Silicon Valley Engineering Council Open House - Modern Robot Psychology

Thursday, November 14, 2019, 5:00PM – 8:30 PM PDT. The event is FREE.
Warm delicious food (no pizza or sandwiches) & drinks will be provided

This Open House event is organized by:
Silicon Valley Engineering Council  in benefit of all its members

Sponsored by our member organizations:

  • IEEE CS (IEEE Computer Society)
  • ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
  • IEEE SSCS (IEEE Solid State Circuit Society)
  • IEEE CIS (IEEE Computational Intelligence Society
  • SWE East Bay chapter
  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
  • ASMI (Santa Clara Valley Chapter, ASM International)
  • EAA (Electric Auto Association)
  • NorthCal AIChE  (Leading organization of Chemical Engineering Professionals)

Speaker: Eric Saund
                Research Scientist
Keynote Topic: Modern Robot Psychology

Location: SEMI at 673 South Milpitas Boulevard Milpitas, CA 95035-5446 (View Map)

                                                   (Register here)


  • 5:00PM to 5:30PM - Welcome Reception & Mixer
  • 5:30PM to 6:00PM - Welcoming Remarks
  • 6:00PM to 6:15PM - Acknowledgement of Sponsors
  • 6:15PM to 7:15PM – Keynote
  • 7:15PM to 7:25PM - ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
  • 7:25PM to 7:35PM - Call for Applications for 2020 Scholarships
  • 7:35PM to 7:45PM – Keeper of the Flame
  • 7:45PM to 7:55PM – Discover “E” Outreach
  • 7:55PM to 8:05PM - 2020 Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame Inductees Announcement
  • 8:05M to 8:15PM - Invite to SVEC Engineers Week Banquet, February 19, 2020 at DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, CA
  • 8:15PM to 8:25PM - Q&A
  • 8:25PM to 8:30PM - Closing

Can you diagnose and fix your car?  Can you reboot your router?
We get along with technology better when we have some operational understanding
of how it works.  As we an approach an age when robots and other artificially
intelligent agents surround us, we must expand our mental models of machines to
include those that display autonomous goal-directed behaviors and even evoke
notions of intentionality.  As a case in point, today's Conversational Agents
are simultaneously very smart, and very dumb.  This talk will review the
Natural Language Processing and knowledge modeling technologies that give
Alexa and Google Home remarkable and engaging question answering and chat
abilities.  I will offer some fun tips on how to reverse-engineer how these
devices "think".


Eric Saund is a research scientist, developer, and consultant whose work spans multiple fields of intelligent systems, including conversational agents, document analytics, perceptually supported user interfaces, machine learning, and computational vision. Eric received a B.S. from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from MIT.  He served in research and research management roles at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he has published widely, his prototypes have served thousands of users, and he has been awarded 60 patents to date.

Open to all to attend
(Online registration is needed. If you did not register, seating is not guaranteed.)

Call for volunteers for this event:
If you are interested in volunteering at our SVEC Open House email us [email protected]

SVEC 2018 Open House Reception
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Many thanks to SEMI for hosting the SVEC Open House at their headquarters in Milpitas.

Keynote Talk “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy”
by Dr. G. K. Surya Prakash
George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry at USC

Methanol, a liquid at ambient temperature, is preferable to low volumetric energy density hydrogen gas for energy storage and transportation. It is also an excellent drop in fuel for internal combustion (gasoline) and auto-ignition (diesel) engines.  It is an excellent fuel for direct oxidation fuel cells. Dimethyl ether (DME) derived from methanol is a high cetane diesel substitute and also could replace liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Methanol is a convenient feedstock to produce ethylene and propylene that can be converted to synthetic petrochemical products. Chemical recycling of excess carbon dioxide formed from human activities, natural and industrial sources, or even from the air can be converted to methanol via capture followed by reductive conversion with hydrogen. Any available energy source (preferably alternative energies such as solar, wind, geothermal, atomic, etc.) can provide the needed energy for generating hydrogen. Direct electrochemical reduction of CO2 is also possible. Methanol, presently produced from fossil fuel based syngas (mixture of CO and H2), can also be made by direct oxidative conversion of natural gas or other methane sources. Even coal and biomass can be converted to methanol through syngas. The Methanol Economy concept that was jointly developed with the late Nobel Laureate colleague, George A. Olah is expected to solve the energy and material problems of the world in the long run and at the same time address the issue of global warming due to increased CO2 emissions by excessive fossil fuel use by efficient “Carbon Neutral Energy Cycles.”