Society on Social Implications of Technology
of the IEEE Long Island Section

The (Society on Social Implications of Technology) SSIT works on issues such as environmental, health and safety implementations of technology, engineering ethics and professional responsibility, peace technology and social issues related to energy, information technology and telecommunications.

For upcoming SSIT lectures and meetings, please visit the calendar page.
> Calendar


Howard Edelman
(516) 294-6596

Vice Chair
John Vodopia
(631) 673-7555


> IEEE Global SSIT

Past Lectures

STEM Challenges and Opportunities
Sister Jane Fritz - St. Joseph's College
2013 October 3

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields are absolutely essential to the continued growth, economy and security of the United States. Yet it is well known that our nation’s STEM education system is failing to attract new talent and to ensure that all American students receive the skills and knowledge required for success in the 21st century workforce.

STEM skills are likely to permeate all careers, not just those of the scientists and engineers. Thus we are all challenged to raise awareness of STEM careers among K-12 students, especially in math and science; sustain the momentum and enthusiasm begun in middle and high school into college years to reduce attrition in STEM programs; encourage women and underrepresented minorities to consider STEM careers; connect STEM skills to meaningful careers that make a difference and develop greater collaboration among the school and business communities, through partnerships, internships and enrichment programs.

> Viewgraphs (3.1 MB)

Henry Ford's Universal Code

Bill Levinson - Levinson Productivity Systems
2013 July 10

Henry Ford achieved world-class results in the language of both money and productivity. These included a return of $125 on the dollar for his investors, an annual wage growth of 7.2 percent for his employees, and expansion of the US economy into the most prosperous on earth. Only after he achieved these results did he write books that show how he did it. Ford attributed his success to a universal code that is suitable for all economic activities, including services as well as businesses. He applied it successfully to mines, railroads, and a hospital as well as to the manufacture of automobiles and tractors.

Nothing has changed during the past century to invalidate this universal code. Most of our country's economic problems, including the 2008-2009 stock market crash, stem from failure to conform to it. This universal code consists of a simple triad of impartial economic, scientific, and behavioral laws. Economic law says no system or supply chain can disburse more wealth than it produces. Manufacturing science, and many principles apply to services as well, allow the system to produce more wealth through the elimination of waste. Behavioral law mandates a square deal for all supply chain stakeholders including customers, suppliers, and workers. The laws are impartial (they belong to no ideology or political position), inarguable, and also synergistic. The latter means that success depends on the understanding and application of all three.

> Viewgraphs (0.4 MB)

Building the First “Steamship” in History
John Laurence Busche
2013 April 24

This lecture is based on extensive research and the acclaimed book by Mr. Busche, titled “Steam Coffin”. It chronicles the story of Captain Moses Rogers and the technical, cultural and mental attitudes of the times in overcoming the beliefs that mankind cannot, should not override the forces of nature.

Steamboats represents the first technology that used an artificial power – the steam engine – to alter time and space to practical effect. This ability makes steam powered vessels the first high technology in history. Steam powered vessels immediately began to change each and every society into which they were introduced , on multiple levels. The story has not only national but international significance.

The crossing of the Atlantic by Captain Rogers and the Savannah represented an epochal shift in history: the Savannah’s ability to overcome Nature to practical effect meant that steam powered vessels were not just a provincial innovation but the beginning of a global revolution that continues to this day.

> Viewgraphs for this lecture will not be published, at the request of the author

Education on Long Island, Part IV: Update on STEM
Moderated by Vic Zourides, SSIT Chair, LI Section
2013 March 28

The aim of the IEEE Long Island Section is to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and prepare Long Island students with skills to be part of the high-tech workforce to support economic growth in our region. In this meeting, the valuable lessons learned in past programs are reviewed in addition to new challenges that lie ahead.

> Meeting Summary (0.1 MB)

Nikola Tesla Unplugged: Connecting the Dots a Century Later
Nikolaos Simos - Brookhaven National Laboratory
2012 April 26

Renewed interest in what was considered during his life time and for decades later as unrealizable scientific dreams, Tesla’s bold ideas on numerous applied science fronts has brought the discussion and the scientific curiosity that surrounds at front and center. From fluid mechanics governing principles to the far limits and harvesting of resonance and to widely misinterpreted wireless energy transmission, scientists revisit Tesla’s interpretations of these fundamentals and in doing so prove their validity and their energy potential. The lecture connects the dots and renders an interpretation of some of Tesla’s ideas that either have reached technical maturity and implementation or being debated within the scientific community as the next big step forward in the energy frontier. The latter are addressed by exploring the links connecting these ideas to the fundamental governing principles, i.e. Maxwell’s equations which are widely accepted today as law. The lecture also discusses Tesla’s independent discovery of X-rays (before Roentgen) the patents and true inventor of the radio (the patent of which the Supreme Court awarded to Tesla in 1943), remote control, earth resonance, the bladeless steam turbine and resonance among others.

> Viewgraphs will be posted at a future date

STEM Magnet Academy Activities at Cradle of Aviation Museum
William Wahlig - LIFT, Andrew Parton - Cradle of Aviation Museum
2012 March 20

Described are the educational programs and projects at the Cradle of Aviation Museum that are aimed at K-12 students and emphasize STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). Among them are classes on robotics, renewable energy, force and motion, destructive weather forces, and mathematics in air traffic control. Empowering young adults to learn is key to developing successful and prosperous communities. Engaging young minds enhances their academic experience, cultivates civic responsibility, advances work performance skills, and constructs opportunities for growth and reflection. Results from state and national tests indicate that student participants in the STEM program far outperform their peers.

> Viewgraphs (0.1 MB)

Nikola Tesla and his Historic Wardenclyffe Laboratory
Mary Daum, Jane Alcorn, Margaret Foster & Christopher Wesselborg
2011 December 7

The true inventor of radio, Nikola Tesla developed the technology that harnessed alternating current (AC) electricity. He was an important contributor to the birth of commercial electricity. Tesla laid the foundation for the rotating magnetic field, alternating current devices, robotics, computers, and missile science. We experience Nikola Tesla's contributions to science every time we switch on a light, listen to the stereo or watch television.

The lecture covers the brief history of Tesla's Wardenclyffe laboratory, report on the current status of the property and an overview of recent efforts to preserve this historic landmark of modern electro-engineering. Since the 1930's the property had been used by the Peerless Photo Company, to manufacture emulsions for photographic film and paper. In 1969 it became part of Agfa-Gevaert Inc. In 1987 production ended, marking the beginning of a lengthy process to clean up inactive hazardous waste on the site from years of photo-processing activities. At a May 2009 rally at the site, the local community and officials of all levels of government reaffirmed their strong support for the preservation of Tesla's historic laboratory.

> Viewgraphs (3.9 MB)

Education on Long Island, Part II: Opportunities and Challenges
I. Malinowitzer - East Islip High School
2011 October 20

I. Malinowitzer, Administrator and Coordinator at East Islip High School, discussed the Career Academy programs at the high school, their success and the student participation and enthusiasm. Two avenues have been implemented for the students. Environmental Green and International Business.

1- The International Business program has students work on a virtual enterprise such as the creation of a company. A business plan, financial statement, marketing plan, CEO, CFO, sales operation, etc. are developed. College participation (e.g. Dowling) and corporate support (e.g. Ford) mentor the students.

2- An example of the Environmental Green is a project for the students to produce a self contained environmentally friendly pond that is forever sustainable without human interference.

The students successfully accomplished the invitation of three helicopters from the military services to land at the East Islip high school grounds. The movie documenting the incoming helicopter/ interviews/ etc of the event was created entirely by the students. Emphasis is placed on real world applications and problem solving. The academy approach allows teachers and students to take the textbook and bring it to life in a real world setting. The Long Island Section IEEE is committed in its efforts to continue to study and support K-12 education at schools across Long Island.

Ethics in Engineering: Ethical Dilemmas
Moderated by Don Christiansen, IEEE Fellow & Editor Emeritus of IEEE Spectrum
2011 April 13

In this seminar sponsored by the Long Island Section's SSIT, PACE and Life Member Affinity Group, the topic of Ethics in Engineering was probed. Several actual case histories were presented, and attendees were invited to participate and answer the question "What would you have done?

The significance and value of distinguishing between legal, moral and ethical aspects of technical dilemmas was also discussed and prompted a lively discussion. The session concluded with participants describing situations involving engineering ethics in which they had personally been involved.

> Meeting Summary (0.2 MB)

Education on Long Island, Part I: Opportunities and Challenges
Moderated by Vic Zourides, SSIT Chair, LI Section
2010 November 11

An IEEE Long Island Section Ad Hoc Committee has been discussing the effectiveness of the educational programs and projects aimed at attracting more students to scientific and technical professions and improving the learning outcome of those K-12 students who participate in math and science courses. Many of these programs are well-supported by government and private funding but we are also concerned about the effectiveness of these programs.

Are instructors broadly aware of these programs and have they and their students benefited from participation in one or more of them? Equally important, have they used certain programs and found them disappointing in certain aspects. Have some
instructors developed innovative programs completely independent of those being offered? We are concerned about the ability of a teacher to present learning programs to students, and if we can, we would like to help.

> Meeting Summary (0.1 MB)

GPS Navigation...But What is it Doing To Us?
Jeff Robbins, Rutgers University
2010 October 13

The flip side of GPS Navigation is examined. That is, that the technology is not just doing for us but also what the technology is doing to us. The conventional wisdom insists that we have better things to do than find our own way from here to there without turn by turn directions. It may be true that losing the ability to find one's own way, as once we were compelled, may be no great loss, as a tributary feeding into the river of what is going on across the board of human skill erosion, it is a symptom of far more serious summing going on.

The lecture discusses the loss of cognitive abilities that can lead to fatal or potentially fatal incidents. Mindlessly following GPS turn by turn, has led to wrong way down one way streets, plunge headlong into ditches, cause train accidents, make dangerous turns or illegal turns and set the stage for accidents by hesitating on busy roads and road traffic.

Floating Turbines Can Reduce Gulf of Mexico Hurricane Threat
Richard LaRosa - Sea Level Control
2010 June 17

Hurricane intensification can be prevented by cooling critical areas of the sea surface. Deep cold water can be pumped up and distributed at the surface through long perforated fabric hoses. Water overlying the Gulf Coast continental shelf from Texas to the Florida Keys can be cooled by water pumped from 200-meter depth using electric power transmitted by sub-sea cables from the shore grid. Portions of the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current and its warm-core eddies might be cooled by moored pumping stations powered by Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).

> Essay (0.1 MB)


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