Nasa, Google and many technology leaders will lauch a new university in the Silicon Valley this summer “with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address ‘humanity’s grand challenges.'” Called the Singularity University (SU) it “will open its doors in June 2009 on the NASA Research Park campus with a nine-week graduate-level interdisciplinary curriculum designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration, and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating.”, according to a press release article on the SU website.
SU co-founders Dr. Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Peter Diamandis unveiled plans for the new university today at the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference in Long Beach, Ca.
“We are now in the steep part of the exponential trajectory of information technologies in a broad variety of fields, including health, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence,” said Kurzweil. “It is only these accelerating technologies that have the scale to address the major challenges of humanity ranging from energy and the environment, to disease and poverty. With its strong focus on interdisciplinary learning, Singularity University is poised to foster the leaders who will create a uniquely creative and productive future world.”
It promises a unique curriculum:
Developed in consultation with some of the world’s leading thinkers and academicians in science, technology and ethics, the curriculum provides a broad, interdisciplinary exposure to ten key fields of study: future studies and forecasting; networks and computing systems; biotechnology and bioinformatics; nanotechnology; medicine, neuroscience and human enhancement; AI, robotics, and cognitive computing; energy and ecological systems; space and physical sciences; policy, law and ethics; and finance and entrepreneurship.
With the ongoing economic downturn and all the gloomy speculations if the technology boom is a thing of the past, this should come as a refreshing change for the valley’s die-hard geeks.