Lecture: Robert Full

GSE/SESAME Colloquium series
Monday, September 24, from 4:00 to 5:30 in Room 1215, Berkeley Way West


i4’s Toward Tomorrow Program: Bioinspired Design Realized by Creativity, Collaboration, and Connection


Our goal is to expand the STEM workforce with an early, inspirational, and interdisciplinary experience that fosters inclusive excellence. Using culturally sustaining connections, students will envision a future where their voice is urgently needed for involvement, imagination, invention, and innovation (i4). Our program removes artificially created disciplinary boundaries to extend beyond STEM by including designers, social scientists, and entrepreneurs collaborating in diverse teams while using scientific discoveries to create inventions that lead to new careers, benefit society, and shape our future. Our program connects two recent revolutions by amplifying bioinspired design with the maker movement and its democratizing effects empowering anyone to innovate and change the world. In five years, we hope to create a program that will catalyze institutional change, continuing our forward trajectory of implementing inclusive practices that will persist. We will disseminate a customizable, evidence-based program through a bioinspired design shared community that will energize students to participate in the discovery process where their unique voices are necessary to invent the future.


Robert J. Full is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Full has led an international effort to demonstrate the value of integrative biology and biological inspiration by the formation of interdisciplinary collaborations among biologists, engineers, and mathematicians from academia and industry. Professor Full is founder and director of CiBER (http://ciber.berkeley.edu), the Center for interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (http://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1748-3190), a science advisory board member of the new journal, Science Robotics, and serves on the advisory boards of Switzerland’s National Centre of Competency in Research – Robots, Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board of Life Sciences. Professor Full’s programmatic theme is Diversity Enables Discovery. He directs the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory (http://polypedal.berkeley.edu), which studies the Performance, Energetics and Dynamics of Animal Locomotion (PEDAL) in many-footed creatures (Poly), such as cockroaches, crabs, and lizards. His discoveries of fundamental principles in motion science have led to the design of animal inspired control circuits, artificial muscles, legged robots, and self-cleaning, dry adhesives. His efforts in education research have led to discovery- and design-based courses, including his new Bioinspired Design course (http://biodesign.berkeley.edu/bioinspired-design-course/), featured in his i4’s Toward Tomorrow Program (http://biodesign.berkeley.edu) focusing on inclusive excellence. Professor Full received a NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, was named a Mentor in the Life Sciences by the National Academies of Sciences, and was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences under the new category, Emerging Fields.