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Inventors, Geniuses and Visionaries Presentation by Charlotte Wieck, Kirsti Berghäuser and Jan Krewega.

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Presentation on theme: "Inventors, Geniuses and Visionaries Presentation by Charlotte Wieck, Kirsti Berghäuser and Jan Krewega."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inventors, Geniuses and Visionaries Presentation by Charlotte Wieck, Kirsti Berghäuser and Jan Krewega

2 What makes an inventor? What characteristics does a visionary have? When do we call someone a genius?

3 Inventor Makes or creates something that has not existed before Inventions typically are machines or other devices of practical use Most base their work on discoveries of others, improving the existing devices Inventors deliberately try to find solutions to a given problem Discover: to find or learn about an object for the first time, to find something unexpectedly

4 Genius In roman mythology genii refers to spirit Today: someone with exceptionally great mental or creative ability Geniuses make huge original leaps in their field, rather than just extending the previous body of work In contrast to a prodigy, a genius must have created or brought in something new in an established field

5 Visionary Vision: apparition or revelation that appears in sleep or trance Latin visio: seeing A visionary is someone who has or shows the ability to think about or plan the future with great imagination or wisdom Also: something experienced powerfully in the imagination, esp. concerning the future (ex.: a political or economic vision

6 Johann Gutenberg (1390 – 1468) Metal-worker and inventor, lived in Mainz and Strasbourg Famous for his contributions to the technology of printing Invented movable type for Europe (Buchdruck mit beweglichen Lettern), an improvement on the block printing It has been used for over 300 years

7 Johann Gutenberg Koreans and Chinese already knew about block printing and even movable metal types Unclear whether Gutenberg knew of these techniques or invented them independently Introduced efficient methods into book production, which caused a boom in the production of texts in Europe Gutenberg’s most famous work, the ‘Gutenberg Bible’ was the first mass-produced work.

8 Johann Gutenberg Printing with movable type is one of the foundations of modern culture It has been spread all over the world Printed books and pamphlets were cheaper than the old handwritten ones, they facilitated the education of the lower classes as well as the higher ones Printing intensified and accelerated all great historical developments, such as Humanism, Renaissance and Reformation. Education as well as scientific discussions, politics, music, art and literature were supported by the increasing amount of newspapers, pamphlets, books and journals available.

9 Otto Lilienthal Lilienthal was a pioneer of human aviation. Building the first successful human-carrying glider, the Derwitzer Gliderin But this distinction in fact belongs to Sir George Cayley who accomplished this feature nearly forty years previously.

10 Nevertheless, Lilienthal's contributions to the development of heavier-than-air flight remain significant. He made over 2000 flights in gliders of his design between 1891 and his death five years later. Lilienthal helped to prove that heavier-than-air flight was practical without flapping wings, laying the groundwork for the Wright brothers a few years later to build the first successful powered airplane. Lilienthal suffered a number of crashes in his experiments, but his aircraft could only reach low speeds and altitudes. On 9 August 1896, a gust of wind fractured his wing and he fell from a height of 17 m, breaking his spine. He died the next day, saying, "Opfer müssen gebracht werden!" ("Sacrifices must be made!")

11 Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931) US-American inventor and businessman 1,093 patents Worked as telegraph operator, pig slaughterer, selling snacks on train and started a business selling vegetables Foundation of ‘Menlo Park research lab’, the first institution set up with the specific purpose of producing constant technological innovation and improvement

12 Thomas Alva Edison Edison did not invent the electric light bulb, he just developed further ideas from earlier inventors as Joseph Swan and William Sawyer By 1879 they could successfully mass-produce long- lasting light bulbs Lewis Lattimer, an African American did much of the work leading to the improvement of the light bulb

13 Thomas Alva Edison During the “War of Currents” era, Edison constructed the first electrical chair for the state of New York Edison promoted his own direct current (DC) against his adversary Nikola Tesla’s more efficient alternating current (AC) In order to prove the danger of AC, Edison (who actually was against the death penalty) invented and used the electrical chair to execute several animals (including Topsy the Elephant)

14 Thomas Alva Edison Most of Edison‘s inventions were improvements of already existing ideas Even more of his inventions are said to have actually been made by his numerous employees Edison used an industrial approach and team-based development He showed unique skills in winning the patents and beating his opponents by influence and better marketing

15 Thomas Alva Edison List of contributions –Phonograph –Kinetoscope –Dictaphone –Radio –Electric bulb –Autographic printer –Tattoo gun

16 Henry Ford Interested in engineering from an early age on 1903: Incorporation of Ford Motor Company Ford plans to build a car that his own workers can afford 1908: Model T as America‘ Everyman Car

17 To meet the growing demand, Ford combined precision manufacturing, standardised and interchangeable parts, division of labour and in 1913 the continuously moving assembly line. The assembly line revolutionised automobile production by significantly reducing assembly time per vehicle and thus lowering the costs.

18 Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) Born in Porbandar, India. One of the founding fathers of the modern Indian state Gandhi supported satyagraha (non- violent protest) as a means of revolution Studied law at the University of London, became leader of the Indian movement for independence after WW I

19 Mahatma Gandhi Gained worldwide publicity through his policy of civil disobedience and the use of fasting as a form of political protest One of his most striking actions was the salt march from March 12, 1930 Gandhi’s principle of satyagraha (‘way of truth’ or ‘pursuit of truth’ has inspired generations of democratic and anti- racist activists including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela

20 Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi’s philosophies and his ideas of satya (‘truth’) and ahimsa (‘non-violence’) were drawn from traditional Hindu beliefs The concept of ‘non-violence’ is a central element in Indian religion Gandhi had great influence among the Hindu and Muslim communities of India On January 30, 1948 Gandhi was shot by a Hindu radical

21 Albert Einstein Theoretical physicist, widely regarded as greatest scientist of the 20th century. Theory of relativity, major contributions to the development of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and cosmology Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and "for his services to Theoretical Physics". In popular culture, Einstein has become synonymous with someone of very high intelligence or the ultimate genius. His face is also one of the most recognizable the world-over.

22 In 1902 obtain employment as a technical assistant examiner at the Swiss Patent Office. He occasionally rectified their design errors while evaluating the practicality of their work. In 1904, Einstein's position at the Swiss Patent Office was made permanent. He obtained his doctorate after submitting his thesis "On a new determination of molecular dimensions" in What makes his work remarkable is that, in each case, Einstein boldly took an idea from theoretical physics to its logical consequences and managed to explain experimental results that had baffled scientists for decades.

23 Brownian motion Photoelectric effect Special relativity Energy equivalency E = mc2. General relativity Einstein became increasingly isolated in his research over a Generalized Theory of Gravitation (being characterized as a "mad scientist" in these endeavors) and was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempts at constructing a theory that would unify General Relativity and quantum mechanics. He died at Princeton in 1955, leaving the Generalized Theory of Gravitation unsolved. His brain was preserved in a jar.

24 Tim Berners-Lee (*1955) Inventor of the World Wide Web and head of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees its continued development. Born in London, England. Caught hacking with a friend and was banned from using the university computer soon after. The first web-site was first put online on August 6, No royalties; His greatest single contribution, was to make his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due.

25 In 1994 he founded World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and in 2003, the organization decided that their standards must be based on royalty-free technology so they can be easily adopted by anyone. It is just as important to be able to edit the web as browse it. Computers can be used for background tasks that enable humans to work better in groups. Every aspect of the Internet should function as a web, rather than a tree structure. Computer scientists have a moral responsibility as well as a technical responsibility.


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