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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

will.i.am: An entry by Prof. Patrick Henry Winston by Matt McGann '00

The Black Eyed Peas' frontman hangs out at MIT.

I got an email the other day from Professor Patrick Henry Winston ’65, SM ’67, PhD ’70 about a blog entry he thought you might enjoy (via Slice of MIT). You may recall his previous guest entry.


will.i.am
by Professor Patrick Henry Winston ’65, SM ’67, PhD ’70

Will likes to see stuff at MIT whenever he is in town. This time I took him to see robots in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, wearable computing in the Media Lab, and miscellaneous cool stuff in the Precision Engineering Research Group. It wasn’t hard to find people to help out.

We walked around for three hours. Then, he was off to do soundchecks. A few hours after he learned about energy-storing inverse lakes, he and his Black Eyed Peas played to a sold-out crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden.

I always like amazing people, like Will, who is highly creative, does interesting things, and is interested in the future. MIT attracts amazing, highly creative, interesting, interested people like honey attracts bears.

And on top of all that, Will is a fan of my field, Artificial Intelligence. Be sure to play the video on the Peas homepage.

Anyway, when Will and his entourage were about to leave, and all the obligatory pictures were taken, he asked, as he generally does, if I could use a few tickets for the show. “Hey, that would be great,” I said. I like the Peas, and besides, I hadn’t been to a good concert since the Rolling Stones were in town in ‘06.

Alas, my daughter seized the tickets. “You’re nowhere near cool enough to go,” she said, “and I have some friends.” Maybe I should find a new place to buy clothes.


Here’s the video Prof. Winston was referencing (will.i.am getting excited about AI):

According to MIT CSAIL, will.i.am is “an amateur robotics enthusiast.” They note, “During his tour of CSAIL, the artist had a look at projects from Daniela Rus’ Distributed Robotics Lab, Russ Tedrake’s Robot Locomotion Group, and Nicholas Roy’s Robust Robotics Group.”

Prof. Winston posted a whole bunch of will.i.am/MIT photos on his site — check it out!

9 responses to “will.i.am: An entry by Prof. Patrick Henry Winston”

  1. parav says:

    This probably explains the theme of the Imma Be Rocking That Body video. The whole video is full of robots and Will even says “Artificial Intelligence” at the beginning.

    BTW Imma Be is epic.

    Matt I think you might have posted the wrong video. I think Prof. Winston was referring to the video at the above link.

  2. Paul D. says:

    Wow! That’s so cool!!
    Thanks for the post Matt

  3. Banerjee says:

    THAT is SOO cool! Man, MIT ROCKS!!

    Didn’t Hayden Christensen come to MIT a year or so ago? (I remember reading Jess’ post.)

  4. joemill says:

    Wow, great! He’s also into robotics! smile

  5. Anonymous says:

    So, MIT fellas and fellow applicants, I have a pressing, burning question to ask, and figure there’s no better forum on which to post it…

    I know with 99% certainty that I am going to be studying neuroscience, cognitive science, and neural networks in college, probably beyond. It is the most engrossing, engaging, thought-provoking field I have ever encountered, it is right on the cutting edge, and there’s so much room for growth and innovation implied in it…But, here’s my dilemma. I am also, by connection, interested in robotics and AI, and so between all the subjects, I know I will have to have some, if not considerable, knowledge about computers. Yet I have had very, very little experience in that area. I refuse to give up and throw in the towel, and will work as hard as I need to to make up for lost time. If I want to start learning at least a bit more about computer science, basic programming, robotics, etc., where should I start?? Any input, guys? Thanks a million! smile

  6. Anonymous says:

    @ above, maybe MIT OCW intro CS or look into learning a programming language such as C++, java, or matlab

  7. Ken '11 says:

    @Banerjee: Yes, Hayden did stop by for an LSC sneak preview of an incomplete Studio copy of /Jumper/ in addition to a panel discussion of the physics within the movie. It was very fun! MIT is extremely fortunate to have the reputation it does, as it means that a lot of very interesting people stop by on a pretty regular basis (e.g. Michel Gondry, Bill Viola, Bjork, and this Saturday architect Fumihiko Maki, just to name some within the past year).

  8. genius ('18) says:

    “Will likes to see stuff at MIT whenever he is in town.” THAS SOOOO COOL!!!! There goes the stereotype that MIT is for nerds!!!!! “Went to do a soundcheck” In the GARDEN?? SUITE!!! As a veteran techie, this sounds like my kinda guy. (FYI: in performing arts, techie=guy who runs the sound/lighting systems,etc…AND NOT THE NERD WHO TAKES APART COMPUTERS!!!!!!)