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TED Talks

As described in our vision and operating principles, IRMA works to put information in context, create new knowledge that challenges conventional wisdom, and proactively engage in institutional improvement by providing best-practice research, analysis and data management that enables organizational learning - in other works, to support DePaul as a learning organization. Shared learning experiences like TED talks that build competencies in such areas as systems thinking, contextualizing, innovative thinking, and content mastery are important to this effort.

Aaron Koblin's Artfully Visualizing our Humanity
Karolynn Horan's TED Talk pick is about how Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data -- an at times vast numbers of people - and weaves them into stunning visualization.
Anders Ynnerman's Visualizing the Medical Data Explosion
At TEDxGöteborg, scientific visualization expert Anders Ynnerman shows us sophisticated new tools - like virtual autopsies - for analyzing the myriad of data, and a glimpse at some sci-fi sounding medical technologies in development.
Angela Belcher's Using Nature to Grow Batteries
Angela Belcher programs viruses to make elegant nanoscale structures that humans can use. Selecting for high performing genes through directed evolution, she's produced viruses that can produce powerful new batteries, clean hydrogen fuel, etc.
Anthony Atala's Printing a Human Kidney
Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney.
Barry Schwartz's On the Paradox of Choice
Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
Barry Schwartz's Using our Practical Wisdom
Barry Schwartz dives into the question "How do we do the right thing?" With help from collaborator Kenneth Sharpe, he shares stories that illustrate the difference between following the rules and truly choosing wisely.
Ben Goldacre's Battling Bad Science
Sue's pick is by Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre who shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly abvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.
Ben Saunders Skis to the North Pole, Solo
Karolynn's pick is timely due to the first snow storm this year which follows Arctic explorer Ben Saunders as he recounts his harrowing solo ski trek to the North Pole, complete with engaging anecdotes, gorgeous photos, and never-before-seen video.
Benoit Mandelbrot Discusses Fractals and the Art of Roughness
Alim's choice is a talk by the mathematics legend Benoit Mandelbrot. He discusses the extreme complexity of roughness, and the way that fractal math can find order within patterns that seem unknowably complicated.
Bill Joy's What I am Worried About, What I am Excited About
Technologist and futurist Bill Joy talks about several big worries for humanity -- and several big hopes in the fields of health, education and future tech.
Brian Greene's Talk on String Theory
Physicist Brian Greene explains superstring theory, the idea that minscule strands of energy vibrating in 11 dimensions create every particle and force in the universe.
Chimamanda Adichie's The Danger of a Single Story
Karolynn's pick is from the Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
Chris Anderson's How Web Video Powers Global Innovation
TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print.
Christopher McDougall's Are We Born to Run?
Christopher McDougall explores the mysteries of the human desire to run. How did running help early humans survive -- and what urges from our ancient ancestors spur us on today?
Christien Meindertsma's How Pig Parts Make the World Turn
Christien Meindertsma, author of "Pig 05049" looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.
Clay Shirky's How Cognitive Surplus Will Change the World
Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" -- the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.
Clay Shirky's Defending Our Freedom to Share or Why SOPA is a Bad Idea
Nate Stott's timely pick is from Clay Shirkley, as congress votes on SOPA and PIPA. Clay Shirkley delivers a proper manifesto -- a call to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share, rather than passively consume.
Clifford Stoll's Talk on Everything
Clifford Stoll captivates his audience with a wildly energetic sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides -- and even a science experiment. After all, by his own definition, he's a scientist: "Once I do something, I want to do something else."
Dan Ariely's Are We in Control of Our Own Decisions
Joe's pick is from behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
Dan Pink's On the Surprising Science of Motivation
Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.
David Brook's the Social Animal
Tapping into the findings of his latest book, NYTimes columnist David Brooks unpacks new insights into human nature from the cognitive sciences -- insights with massive implications for economics and politics as well as our own self-knowledge.
David Mccandless's The Beauty of Data Visualization
David McCandless turns complex data sets into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut -- and it may just change the way we see the world.
Derek Sivers's Keep Your Goals to Yourself
After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone, but Derek Sivers says it's better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them.
Eric Berlow's How Complexity Leads to Simplicity
Ecologist Eric Berlow's talk Illustrates the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points
Eythor Bender's Demonstration of the Human Exoskeleton
Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk.
Gary Flake's is Pivot a Turning Point for Web Exploration?
Gary Flake demos Pivot, a new way to browse and arrange massive amounts of images and data online. It enables spectacular zooms in and out of web databases, and the discovery of patterns and links invisible in standard web browsing.
Hans Rosling's Let My Dataset Change Your Mindset
Talking at the US State Department this summer, Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.
Hans Rosling's New Insights on Poverty
Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.
Hans Rosling's The Magic Washing Machine
Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.
Jack Horner's Building a Dinosaur from a Chicken
Tracy's pick is from the renowned paleontologist Jack horner. In a new approach, he's taking living descendants of the dinosaur (chickens) and genetically engineering them to reactivate ancestral traits - including teeth, tails, and even hands - to make a "Chickenosaurus".
Jamie Oliver's TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food
Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.
Jane Goodall and What Separates us from the Apes
Liz Sander's pick is from Jane Goodall who explores the missing link between humans and apes. The primatologist says the only real difference between humans and chimps is our sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to change the world.
Jane McGonical's Gaming Can Make a Better World
Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
Janna Levin's The Sound The Universe Makes
We think of space as a silent place. But physicist Janna Levin says the universe has a soundtrack -- a sonic composition that records some of the most dramatic events in outer space.
Jeff Han Demos His Breakthrough Touchscreen
Jeff Han shows off a cheap, scalable multi-touch and pressure-sensitive computer screen interface that may spell the end of point-and-click.
Jill Bolte Taylor's Powerful Stroke of Insight
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness -- shut down one by one. An astonishing story.
Joan Halifax's Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy
Vera's pick is by Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she's learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.
John Hunter's The World Peace Game
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board -- and lets his 4th-graders solve them. He explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches go further than classroom lectures can.
John Underkoffler's Drive 3D Date with a Gesture
Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak -- the real-life version of the film's eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow's computers will be controlled?
Joshua Klein's The Amazing Intelligence of Crows
Sue's pick comes from Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows.  After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he's come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human
Keith Barry Does Brain Magic
Jackie's pick is by Keith Barry who shows us how our brains can fool our bodies -- in a trick that works via podcast too. Then he involves the audience in some jaw-dropping (and even a bit dangerous) feats of brain magic.
Ken Robinson Says 'Schools Kill Creativity'
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms
In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools' dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers.
Kevin Bales' How to Combat Modern Slavery
Alim's ted choice features Kevin Bales who explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth
Kevin Slavin's How Algorithms Shape Our World
Joe's pick is from Kevin Slavin who argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture.
Lauren Zalaznick's The Consequence of Television
Karolynn's pick is from lauren Zalaznick. Sharing results of a bold study that tracks attitudes against TV ratings over five decades, she makes a case that television reflects who we truly are -- in ways we might not have expected
Lisa Harouni's A Primer on 3D Painting
2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things.
Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce
Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce -- and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.
Mike Biddle's We Can Recycle Plastic
Liz Sander's fascinating pick is from Mike Biddle who has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic.
Nate Silver's On Race and Politics
Tracy's pick is by Nate Silver who has answers to controversial questions about race in politics. Stats and myths collide in this fascinating talk that ends with a remarkable insight on how town planning can promote tolerance
Nathan Nyhrvold's Cooking as Never Seen Before
Cookbook author (and geek) Nathan Myhrvold talks about his magisterial work, "Modernist Cuisine" -- and shares the secret of its cool photographic illustrations, which show cross-sections of food in the very act of being cooked.
Neil Pasricha's the 3 A's of Awesome
Neil Pasricha's blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life's simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk from TEDxToronto, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that's truly awesome
Pamela Meyer's How to Spot a Liar
Emma's interesting pick is by Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and "hotspots" used by those trained to recognize deception -- and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.
Paul Nicklen's Tales of Ice Bound Wonderlands
Connie's pick is from Paul Nicklen who photographs the creatures of the Arctic and Antarctic, generating global awareness about wildlife in these isolated and endangered environments.
Philip Zimbardo's The Psychology of Evil
Jackie's pick is from Philip Zimbardo who shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib trials. Then he talks about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero, and how we can rise to the challenge.
Ralph Langner's Cracking Stuxnet
Beyond stuxnet's unusually high level of sophistication loomed a more troubling mystery: its purpose. Ralph Langner and team helped crack the code that revealed this digital warhead's final target
Rebecca Saxe's How We Read Each Other's Minds
Sensing the motives and feelings of others is a natural talent for humans. But how do we do it? Here, Rebecca Saxe shares fascinating lab work that uncovers how the brain thinks about other peoples' thoughts -- and judges their actions.
Rogier Van Der Heide's Why Light Needs Darkness
Ed Schaefer's pick is from Lighting architect Rogier van der Heide offers a beautiful new way to look at the world -- by paying attention to light (and to darkness). 
Rory Sutherland's Life Lessons From an Ad Man
Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value
Salman Khan's Lets Use Video to Reinvent Education
Salman Khan shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home, and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help.
Sebastian Wernicke's Lies, Damned Lidea and Statistics
In a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek analysis, Sebastian Wernicke turns the tools of statistical analysis on TEDTalks, to come up with a metric for creating "the optimum TEDTalk" based on user ratings.
Seth Godin's This is Broken
Emma's funny pick is Seth Godin who explores why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.
Shawn Achor's The Happy Secret To Better Work
believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk picked by Emma, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
Sheena Iyengar's The Art of Choosing
Vera's pick is from Sheena Iyengar who studies how we make choices. She talks about both trivial choices and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions
Stephen Hawking Asks Big Questions About the Universe
In keeping with the theme of TED2008, professor Stephen Hawking asks some Big Questions about our universe -- How did the universe begin? How did life begin? Are we alone? -- and discusses how we might go about answering them.
Tim Harford's Trial, Error, and the God Complex
Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems -- and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes.
VS Ramachandran's The Neurons That Shaped Civilization
Rina's Ted pick is from Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran who outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, etc.
William Li's Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?
William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.
William Ury's The Walk from "No" To "Yes"
William Ury, author of "Getting to Yes," offers an elegant, simple (but not easy) way to create agreement in even the most difficult situations -- from family conflict to, perhaps, the Middle East