Founded in 1914, YSEA is one of the oldest university alumni organizations in the world with a focus on issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Our mission is to connect alumni with students, the University, and each other to strengthen the Yale science and engineering community.
While approximately half of our members hold science degrees, and a similar number hold engineering degrees, some of our members are musicians, writers, or other humanities graduates. We're interdisciplinary: science, engineering, and society all influence each other, and our members care about how the pieces fit together.
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An interesting observation by YSEA President, James Lockman '89, excerpted from his December 1, 2014 letter to the membership:
"I recently attended the 2014 Nyquist Lecture in Electrical Engineering, which is generously funded by longtime YSEA member, supporter and award recipient, J. Robert Mann '51. For the non-EE folks, the Nyquist lecture is named for Harry Nyquist '17 PhD, who created the FAX machine (among many other things) and developed fundamental theories about how fast signals can propagate in a telephone or telegraph system. The speaker at the Nyquist Lecture was Dr. Marc Raibert, co-founder of Boston Dynamics. Boston Dynamics is easily identifiable by its robots, which resemble animals and which have surprising speed and agility for such large machines...During the lecture, a question was asked that was, in my opinion, indicative of how Yale students differ from their peers at other institutions. A student asked whether the engineers who build these animal-like robots empathize with their creations when their creations fail. How interesting that the young Yale Engineer would ask about how the robotics engineers felt! 'Robots are machines, and their creators strive to break them and learn from how they fail,' replied Dr. Raibert. 'They don't worry about how the robot feels.' While a good answer from the engineer's perspective, the question illustrates how Yalies bring liberal arts and humanities to their science and engineering studies and ultimately to their careers."
For more information about the 2014 Nyquist Lecture, please visit the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science's article about the event.
Photo of the Boston Dynamics Atlas Robot, courtesy of Boston Dynamics. All rights reserved.
Photo of Professor Demers, courtesy of C. Yvonne Hickey.
Earlier this year, YSEA members and guests gathered at the Yale Club of New York City for a reception and presentation with Sarah Demers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics at Yale. After hors d'oeuvres were served, the crowd was treated to a discussion of Professor Demers' work on the Higgs boson and her efforts with an extraordinary initiative in New Haven "to motivate, empower, and interest girls in developing the skills they need to pursue careers in science." For more information, please visit the Demers Group website or the Girls Science Investigations website.