Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

EinsteinFest = IdeasFest

EinsteinFest is about ideas, how they come to life, how they collide with one another and why the good ones win. This is what I've learned during Robert Friedel and Mike Lazaridis' illuminating lecture From Marconi to Lazaridis - The Age of Wireless Communication on Sunday October 9th. True to his historian expertise, Robert gave a historical background on wireless communications starting from the telegraph invention going through telephone invention, Hertz and Marconi's experiments and Maxwell's equations. Then the early beginings of wireless mobile communications were presented. This actually has setup the stage for the next speaker.

Mike is quite a charismatic speaker that is able to transpose in no time an entire audience into his world. The first idea that impressed me in his lecture was that the humanity remembers ideas rather than real things. It is not hard to notice that EinsteinFest is a celebration of ideas in the context of Einstein life.

Then, the process of how a technology shift happens was presented. The observed errors of the current technologies are proved as omissions by the advancements in the measurement tools. More precise tools are challenging past technologies and open research fields for basic science that finally yields to a technology shift. And the new technology follows the same cycle. A strong believer in the importance of basic science research, Mike exemplified his theory with the prediction power that theoretical results of Maxwell equations, Einstein's famous equation, Antimatter theory and the mathematics of complex numbers had.

Now it was time for the pragmatic Mike the innovator to speak. The use of basic science in the daily research activities of the company that he founded was exemplified with RIM's efforts to improve BlackBerry's battery life.

At the end, during the questions time Mike shared with the audience his vision for the next technology shift. The flow of ideas didn't stop here though. They continued during the quite intriguing Bistro Banter debate about which I'll talk another time.


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