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November 28, 2007


Al Dean

I loved Tom Kelley at SolidWorks World years back - for a design audience, he actually made people think differently - same for SeymourPowell more recently. Ray Kurzweil made me want to chew my own arm off..

Randall Newton

While I have been thrilled, amused, and bored by keynote speakers over the years, the one I quote the most often is inventor Dick Morely from COFES 2001. His pearl of wisdom was "the decisions you make this quarter have a five-year life span."


I agree with Brian... and the topic of calculus and DE (ODE, PDE, whatever) has extremely interesting consequences if you ever try to analyze how a fly, with very few neurons, can land essentially on the head of a pin. The control system modeling and simulation required for this is quite astounding.

Rachael Taggart

You know, I think one of the most interesting keynote speakers I have heard in a long time is Alan Kay, who was at COFES 2003. He was a total surprise. He completely predicted and mapped out Web 2.0, explained tagging, democratizaton of data and so on, in way that had me and just about all of the COFES attendees seeing things in a different light. It wasn't 'stock' keynote. It was entirely new and worthwhile


Stan Przybylinski

Back in 1987 I attended an event at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC), the countries first R&D consortium and some thought the savior of the computer industry. (Right.)

The speaker was K. Eric Drexler whose topic was the seemingly preposterous (at the time) nanotechnology. As he expounded on what he believed was possible, I was dumbfounded and disbelieving.

As things turned out, so much for MY future as a futurist.


Keynote speakers tend to have stock speaches they give, no prep time, just profit.

Most expensive speaker I may have ever heard at a CAD event was Rudy Giuliani at a Bentley event: he used his speaking fee to promote his new book.

Best ever was that design duo who spoke at SolidWorks World a couple of years ago.

Biggest thrill was Steve Wozniak, but he also does a stock speach.

Brian Duguid

If you think that calculus and differential equations are unrelated, I suggest a visit to Wikipedia or any online maths site will put you straight.

I also think you're mistaken to suggest that maths can't describe even simple natural phenomena - it does pretty well with gravity for a start, and can describe the motion of both the ball and the catcher's skeleton without much difficulty. What is less straightforward is what goes on in the 10-year old's brain and nervous system - and nobody would ever claim that to be a "simple" phenomenon anyway.

A point worth making is that there are interesting lessons for CAD here - how to take a tool which is optimised for deterministic manipulation of geometry, and adapt it to design problems where the solutions are indeterminate. There are a number of interesting developments with the use of genetic algorithms in building design which are worth thinking about here.

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