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Margaret Gould Stewart Hugh Herr

Keynote Speakers

For other invited talks, see Invited Talks.

Opening Keynote: Margaret Gould Stewart, YouTube

Monday, 7 May 2012 | 08:30 | Room D

Connecting the world through video
If every story and every storyteller is unique, how do you design a container to hold the most diverse set of faces and voices in human history? YouTube's Margaret Stewart, Director of User Experience, will discuss how the company approaches this inspiring challenge. Expect to learn about the YouTube experience from both filmmakers and viewers, the stories behind the videos and channels you love, and design principles you can apply to your work.
Margaret Gould Stewart manages the User Experience Team for YouTube, leading the company's overall design and user research efforts. Prior to her current role, she spent two years leading Search and Consumer Products UX at Google. Margaret has been a practitioner and manager in the field of User Experience for over 15 years. After graduating from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 1995, Margaret consulted extensively with New York media companies such as the New York Times, Time-Warner, and Scholastic to develop many of their first forays into the web. She's held leadership roles at a variety of high profile start ups and companies, including and, which were both acquired by Lycos, Inc.

Over the course of her career, Margaret has led the design teams for 5 top 10 most visited websites in the world. Margaret is a member of the board of Architecture for Humanity, and she has served on the jury for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards. She is a frequent speaker about design, user experience, creative management, and the changing landscape of media. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband and three children.

Closing Keynote: Hugh Herr, MIT Media Lab

Thursday, 10 May 2012 | 16:30 | Room D

Designing Intelligent Orthotics and Prosthetics
A long-standing goal in rehabilitation science is to apply neuromechanical principles of human movement to the development of highly functional prostheses and orthoses.  When well-designed and properly customized for an individual, these devices not only traverse physical limitations but also become very much a part of the wearer's physical self.  Critical to this effort is the understanding of how humans interact with their own limbs, and the development of actuator technologies and control methodologies that interact with the human in manner compatible with their natural interaction.  In this lecture, I present several examples of prosthethic limbs and orthotic devices designed to support comfortable and efficient use, highly precise control, and ease of use.  These examples are then used to motivate design strategies for prosthetic and orthotic devices.
Hugh Herr is Associate Professor within MIT's Program of Media Arts and Sciences, and The Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.  His primary research objective is to apply principles of biomechanics and neural control to guide the designs of wearable robotic systems for human rehabilitation and physical augmentation.  In the area of human augmentation, Professor Herr has employed cross bridge models of skeletal muscle to the design and optimization of a new class of human-powered mechanisms that amplify endurance for cyclic anaerobic activities.  He has also built elastic shoes that increase metabolic economy for running, and leg exoskeletons for walking load-carrying augmentation.  In the area of assistive technology, Professor Herr’s group has developed powered orthotic and prosthetic mechanisms for use as assistive interventions in the treatment of leg disabilities caused by amputation, stroke, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.  Professor Herr has authored or coauthored over 60 technical publications in biomechanics and wearable robotics.  He was the recipient of the 2007 Heinz Award for Technology, Economy, and Employment.