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TEDxMSU speaker list released

February 20, 2015

With the intentions to get inspired by fellow Spartans and be proud of the research innovations coming out of MSU, TEDxMSU is putting together a conference set for March 4 at the Wharton Center Cobb Hall.

TED (which stands for technology, education and design) talks are held all around the globe and each conference offers a variety of speakers discussing different areas of research, their personal stories, innovative ideas, inventions and movements.

“The whole point of it is to come away with something more than watching someone talk for ten minutes … we want them to be there and be able to feel that this is a community able to produce ideas,” Irene Li,  the event's student curator, said. “Because of that, then they can be inspired themselves to do things in their own lives.”

The difference between the rest of the TED talks and this one, planned by the student organization TEDxMSU, is that all the speakers are MSU affiliated — students  both undergraduate and graduate, faculty and alumni. 

This “makes it very close to home to MSU,” Diana Xu, public relations director of TEDxMSU said.

Speakers will vary from recent alumni like Young Yi will sharing his experiences with battling Lukemia during his college years to astrophysicist and professor in physics and astronomy Dr. Hendrik Schatz’s research on how gold is formed through a black hole.

“The speakers that we chose were chosen, not because they are some high-profile celebrity, but because they are individuals within the MSU community, just like you and me, who have an awesome idea to share,” Xu said. “We want people to be inspired by that.”

This is the first year that MSU will host a TED talk since 2012, which was organized by International Students Association. The TEDxMSU organization’s sole focus is centered around the event, which means this will outshine the last talk, according to members.

The conference will last about three hours, broken into two sections, with a short intermission for labs.

“We have invited some people who have new business ideas or creative inventions to showcase,” Peter Howes, the fundraising director said. “Anyone who is interested can talk to them and help understand their idea. It’s the same thing as people talking on stage but more hands-on.”

Mechanical engineering junior Steven Price, who appeared on America’s Got Talent, will have a domino field displayed during lab times that says TEDxMSU.

Next week, TEDxMSU will host a public relations spirit week to promote the event. On Tuesday, students will be able to write on a “my will is…” chalkboard and Wednesday there will be a scavenger hunt. Students will have to find all four T-E-D-X big letters around campus and take a picture with them — if they get all of them, they will be entered to win prizes. A full list of events will be posted on their website later this week, according to Xu.

As the organization puts the finishing touches on the conference, their hope is that those who attend feel inspired and want to get involved with future events.

Li said they hope to host TEDx salons, which are smaller conferences that focus on one main topic. For MSU, they plan to host workshops and discussion sessions.

“We want this to create conversations and to give people, who are students here, something to really be proud about,” Li said.

February 20 is the last day for presale, where anyone with a MSU PID can get tickets for $5, general public $15. After the prices will increase to $10 and $20.

There will be an optional reception following the event where attendees can talk to speakers on a person level and enjoy refreshments. About 100 people will be allowed entrance for an additional $10 fee.

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