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NYU-Poly Convocation Remarks
John Seabrook, Journalist and Author
August 30, 2010
Thank you, Dianne, and thanks very much to NYU-Poly for asking me to speak today.
And greetings freshmen, and graduate students, faculty, and fellow Brooklynites -- my
home dawgs, as my eleven-year-old son would put it. Congratulations to everyone who
has decided to become an engineer, or is thinking of a career in math and the sciences.
The coming years are going to be a fantastic time for these professions, with lots of
highly skilled, high paying jobs in these fields. Never before have inventors and
innovators had so many tools available to them. Let me begin by mentioning just a few of
the developments that Ive come across in recent years in my work as a journalist that I
think are particularly exciting.
Im sure you are all familiar with computer-aided design, which allows you to draw on a
computer screen virtually anything you can imagine. Recent years have seen the
proliferation of rapid prototyping machines, which can print out, in three dimensions,
many of those CAD drawings. These machines have radically reduced the time between
conception, prototype, and an actual product, by eliminating the costly and time-