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2023 Episodes of the Curious Conversations Podcast

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    Screen Time and Young Children with Koeun Choi

    Koeun Choi joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the impact of media on young children. She shared insights from her research on screen time and young children and introduced a project she’s working on that explores the use of artificial intelligence to help children learn to read.

    Date: Dec 11, 2023
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    The History of Winter Holiday Foods with Anna Zeide

    Anna Zeide joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the history of foods traditionally connected to holidays occurring during the winter months, as well as the nature of developing personal traditions.

    Date: Dec 04, 2023
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    The Chemistry of Better Batteries with Feng Lin

    Feng Lin joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the chemistry behind creating better batteries for electric vehicles. He broke down some of the current challenges to mass producing an effective and affordable battery, and shared his thoughts on the potential for coal in helping overcome these hurdles.

    Date: Nov 27, 2023
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    AI as a Personal Assistant with Ismini Lourentzou

    Ismini Lourentzou joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about artificial intelligence and machine learning related to personal assistants, as well as her student team’s recent experience with the Alexa Prize TaskBot Challenge 2.

    Date: Nov 20, 2023
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    The Power of International Collaborations with Roop Mahajan

    Roop Mahajan joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the value of international collaborations to research and innovation, as well as how they’ve contributed to his work advancing the “wonder material” graphene.

    Date: Nov 13, 2023
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    Driving around Heavy Trucks with Matt Camden and Scott Tidwell

    Matt Camden and Scott Tidwell of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) joined “Curious Conversations” to talk about the institute’s Sharing the Road program, which has shared tips for driving around heavy trucks with more than 20,000 high school students since 2018. They discussed the research behind the program and shared practical safety tips for drivers of all ages.

    Date: Nov 06, 2023
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    Autonomous Technology and Mining with Erik Westman

    Erik Westman joined ⁠Virginia Tech’s ‘Curious Conversations’⁠ to share his insights on how machine learning and autonomous technologies are impacting the mining industry, as well as what Virginia Tech is doing to prepare students for the future of the industry.

    Date: Oct 30, 2023
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    Agriculture Technology and Farmers with Maaz Gardezi

    Maaz Gardezi joined Virginia Tech’s ‘Curious Conversations’ to talk about the importance of developing agriculture technology alongside and with the input of farmers. He shared details about a current interdisciplinary project he’s working on at the intersection of technology and agriculture, as well as his thoughts on the potential for advanced technology in this space.

    Date: Oct 23, 2023
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    AI and Healthcare Workspaces with Sarah Henrickson Parker

    Sarah Henrickson Parker joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about how artificial intelligence and machine learning is currently being used in some healthcare spaces, and what the potential is for the future.

    Date: Oct 16, 2023
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    AI and Online Threats with Bimal Viswanath

    Bimal Viswanath joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about how the rise in artificial intelligence and large language models has changed the online threat landscape. He explained how this technology works and shared about a current project he’s involved with that aims to mitigate toxic language in chatbots.

    Date: Oct 09, 2023
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    AI and the Workforce with Cayce Myers

    Cayce Myers fields questions on artificial intelligence’s impact on the workforce, regulations, copyright law, and more.

    Date: Oct 02, 2023
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    Special Edition: The GAP Report with Tom Thompson and Jessica Agnew

    Each year, Virginia Tech produces the Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Report, which provides a snapshot of the current state of agriculture and a projection of its future. Tom and Jessica, executive editor and managing editor, respectively, of the report, joined the podcast just prior to the 2023 release to explain what it is and how they hope it's used.

    Date: Oct 01, 2023
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    The Metaverse, Digital Twins, and Green AI with Walid Saad

    Walid Saad joined Virginia Tech’s "Curious Conversations" to field questions about the metaverse, digital twins, and artificial intelligence’s potential impact on the environment.

    Date: Sep 24, 2023
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    Semiconductors, Packaging, and more with Christina Dimarino

    Christina Dimarino joined the podcast to chat about semiconductors, the importance of packaging in onshoring their production, and what Virginia Tech is doing to excel workforce development in this field.

    Date: Sep 15, 2023
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    Pilot: Electric Vehicles with Hesham Rakha

    In this pilot episode, Hesham Rakha shares insights on what sustainable mobility means, the gas price at which electric vehicles becomes the more cost effective option, and some of his personal experiences with an electric car.

    Date: Aug 14, 2023

"Curious Conversations" is a series of free-flowing conversations with Virginia Tech researchers that take place at the intersection of world-class research and everyday life.  

Produced and hosted by Virginia Tech writer and editor Travis Williams, university researchers share their expertise and motivations as well as the practical applications of their work in a format that more closely resembles chats at a cookout than classroom lectures. New episodes are shared each Tuesday.

If you know of an expert (or are that expert) who’d make for a great conversation, email Travis today.