Physicist Michio Kaku to speak at Stephens Auditorium

Kassi Manternach

A celebrity in the world of theoretical physicists, Michio Kaku, will visit Iowa State on Sept. 19 to speak about how science affects daily lives.

Kaku is the Henry Semat professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York, a prestigious position in the world of theoretical physics.

Kaku has traveled all across the country sharing his expertise though TV appearances, lectures and his book. He will present his lecture, “How Science Will Revolutionize Business, Medicine, Jobs and Life,” to students at 7 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium.

The presentation is open to all students, faculty, staff and the entire Ames community. Dr. Kaku’s speech is the kickoff event of Engineering Week.

“I can’t believe he will be here in person,” said Scott Rowekamp, freshman in chemical engineering.

Rowekamp said he is excited because he has seen his shows, and believes Dr. Kaku is a very influential person.

The goal of Iowa State’s Engineers’ Week is to involve all College of Engineering students, faculty, staff and alumni in a celebration of engineering.

The week will provide students the opportunity to interact with peers, faculty and company representatives in both a professional and social manner. It is also designed to educate the public about engineering and provide service to the community.

A charity run, intramural games, the Engineer Career Fair, lunches on campus and high school senior visitations are also planned during Engineering Week.

Kaku attended Princeton, Berkeley and Harvard and has also written a number of textbooks on the quantum field theory and string theory.

He is best known for his efforts in developing the string theory, which theorizes that one-dimensional objects called strings replace particles of matter.

Maclean Potts, general co-chairman of Engineers’ Week 2014, said they chose Kaku because of “his relevance to contemporary topics in science and their application to future business and other aspects of life.”

Kaku is recognized by his celebrity status and would help draw an engaged audience, Potts said.

Students may recognize Kaku from his many appearances on TV. He can be seen regularly on the Science Channel and has appeared on the History Channel, “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live,” “60 Minutes,” Fox News Channel and others.

The College of Engineering hopes that students will be able to walk away from the lecture understanding the connection between modern science and human progress, Potts said.

The college also wants to bring science not only to engineering students, but the general community as well. Scientists and engineers play a key role in creating and maintaining our quality of life through innovations like medical technology, Potts said.

“It looks like a great opportunity for all students, not just those involved with science,” said Sarah Probst, an open option freshman.