Science

Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian Thrun (born 1967 in Solingen, Germany) is an educator and computer scientist. He is a Google Fellow and a part-time Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL). He led the development of the robotic vehicle Stanley[4] which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, and which is exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. His team also developed a vehicle called Junior[5], which placed second at the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007. Thrun led the development of the Google self-driving car.[6] Thrun is also known for his work on probabilistic programming techniques in robotics, with applications including robotic mapping[7]. In recognition of his contributions, and at age 39, Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and also into the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007. In 2011, Thrun received the Max-Planck-Research Award.[8] and the inaugural AAAI Ed Feigenbaum Prize. Fast Company selected Thrun as the fifth most creative person in business in the world.

GoogleCar.jpgThrun developed a number of autonomous robotic systems that earned him international recognition. In 1994, he started the University of Bonn's Rhino project together with his doctoral thesis advisor Armin B. Cremers. In 1997 Thrun and his colleagues Wolfram Burgard and Dieter Fox developed the world's first robotic tourguide in the Deutsches Museum Bonn (1997). In 1998, the follow-up robot "Minerva" was installed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, where it guided tens of thousands of visitors during a two-week deployment period. Thrun went on to found the CMU/Pitt Nursebot project, which fielded an interactive humanoid robot in a nursing home near Pittsburgh, PA. In 2002, Thrun helped develop mine mapping robots in a project with his colleagues William L. Whittaker and Scott Thayer, two research professors at Carnegie Mellon University. After his move to Stanford University in 2003, he engaged in the development of the robot Stanley, which in 2005 won the DARPA Grand Challenge. His former graduate student Michael Montemerlo, who was co-advised by William L. Whittaker, led the software development for this robot. In 2007, Thrun's robot "Junior" won second place in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.[12] Thrun joined Google as part of a sabbatical, together with several Stanford students. At Google, Thrun co-developed Google Street View.

His last project (March 2012) is Udacity, a free university to make knowledgement available to all.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist. His theory of general relativity revolutionized modern physics. Einstein received Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his contribution to modern physics, and especially for discovering the law of the photoelectric effect, which played a major role in establishing quantum theory. He also significantly contributed to the problems of the theory of radiation, statistical mechanics, atomic transition probabilities and relativistic cosmology.

Already as a child, starting from the age of 10, Albert Einstein was very curious to understand the mysteries of science. He also took music lessons, and could play the violin and piano all his life. In his childhood his family moved to Italy and then to Switzerland, where he graduated from high school. 1905, the year when young Einstein was working in a patent office in Bern, Switzerland, is known as his “miracle year”. During this time he received his Doctor’s degree and published his four extremely important research papers, including the Special Theory of Relativity. Ten years later Einstein finished his General Theory of Relativity and in 1921, the Nobel Prize Award in Physics conferred to Einstein led to his enormous fame  and the status of a genius around the world.  

In 1933 Einstein moved to the United States and became a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He became a citizen of United States in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.

Einstein's life was characterized by intellectual solitude and great passion for music. He married a Serbian mathematician Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their marriage ended in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who died in 1936. Einstein died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.

Einstein’s theories have widely contributed to the development of television, DVD players, remote control devices, lasers, automatic door openers.  In 1999 TIME magazine recognized Einstein as  “Person of the Century”. Apart from his unparalleled intellect, leading to his status as the father of modern physics, Einstein was also noted for his dedication to social justice and pacifism, which makes him a high-minded, virtuous person as well. 

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