Singularity University welcomes 2010 Graduate Studies Program participants

June 15, 2010

Class size doubled to accommodate growing interest in addressing “Humanity’s Grand Challenges” through scientific and technological collaboration | Singularity University (SU) — the academic institution with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address “humanity’s grand challenges” — today announced the second year of its Graduate Studies Program (GSP), and a doubled class size to accommodate 80 of the top students from 35 nations around the globe. On June 21 SU co-founders, faculty, industry leaders, and other VIP guests will welcome the new class of students at the program’s Opening Ceremonies to take place at NASA Ames Research Park. The Graduate Studies Program will begin June 19 and end with Closing Ceremonies on August 28.

Singularity University co-founders Dr. Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis will formally introduce the GSP-10 class and introduce the students to their 10-week exploration of the convergence of science, exponentially accelerating technologies, and grand challenges. Dr. Larry Brilliant of the Skoll Urgent Threat Fund will keynote the event.

“The past year has demonstrated pressing global challenges, as well as a significant shift in the zeitgeist for exponential and accelerating technologies,” said Dr. Ray Kurzweil, co-founder and chancellor, Singularity University. “It is only through the scale of exponentially growing information technologies that we can meet these challenges.  It is our goal at Singularity University to foster a deep understanding of these technologies and through the team projects to directly solve urgent world needs.”

Ten Weeks of Study, A Lifetime of Innovation

The Graduate Summer Program is a ten-week interdisciplinary curriculum designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration, and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating. In addition to lectures and workshops with world-class leaders, students can also participate in hands-on excursions to leading Silicon Valley labs and companies, and exposure to NASA’s many technologies.

From more than 1,600 pre-applicants, the 80 graduate and post-graduate students in the summer program were chosen based on their level of expertise in individual “tracks,” demonstrated entrepreneurial and leadership skills, and their commitment to addressing and solving important issues facing our world. Taught by the leading minds in their respective fields, the GSP curriculum tracks include: future studies and forecasting; policy, law and ethics; finance and entrepreneurship; networks and computing systems; biotechnology and bioinformatics; nanotechnology; medicine, neuroscience and human enhancement; AI and robotics; energy and ecological systems; and space and physical sciences.

And the keystone of the GSP, the challenging Ten to the Ninth Power Plus (10^9+) group projects, are designed to positively affect at least one billion people within the next 10 years in five key areas. SU faculty chose five challenges for this year’s class: home energy, water, vertical farming, up-cycling, and space exploration.

“The biggest changes affecting the world today, such as the financial crisis, the growth of social media, medical technologies, aspects of climate change, are all rooted in accelerating and exponential factors,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, co-founder and chairman at Singularity University. “Billion dollar companies are popping up overnight while century-old companies are folding. Our 10-week Graduate Studies Program is an extraordinary program for graduate and post-graduate students to understand exponential technologies, their projected growth, their disruptive nature and their ability change the world. Students gain a working knowledge of ten different “exponential tracks,” as well as take an interdisciplinary deep dive to learn how to better manage and navigate these technologies. This year’s class of students are incredibly accomplished and truly exceptional, we expect the effects of the GSP graduates and their 10^9+ projects to be far-reaching and positively affect humanity’s challenges.”