Harvard Thinks Big 2

Harvard Thinks Big, our annual event for bringing together all-star professors for one night to share their big ideas, has lived to see another year.  Harvard Thinks Big 2 was covered by The Harvard Crimson:

Davis said he was delighted with what he referred to as the increased legitimacy of this year’s Harvard Thinks Big, and that he hopes to make the event a new Harvard

Harvard Thinks Big is a symposium of ten of Harvard's most renowned professors that come to speak about the one thing they are most passionate about in ten minutes or less. Richard Beaudoin, Lecturer on Music, makes his presentation.  Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

Harvard Thinks Big is a symposium of ten of Harvard’s most renowned professors that come to speak about the one thing they are most passionate about in ten minutes or less. Richard Beaudoin, Lecturer on Music, makes his presentation. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

tradition.

He also said he wants students take away an important message from the event, that they too can think big.

“I hope that they don’t think they are surrounded by great ideas,” Davis said. “I hope that the think that they, themselves, have great ideas.”

The Wall Street Journal took note:

One cool aspect of Harvard Thinks Big is that students don’t just recruit big names. They look for “cult figures” within departments, as one organizer put it: teachers who may not be famous, per se, but who leave students writing lots of exclamation points on their course evaluations.

This year, they included the music lecturer Richard Beaudoin, who guided students through a piece by Bach, and Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist who explained what it would mean for the universe to have dimensions that we can’t yet grasp. “It could be that we are only seeing some small plane inside a higher visual world,” Randall said. Even for an idea that large, the professor got only ten minutes. Concision’s the thing.

The Harvard Gazette also had a great run-down:

“We want this to be a festival of Harvard ideas and an inspiration to the people in the crowd that big ideas drive our world forward, and that discussing them, thinking about them, coming up with your own, testing them out, implementing them, are really … what we should be doing,” said Peter Davis ’12, who founded the event along with Derek Flanzraich ’10.

Here was the original promo:

We also had a twist this year — student ideas videos:

And Professor Lawrence Lessig brought down the house with a campaign finance reform pitch:

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