Top 2011 College Commencement Speakers Videos

Its college graduation time, so Im compiling a list of my favorite 2011 college commencement videos.

Please leave a comment to let me know what great speeches Ive missed or email [email protected]

Harvard College Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler delivers a hilarious speech at Harvards College 2011 graduation.

Spelman College Michelle Obama
Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, gives an inspiring speech to the 2011 graduating class of female students at Spelman.

Miami Dade College President Obama
President Obama delivers this commencement address to the graduating students at Miami Dade College, Miami, FL. April 29, 2011.

Yale College Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks, Academy Award-winning actor, writer and director speaks to Yale Colleges Class of 2011 graduating students.

Harvey Mudd College Marissa Mayer (Googles Vice President)
Marissa Mayer, Googles first female engineer and vice president, gives her speech to graduates at Harvey Mudd College.

West Point College Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama makes her first visit to West Point as the banquet speaker for the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2011. Held in the historic Cadet Mess this is an address to over 3,000 graduating cadets, their families and guests. This marks the final social event the cadets will take part in as a class prior to commencement and commissioning. This is also the first time a First Lady has spoken for the Cadets at West Point.

And here are some upcoming graduation speeches Ill be adding next . . .

Dartmouth College Conan OBrien
Eric Tanner 11, Dartmouth Student Body President, announces the Commencement speaker for 2011. Watch the live broadcast of the ceremony on June 12, 2011, beginning at 9:30 am EDT on dartmouth.edu.

Are You a Successful Student?

Im looking to interview more successful students for the StudentHacks.org Student Success Series. Im looking primarily for people who have advice and study tips to help out students in high school, college, and/or grad school. Send me an email at ([email protected]) to tell me a little bit about yourself and academic background. For those that participate, I will verify your academic record by viewing your college networks on Facebook.

8 Unconventional Student Research Projects

As the Fall semester approaches, its time to start thinking of potential research projects to focus on this year. Here are some unconventional student research projects to get your creative mind going . . .

1. Crickets Playing Pac Man

Grad student Wim van Eck turned to crickets to add a bit more unpredictability to a game of Pac-Man, casting them in the role of the lowly ghosts against a human-controlled Pac. Theres few details about how the system actually works, but it seems that the crickets actually proved to be more worthy adversaries than your typical AI-controlled enemy: at one point, a particularly clever ghost decided to shed its skin, probably knowing full well that it would become invisible to the games color-based detection system. Watch the video . . .

2. Urine (Youre In) Control

These MIT seniors developed a game that is played when using a urinal. The video game is our interpretation of the classic carnival game whack-a-mole. Position on the back of the urinal corresponds to position on the screen. The player attempted to hit hamsters as they jumped from one hole in the ground into another hole in the ground. A successful hit turned the hamster yellow, made it scream and spin out of contol, and rewarded the player with ten points. The parabolic paths of the hamsters concealed the grid-like arrangment of sensors, resulting in a fluid transition between input and output. The game was programmed in C++. See the whole project.

3. Flash Game – Flow

The addictive little flash game was posted on the USC website as part of his graduate thesis in the Interactive Media division. Within two weeks, it had over 100,000 hits – with no intentional promotion. In the game: as you grow, you can eat bigger and bigger things and survive at deeper and deeper depths. This eventually became a PS3 game. Play this addictive game online.

4. Rubiks Cube Solving Robot

University of Michigan students Doug Li, Jeff Loevell, and Mike Zajac created a Rubiks Cube Solver robot for their final project it can solve a Rubiks Cube in 54 seconds or less. Watch the robot conquer the cube.

5. Prototype Hand Gesture Based iPod Remote Control

Zhuan, Derrick, and Colin of Purdue University created Handy, a prototype hand gesture based remote control. The setup consists of a Handy box, an iPod Nano, and a BOSE Sound Dock. Watch the video to see it work.

6. Cheap Solar Power System

A team of MIT students, led by mechanical engineering grad student Spencer Ahrens, has come up with a prototype that one day could be mass-produced. The system is a 12-foot-suqare mirrored dish that concentrates sunlight by a factor of 1,000. Read the full story.

7. Star Trek Replicators and Diatom Nanotechnology

This paper helps demonstrate that silica can be replaced atom for atom without change of shape – a step towards the Star Trek replicator. Learn more about this Trekker project.

8. Using the Force: How Star Wars Can Help You Teach Recursion

The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges published this research article on how Star Wars can help students learn about recursion. Check out the papers abstract.

Any other student projects that should get mentioned here?

8 Mathematic Tattoos You Need to See

Ive been really enjoying Carl Zimmers Science Tattoo Emporium a blog dedicated to showing science-based tattoo art.

So here are some of my favorites posted on his site along with some others that Ive found:

1. Quadratic Formula

2. Elliptic Partial Differential Equations

(Monge-Ampere & Infinity Laplacian)

3. Zermelo-Fraenkel with Choice Axioms of Set Theory

4. Y Combinator

5. All Values (from Zero to Infinity) are Less Than Love

6. Math Lip Tattoo

7. The Continuity Equation

8. Schroedinger’s Equation for the Wavefunction of a Particle

10 Creative Ways to Recycle Old Books

If you have any old books that you never plan on reading again, here are some fun ways to recycle them:

1. Hide stuff in your hollowed out book.
Read tips on how to hollow books with a ruler, pen, box cutter, and Elmers white glue.

2. Make Book Bookends.
Learn how to turn an old textbook into a bookend.

3. Create an invisible book shelf.
Learn how to stack books on your wall without any shelves.

4. Turn a book into a clock.
If you have a book cover you really like, learn how to turn it into a clock.

5. Make a lamp shade out of a book.
Easy way to convert a book into a lamp shade.

6. Turn a book into an iPod case.
Go ahead and stick your headphones into that book. Im not kidding.

7. Make table legs out of books.
Any English Major or grad student has probably countless books stashed in their bookshelves or closet. Learn how to make a table out of books.

8. Make a Lift-the-Flap Book for Toddlers
Kids love board books especially lift-the-flap books. Learn how to make one as a creative gift for that next baby shower or birthday party.

9. Trade your old books for new books.
There are a variety of websites that let you trade books. Check out bookmooch.com, paperbackswap.com, and bookins.com

10. Set a good book free with BookCrossing.com
Over 680,000 people in over 130 countries have decided to let a favorite book go free. You simply register your book – leave it at a favorite coffee shop or wherever – and track its progress. Learn more at BookCrossing.com.

Recommended Reading

Calling All Student Bloggers

Im starting a directory of student bloggers.

This list will include all my favorite student bloggers which will be featured at the top along with a list of other student bloggers that Im subscribing to.

To get on my student blog directory, please email me your: (1) name, (2) college, (3) major, (4) URL, and (5) two sentences that describe yourself and/or your blog.

If you have a twitter url, send me that as well.

BTW, the guys at HackCollege have a great student blogging series going on. If you havent already been following it, you should definitely check it out.