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Rensselaer Alumni Magazine Winter 2005-06
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Inventor Dean Kamen Visits Campus

Inventor Dean Kamen

Photo by Kris Qua

Inventor, entrepreneur, and science and technology advocate Dean Kamen visited Rensselaer Dec. 1. He delivered a lecture titled “Why not change the world?” at Rensselaer’s annual Trustee Celebration of Faculty Achievement and met with high school and middle school students involved in robotics competitions, and their Rensselaer student mentors.

Kamen discussed his passion for exciting the next generation of scientists and engineers, including the creation of robotics competitions for middle and high school students. He also spoke of the importance of innovation that benefits society, and of his current focus on bringing water purification technology to those around the globe who would most benefit from it.

Kamen holds more than 150 U.S. and foreign patents, many for medical devices. His inventions include the first wearable infusion pump, developed when he was a college undergraduate, and the Segway® Human Transporter. Kamen now leads DEKA Research & Development Corporation, focusing on the development of internally generated inventions and providing R&D for major corporate clients.

He is founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which initiates annual robotics competitions across the U.S. and around the world, designed to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, and engineering. Rensselaer has been connected to FIRST since its inception, and for the past several years, Rensselaer students and professors have worked with area high school and middle school students participating in these regional and national competitions. Four area high school teams involved in the FIRST Robotics Competitions, along with their student mentors from Rensselaer, displayed robots for Kamen and President Jackson in advance of the lecture.

Kamen received an honorary doctorate from Rensselaer in 1996.

Related Links:
DEKA Research & Development Corporation
FIRST— For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

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