Special lectures

“Passion-based learning”, describing our approach for learning product design and development.

Professor Kalevi Ekman
Professor of Machine Design, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Finland.
Winner of the 2016 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education

Why do we do the things we do? The reasons are many, often referred to carrots and sticks. But for learning particularly, it’s good to have drivers like curiosity, fun, and passion. Design Factory of Aalto University is an experimental platform for learning design, engineering and business in an interdisciplinary setting. The most advanced learning projects are organized in partnership with companies and other third parties – the challenges are real. Finally, the results are demonstrated to the public in the forms of fully functional prototypes. In this context, the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) often turns into Passion-Based Learning.

Passion is a beautiful word with a double meaning. It describes the enthusiasm and commitment to something, or love if you like. It also describes the suffering and pain that is so often related to wicked real-life problems, human relations, misinterpretations, and lack of time. However, these experiences can make students stronger, reinforce their self-confidence, help them to better understand and respect experts from other fields, and be better prepared for future jobs that don’t even exist yet.

On 13th October, 17:00, RTU Creative Industries Centre

“Light Rays and Black Holes.”
Professor Edward Witten
Winner of the 2016 Albert Einstein World Award of Science

This year is the centennial of the first black hole solution of Einstein’s theory of gravity.

It is also a hundred years since gravitational radiation from black holes was first observed, greatly extending our knowledge of these objects. In this lecture, I will describe black holes from the standpoint of Einstein’s classical theory and discuss the black hole merger event by which they were observed. Then I will explain some of the insights to quantum theory that have come from the classical study of black holes.

On 14th October, 11:00, Latvian National Library “Ziedonis Hall”

Please register HERE