a Ph.D. from M.I.T. and postdoctoral studies at IBM, NASA and the
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Zürich, Pete is not
only a nerd, but he learned certain invaluable things like how to
pronounce Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Zürich. After
a brief stint in the molecular modeling software industry he joined the faculty of the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Looking for a change of pace, Pete recently took a position as the Director of the Engineering Entreprneurship Program in the College of Engineering at the University of Alabama. There, he will continue his workshops on the use of humorous improvisation to catalyze engineering innovation. Pete performs at colleges, clubs, theaters and conferences across the U.S. when he isn't lecturing on the value of humor in technical education, communication and innovation.
He is currently touring with his one-man show "Feel the Power of the Dork Side," a humorous look at science & engineering and their practitioners. It is the funniest STEM outreach program you will ever see. Pete specializes in the customization of humor ranging from educational presentations with humor to edgy stand-up and everything in between. He can customize presentations to suite your needs, but typical presentations include:
- Jokes from behind the podium. A humorous look at college from your instructor's perspective that can reduce stress among college students and make their instructors more approchable.
- Feel the Power of the Dork Side. A humorous look at science and engineering and their practitioners. This presentation can be tailored for various technical audiences or for the general public.
- The Science of Cannabis. A humorous and insightful look at the biochemical, medical, legal and practical considerations of the medical and industrial applications of cannabis and hemp. Pete researches the function and processing of cannabinoids and cellulosic fibers in cannabis and has given this presentation for several years at the Atlanta Science Festival. This can be tailored for technical personnel or for the public.
- Applied Humor A lecture with plenty of humorous examples on how to apply humor to catalyze technical education, innovation and communication. This can be formulated as a participatory workshop on how to use humor for these various applications.
- Innovation Workshops An interactive workshop that uses humorous improvisation to produce creative technical design ideas. It's fun, and based on the basic principles from our research that improvisation samples idea space like stochastic simulations.
Pete's research interests include the computer simulation of synthetic and biological polymers and plant alkaloids. He also explores the use of humorous improvisation to catalyze technical innovation. He has had funding by the National Science Foundation to explore the use of humor to improve engineering education. Previously, Pete hosted a weekly radio program entitled "Inside the Black Box," whose motto is "Science, only funnier. He also co-directs the Humor Genome Project, and the Geekapalooza Comedy Tour at Georgia Tech.