Date: November 14, 2011

Nov 28: WasteWise Regional Forum

MassDEP sponsors periodic free WasteWise regional forums. These networking opportunities are developed with and for WasteWise members, and are typically hosted by member organizations. Forums are designed to provide members with timely waste reduction and recycling information that can help them meet their environmental goals.

Fall 2011 WasteWise Regional Forum

Stepping Up to the Plate: Winning Strategies for Food Waste Diversion
Monday, November 28, 2011
8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Northeastern University
John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute
40 Leon Street
Boston, MA 02115

Open to current and prospective WasteWise members.

RSVP by November 21, 2011, to or 617-292-5747.  Please provide your name, company, email address and phone number.  More information, including the forum agenda and directions, will be posted shortly.

MIT Energy Finance Forum

Friday, November 18 at the MIT Media Lab

Register Here:

The necessity to go deeper and further for oil, controversies surrounding shale gas extraction, the future of nuclear power in a post-Fukushima world, the fate of renewable energy in the face of political uncertainty. This year’s MIT Energy Finance Forum will explore these and other tensions in the energy space on Friday, November 18 at the MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst Street in Cambridge, MA.

Now in its second year, this forum will gather industry professionals, senior business executives, academics, and students from the area’s leading schools for panel discussions and networking opportunities. Speakers include Venrock Managing General Partner Ray Rothrock, NuScale Power Chief Executive Officer Dr. Paul Lorenzini, Former US Representative Bob Inglis, MIT Sloan School of Management Senior Lecturer Dr. John Parsons, AIG Chartis Executive Vice President – Project Finance Advisory Services Bob Percopo, and many more. For more information or to register for the conference, please visit:

Register before tickets sell out!

Nov 17: Computational Sustainability – Computational Methods for a Sustainable Environment, Economy, and Society

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17 from 2:50-4:00PM

WHERE: Halligan 111

Speaker: Carla Gomes, Cornell University, Radcliffe Advanced Study Institute

Computational sustainability is a new interdisciplinary research field with the overall goal of developing computational models, methods, and tools to help manage the balance between environmental, economic, and societal needs for sustainable development. The notion of sustainable development — development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs — was introduced in Our Common Future, the seminal report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, published in 1987. In this talk, I will provide an overview of computational sustainability projects at the Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell University, with examples ranging from wildlife conservation and biodiversity, to poverty mitigation, to material discovery for fuel cell technology. I will highlight overarching computational challenges at the intersection of constraint optimization, machine learning, and dynamical systems. Finally, I will discuss the need for a new approach that views computational sustainability problems as “natural” phenomena, amenable to a scientific methodology, in which principled experimentation, to explore problem parameter spaces and hidden problem structure, plays as prominent a role as formal analysis.

Carla Gomes is a professor of computer science at Cornell University, with joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science, Department of Information Science, and the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Gomes is a fellow at the Radcliffe Advanced Study Institute at Harvard University (2011-2012). Gomes’s research has covered several themes in artificial intelligence and computer science, from the integration of constraint reasoning, operations research, and machine learning techniques for solving large-scale constraint reasoning and optimization problems, to the use of randomization techniques to improve the performance of exact search methods, algorithm portfolios, multi-agent systems, and game play. Recently, Gomes has become immersed in the establishment of computational sustainability, a new interdisciplinary field that aims to develop computational methods to help balance environmental, economic, and societal needs to support a sustainable future. Gomes has started a number of research projects in biodiversity conservation, poverty mapping, the design of “smart” controls for electric cars, and pattern identification for material discovery (e.g., for fuel cell technology). While at Radcliffe Gomes will look for new collaborations to address challenges in computational sustainability.

Gomes obtained a PhD in computer science in the area of artificial intelligence and operations research from the University of Edinburgh. She also holds an M.Sc. in applied mathematics from the Technical University of Lisbon. Gomes is the lead principal investigator of an award from the National Science Foundation’s Expeditions in Computing program, the director of the newly established Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell, and a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Nov 16: Nationwide campus screening of ‘The Last Mountain’

When: Wednesday, November 16th, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Barnum 008

Join the Tufts Institute of the Environment, the Climate Policy and Planning Coalition, Fletcher Green, and the Tufts Film Series for the nationwide campus screening of The Last Mountain.

Synopsis: “The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of mountain top removal.”

The film screening will be bracketed by two informative and exciting events. Prior to the film, UEP student Jonathan Feinberg will share his experiences and work related to mountaintop removal advocacy in Appalachia. Then, join students across the country following the film for a conversation via Skype with the film’s director.

The Last Mountain is among the 2011 official selections at the Sundance Film Festival and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. This is your last chance to see it in the Boston area, so don’t miss out! Still not convinced? Watch the clip of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. promoting the film on the Colbert Report.