Forward in Afghanistan
Professor Iraj Bashiri 
January 7, 2010
Download Afghanistan MP3

New Models for the News
Nora Paul, founding director of the University of Minnesota's Institute for New Media Studies
December 3, 2009
Download New Models for News MP3

The Journey of Solar Decathlon 2009: A View from the Trenches
Peter Hilger, architect and CCE Construction Management faculty
November 5, 2009
Download Solar Decathalon 2009 MP3

Touching the Third Rail: The Politics of American Health Care
Larry Jacobs, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
October 1, 2009
Download American Health Care MP3

The Awful, Lawful Joyride: Minnesota's Budget Rollercoaster
Jay Kiedrowski, former state finance commissioner and co-chair, Minnesota Budget Trends Study Commission
March 5, 2009
Download MN Budget MP3

Living on a Shrinking Planet: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Future
Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota
February 5, 2009
Download Sustainable Future MP3

A Culture in Peril: Hmong Grave Desecration in Thailand
Professor Mai Na Lee
January 8, 2009
Download Hmong Grave Desecration MP3

Where Do We Go From Here?: Transition in the White House
J. Brian Atwood, Dean, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
December 4, 2008
Download White House 2008 Transition MP3

Election 2008: History in the Making
Professor Kathryn Pearson
November 6, 2008
Download Election 2008 MP3

Petropolitics and the Middle East
Professor William O. Beeman
October 2, 2008
Download Petropolitics MP3

The Foreclosure Crisis Hits Home
Professor Prentiss Cox
April 3, 2008
Download Foreclosure Crisis MP3

The China Connection
Professor Yongwei Zhang
March 6, 2008
Download China Connection MP3

On the Road in Search of Latino America
Professor Louis Mendoza
February 7, 2008
Download Latino American MP3

Global Warming...Regional Impact: Minnesota's Role in an Environmental Crisis
Professor Deborah Swackhamer
January 10, 2008
Download Global Warming MP3

Game Theory in an Economic Maelstrom
Professor Varadarajan V. Chari
December 6, 2007
Download Game Theory MP3

A Discovery of Cosmic Proportion
Professor Larry Rudnick
November 1, 2007
Download Cosmic Proportion MP3

Bridges Fall Down
Professor John S. Adams
October 4, 2007
Download Bridges MP3

How "Free" Is the Freedom of the Press?
Professor Jane Kirtley
April 5, 2007
Download Freedom of the Press MP3

Understanding the Conflict in Somalia
Professor Abdi Samatar
February 1, 2007
Download Somalia MP3

The Next Generation of Biofuels
Professor David Tilman
January 11, 2007
Download Biofuels MP3

The Science, Politics, and Ethics of Stem Cell Research
Professor Meri T. Firpo
December 7, 2006
Download Stem Cell Research MP3

The Social Web
Professor John T. Riedl
November 2, 2006
Download Social Web MP3

The Prospects for Peace in the Middle East
Professor Michael Barnett
October 5, 2006
Download Peace in the Middle East MP3

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