Dr. Manu Prakash is earning a reputation for his ingenious inventions in the area of “frugal science” for use in the field and classroom.

The Third Annual Livermore Innovation Fair will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Manu Prakash of Stanford University, a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award in 2016.

Dr. Prakash will be speaking on the use of affordable technology innovations to address difficult global education, health and science challenges.

A free, family-friendly event presented by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, this year’s Innovation Fair honors the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon walk with a continued exploration of the many ways imagination, art and technology intersect in the world around us. The Livermore Innovation Fair will be held at the Bankhead Theater and Plaza on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Admission is free but online registration is highly recommended to ensure entry.

An Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford, Dr. Prakash is also a member of the Biophysics Program in the School of Medicine and the Center for Innovation in Global Health, a Faculty Fellow of Stanford ChEM-H, and an affiliate member of the Woods Institute for the Environment. He completed his doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 and was a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows for three years before arriving at Stanford. His extensive research has been driven by a curiosity about the diversity of life forms on our planet, an empathy for problems in resource-poor settings, and a passion for sharing the joy of science.

Dr. Prakash is earning a reputation for his ingenious inventions in the area of “frugal science” for use in the field and classroom. One example, the Foldscope is a lightweight optical microscope that costs less than a dollar to produce and is being refined for use in public health and biomedical settings. Another recent project is a low-cost microfluidic chip that collects saliva from mosquito bites allowing rapid surveillance of data that would be critical to controlling disease outbreaks. Dr. Prakash holds numerous patents and his research has been published in such scientific journals as PLoS One, Journal of Experimental Biology, Science, Nature, and others. His Innovation Fair keynote presentation will begin at 12:00 noon. Seating inside the Bankhead Theater is on a first-come first-served basis.

This year, the Livermore Innovation Fair also offers the opportunity to view a new computer animation film festival. Bits Bytes & Pixels will present 19 award-winning short films which feature groundbreaking computer animation and visual effects technology. Part of the world-renowned Computer Graphics Conference, SIGGRAPH, this is the first time these films will be screened in the Tri-Valley. The film festival will begin in the theater at 2:00pm and will run for two hours.

The Livermore Innovation Fair has grown since the first event in 2017. Last year more than a thousand students from Livermore and surrounding communities, as well as family members and friends, attended the event. Inspired by the hands-on maker movement, the Innovation Fair is designed to energize students in grades K-12 and to help make a connection between the five STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Electronics, Arts, and Math.)

The 2019 event was developed around the theme “Building for the Moon and Beyond” and will feature the opportunity to take a “Moon Trek,” touch a moon rock, visit a planetarium, and participate in hands-on workshops led by NASA Ames Research scientists. There will be more than 50 interactive visual arts, science displays, robotics, artificial intelligence, and technology experiments, as well as an exciting Flight Stimulator experience. An exhibit of artwork by Livermore school students will be on display throughout the lobby and there will be live music performances on the plaza.

The Third Annual Livermore Innovation Fair is made possible through the major sponsors, Topcon Positioning Systems, ThoughtSpot, Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, Black Lab R&D, and Lam Research, as well as numerous other companies and individuals who have provided resources and support. Admission to the event, including the speaker session and film festival, is free and open to the public but online registration is highly recommended to ensure entry. For more information or to register, visit lvpac.org/innovation.