Focus - June 20, 2012

Nanoscience and Technology

Guests: Irfan S. Ahmad, Ph.D., and Yi Lu, Ph.D.

Many scientists believe that nanotechnology, a field that involves engineering on a very small scale, has great potential to change both our economy and the way we live.  At the nanoscale, materials we know well can have very different properties, making them valuable for a wide range of products. We’ll look at recent developments in this field here at the University of Illinois. We’ll have two guests, Irfan Ahmad, associate director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Yi Lu, professor of chemistry.

Focus - June 12, 2012

Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society

Peter N. Stearns, Provost and University Professor, George Mason University; Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Social History

Host: David Inge

In the affluent, industrial societies of the world today, life is good.  Most people live long lives, without fear of plague, famine or war.  So why is there depression, anxiety, unfulfilled longing? In short, why has abundance not led to greater happiness? That’s the question we’ll take up with our guest, historian Peter Stearns. We’ll talk about some of the ideas in his book "Satisfaction Not Guaranteed." The book looks at the ways people in the past thought about progress, and asks whether we can be truly happy in the modern world.

Focus - June 07, 2012


Debra Fligor, Network Engineer, Campus Information Technologies and Education Services, University of Illinois

James Eyrich, Security Engineer, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois

Host: Craig cohen

Focus - May 24, 2012

Interview with Homer Hickam, Writer and Former NASA Aerospace Engineer

Our guest is author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam. Many people will know him for his autobiographical novel "Rocket Boys," the basis for the film “October Sky.” He has just published a novel for young adult readers. The book, "Crater," is the first in a projected trilogy that depicts the life of 22nd century miners living on the moon. It has been praised as a coming of age story, and for its vision of what life in a permanent moon settlement might be like.

Focus - May 22, 2012

Net Smart: How to Thrive Online

Our guest will be Howard Rheingold. For many years he was been writing enthusiastically about the power of social media. But he says the media he has been using for three decades now do have their downsides and the way we use them does matter for us and society. His new book Net Smart is an argument for a kind  digital literacy. It presents a program for social media use that is intelligent, humane…and above all, mindful.

Focus - May 17, 2012


President Obama has declared that the cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. But, University of Illinois Law professor Jay Kesan says the public is more concerned about the loss of internet freedoms. Is there a policy that can address both concerns? Jay Kesan will be out guest and we’ll look at what government is doing to guard against cyber-attacks both in terms of protecting the country from attack and punishing successful hackers.

Focus - May 09, 2012

Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think

Guest: Steven Kotler.

Imagine a world in which the entire global population has access to clean water, food, energy, health care, and education. That vision, says innovation pioneer Peter Diamandis, may not be so impossible after all. Today on Focus, we're joined by award-winning science writer Steven Kotler to discuss the possibility of a future brighter than we've ever pictured and the technology in use today that will guide us toward it.

Focus - May 04, 2012


With Peter Kimble (Computer-Assisted Instructor Specialist with the Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Illinois)

Focus - April 05, 2012


With Jim Eyrich (Wireless Network Designer, Security Engineer, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois), and Debra Fligor (Network Engineer, Campus Information Technologies and Education Services, University of Illinois)

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