Sunday, September 29, 2019

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Animation, and Einstein's Theory of Gravity

  By Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School

Headsets are used in virtual reality.

     Virtual reality is when a computer generates an artificial simulation. By simulating a person's vision and hearing, virtual reality makes a person feel like they are experiencing the video game firsthand. To experience virtual reality, people wear a headset. There are two main reasons why people use virtual reality. One is for entertainment and gaming (E.g.: computer and video games, 3D movies) because it helps create and enhance an imaginary reality. Virtual reality is also used to help train for real-life situations by creating a simulation. This helps people be able to practice the situation beforehand, and therefore be prepared if and when the situation comes up in real life. Pilots often use flight simulators to train for real-life situations.

Augmented reality
     Augmented reality is a technology that uses computer-generated enhancements in order to give people an opportunity to interact with the situation. Augmented reality is used in apps and electronics. It is used in many situations such as to display the scores on sports games, have 3D emails pop out, along with phones and text messages on electronic devices. People are also using augmented reality to create motion activated commands on electronics, such as Iphones.

Artificial intelligence 
     Artificial intelligence is an area of computer science that creates machines that work and function like humans. It runs smart machines. Artificial intelligence is used in everyday lives such as SIRI, google search, and even self-driving cars. People have conflicting views on artificial intelligence and often debate whether it is safe. Artificial intelligence is good because it helps people complete tasks in their daily lives, which saves people time and energy. Another reason why artificial intelligence is good is because it helps people with disabilities such as helping visually-impaired people or people with hearing impairments with translations. For people who can't communicate that well, artificial intelligence can provide communication technologies. On the other hand, some people argue that artificial intelligence is not good because sometimes it fails and can land people in dangerous situations. For instance, a self-driving car might not see another car when merging into a lane and might therefore cause an accident.

3D animation helps explain Einstein's Theory of
     3D animation can help people see Albert Einstein's Theory of Gravity. Einstein visualized that gravity is not a force and instead is a curvature of time and space which is caused by energy and mass. Einstein said that gravity and acceleration are the same thing. Meanwhile, Isaac Newton thought that gravity was separate from acceleration. 3D animation allows people to run physics experiments to test Einstein's theories. The physics experiments show how gravity works, where people's weight comes from, and the effect of mass.

     To learn more about virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, 3D animation, and Einstein's Theory of Gravity, come to the Marin Science Seminar at Terra Linda High School in room 207 on Wednesday, September 25. David Levitt of Pantomime Corporation will be speaking. Join us and learn!


Sunday, September 22, 2019

AI, VR, & 3D: Amazing Applications for Understanding Physics

Marin Science Seminar for Teens & Community presents a free event:

AI, VR, & 3D: Amazing Applications for Understanding Physics” (plus learn about Swift mobile software development) with David Levitt of Pantomime Corp.

Date: Wed. September 25th, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30 pm at Terra Linda HS in San Rafael, Room 207

Dr. Levitt will present on augmented/virtual reality and Artifical Intelligence, and will show how 3D animation helps us visualize Einstein’s theory of gravity. He will also give a pep talk about becoming a self-taught Swift mobile software developer.

Dr. David Levitt is a cognitive scientist, artificial intelligence researcher, virtual and augmented
reality innovator, mobile software developer, entrepreneur, physicist and writer. He was on the founding team of the MIT Media Laboratory, on the team at VPL Research that created the first commercial virtual reality systems, and he was a co-founder of Atari research laboratories. Levitt’s doctoral thesis ‘A Representation for Musical Dialects’ includes algorithms for classical and jazz composition and improvisation, such as piano arrangements in Fats Waller’s style. Levitt holds patents for inventions in virtual and augmented reality, and intelligent media processing software. He earned his doctorate in Artificial Intelligence at MIT and his BS in Engineering and Applied Science at Yale. Prof. Levitt has taught at MIT, NYU and SRJC.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fall 2019 Marin Science Seminar schedule

Marin Science Seminar - Fall 2019

Join us and Learn!  Please share if appropriate. We have targeted extra credit forms available at all sessions. We will send out a more detailed email about the talks before each presentation. More details can be found at
  • 20:  MSS internship application deadline
  • 25: "AI, VR, & 3D: Amazing Applications for Understanding Physics" (plus learn about Swift mobile software development) with David Levitt  Sci.D. of Pantomime Corp.
  • 9: "Bad Blood: Battling Cancer in the U.S. and Vietnam" with  Michelle Hermiston Ph.D. M.D. of UCSF
  • 16: "How Dangerous are Microwaves? The physics behind non-ionizing radiation and a tale of two books titled 'Zapped'" with Warren Wiscombe Ph.D. of NASA Goddard
  • 6: "Let's Learn About Lysosomes!" with Gouri Yogalingam Ph.D. of BioMarin, Novato
  • 13: "Star Clusters: Many-Body Gravitational Laboratories" with Nicholas Rui, UC Berkeley
  • 20: "Adventures of a Plant Ecophysiologist: Studying How Tropical Forests Survive Drought" with Roxy Cruz Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley Dawson LabF

"Transportation Research Panel" - An Interview with En-Ya Zhang from the MSEL Transportation Team

by Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School En-Ya Zhang is a Sophomore at Terra Linda High School. She is part of MSEL's Transportati...

About Us

Marin Science Seminar is a one-hour science lecture/presentation with a question and answer period open to all interested local teenagers, educators and community. Seminar sessions are held 12 Wednesday evenings during the school year, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in room 207 at Terra Linda High School, 320 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael. Seminar speakers are scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicians, technologists and computer programmers. The topics presented are in a specific area of the speaker’s expertise, geared to interested high school students.