Salome Asega is a Brooklyn-based artist and researcher whose practice celebrates dissensus and multivocality. Through participatory research, she works collaboratively to build interactive installations and to develop odd wearables. She is a co-host of speculative talk show Hyperopia: 20/30 Vision on bel-air radio and the assistant director of POWRPLNT, a digital art collaboratory. Asega has participated in residencies and fellowships at Eyebeam, New Museum, and the Laundromat Project, and she has given presentations at New Inc, Performa, Eyeo, and the Schomburg Center. She received her MFA from Parsons at The New School in Design and Technology and her BA from New York University in social practice.
Ocean explorer Katy Croff Bell uses deep sea technology to explore what lies at the depths of the ocean. For over 15 years, she has participated in or led more than 30 oceanographic and archaeological projects. Bell’s current work involves the utilization of telepresence technology on ocean exploration projects for remote science and education. She works with a large team to implement this technology on multidisciplinary expeditions around the world aboard E/V Nautilus. Expeditions are shared in real time with the world, revealing the wonders of the undersea world in real time, in an effort to engage and inspire a new generation of young explorers. Bell received her BS from MIT in ocean engineering, her master's degree in maritime archaeology at the University of Southampton, and her PhD in geological oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. She was a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, a 2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and is currently an MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow.
Kerri Cahoy is an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT and leads the MIT Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation (STAR) Lab. She works on nanosatellite laser communication systems and weather sensors, and on space telescope missions to directly image exoplanets. Cahoy is also developing a 6U CubeSat to test MEMS deformable mirror technology for high contrast coronagraph wavefront control systems. As well, she’s involved in NASA’s next launch of weather-sensing CubeSats in the summer and fall of 2017. Previously, Cahoy worked on spacecraft radio systems for space weather and planetary atmospheric sensing, nanosatellites. She worked on the MIT Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory lunar mission team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She has also used spacecraft radio systems to study the atmospheres and ionospheres of solar system planets.
Cady Coleman recently retired from NASA after spending over 6 months in space, accumulated over three missions. She flew twice on the Space Shuttle Columbia, and spent 159 days on the International Space Station in 2010-2011 as the expedition lead for both science and robotics on the mission. She led supply ship operations with NASA’s commercial partners for the Astronaut Office, and finished her NASA career in NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist working on open innovation and public private partnerships. She graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Chemistry and from the University of Massachusetts with a Ph.D in Polymer Science and Engineering. She was commissioned in 1983 as a second lieutenant and served in the US Air Force for 26 years.
Julien de Wit PhD '14 (XII) is a researcher in the Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences department of MIT. His primary interest and expertise "lie in the field of data science where Math and Science are brought together to make sense of newly accessible pieces of Reality!" Over the past five years, he has developed and applied new analysis techniques to map exoplanet atmospheres, study the radiative and tidal planet-star interactions in eccentric planetary systems, and constrain the atmospheric properties and mass of exoplanets solely from transmission spectroscopy. Julien is playing a critical role in the TRAPPIST/SPECULOOS project, and he is leading the atmospheric characterization of the planets for which he has already obtained startling results with the Hubble Space Telescope.
Ron Dantowitz is the president of MARS Scientific, a provider of high resolution telescopic tracking and imaging services for government, civilian, and commercial space programs. An aeronautical engineer, educator, and passionate STEM enthusiast, Ron oversees the operations, business development, and scientific research programs for MARS. In 2004 he led the team that provided the telescopic tracking videos seen worldwide by more than 1 billion people when SpaceShipOne made its historic flights into space to claim the X-Prize. Ron’s research includes hyperspectral imaging of launch vehicles and reentries, ground-based imaging of orbiting spacecraft, and developing new techniques for scientific imaging. He encourages all successful corporations to consider aggressively reinvesting in education and supporting student research whenever possible. MARS Scientific believes that education, public engagement, and inspiring the next generation are key contributions toward ensuring that humans will eventually become a multi-planetary species.