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Prime your brain to percolate brilliant ideas at ESC Silicon Valley

November 21, 2016

Max The Magnificent-November 21, 2016

Where does the time go? I can’t believe that just two weeks tomorrow as I pen these words, I'll be setting off to the airport to fly out to attend the Embedded System Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley, December 6-8, 2016.

As always, I will be enjoying ESC on many levels. In addition to speaking myself (and I must admit that I do enjoy holding forth to a captive audience), I'm very much looking forward to meeting up my friends and colleagues.

In some cases, these are people I've only even known via the Internet. For example, I've been chums with Sree Harsha Angara for a couple of years now. Sree is an applications engineer at Cypress Semiconductor, and he's written several articles for EETimes.com about hobby projects he's implemented using PSoCs (see Building a Mandolin-to-MIDI bridge with a PSoC and PSoC 4 Emulation of a MSGEQ7 Audio Spectrum Analyzer). Until recently, Sree was based in India, but now he's working in Silicon Valley and he's planning on attending ESC, so we're going to meet up and swap a few "engineering war stories from the trenches."

And, of course, I'll be meeting up with old friends like Duane Benson. In addition to attending sessions of mutual interest and generally hanging out, Duane and I will be hammering out some techno-weenie details regarding the Bodacious Brain project because I've roped him in to helping out.

Speaking of sessions of mutual interest, Duane will be joining me to hear The Keys to Innovation: Priming your brain to percolate brilliant ideas keynote presentation, which is to be given by physicist, engineer, and author, Ransom Stephens.


(Source: Ransome Stephens)

As a particle physicist, Ransom worked on experiments at SLAC, Fermilab, CERN, and Cornell, discovered a new type of matter, and worked on the team that discovered the Top quark. I don’t know about you, but I'd be more than happy to start my own resume this way LOL.

Ransom's new book -- The Left Brain Speaks, The Right Brain Laughs -- is an irreverent look at the neuroscience of innovation in technology, art, and science. In Ransom's keynote, he will be examining the neural processes that percolate insights into consciousness -- the physics of lateral thought, the power of perspective, the value of novelty, and how your brain selects and rejects ideas before you're even aware of them. Methods for fine-tuning the balance of stress and confidence, concentration and distraction that prime our brains to innovate our way to solutions of the challenges that we each face, as well as those that we face together, will also be discussed, as will the neuroaesthetics of what makes products and discoveries good, bad, and valuable.

Ransom has given thousands of speeches across the US, Europe, and Asia, and has developed a reputation for making complex topics accessible and funny. I, for one, cannot wait to hear this presentation. Like all the ESC keynotes, this is a free session that will be open to all attendees, but you must register to attend. Hopefully I'll see you there (I'll be the outrageously cool techno-dweeb in the Hawaiian shirt).

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