Virginia Tech faculty, students, and alumni will present the fourth annual TEDxVirginiaTech at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Moss Arts Center.

In the tradition of TED events, each of the 10 speakers will share inspiring and thought-provoking ideas. Each talk will focus on this year’s theme of “Kaleidoscope,” encouraging the audience to see things differently by changing their perspective.

TEDxVirginiaTech will also include two TED videos and special performances from the acapella group Mixed Emotions. Willie Caldwell, an MFA student in arts leadership, will serve as the emcee. Tickets are $10 for Virginia Tech students and $20 for the general public.  

Faculty speakers

  • Nicole Abaid, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics; “Do Bats Listen to Each Other?”
  • Kurt Hoffman, senior instructor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Psychology; “At First Glance”
  • Nathan King, assistant professor, School of Architecture + Design, Center for Design Research; “Process Matters”
  • Sharon Landesman Ramey, professor and distinguished research scholar, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; research professor, Department of Psychology; professor of psychiatry, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; “Reaching Beyond Expectations”
  • Steven Poelzing, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; “New Solutions”
  • Jill Sible, assistant provost for undergraduate education; “A Million More”
  • Patricia Smith, director, Intercultural Engagement Center; “White Bred, White Noise”
  • Marina Vance, research scientist, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science; associate director of the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology; “The Good, The Bad, The Tiny”

Student speakers

Alumni speakers

Started as a four-day conference nearly 30 years ago, the nonprofit organization TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks live speakers and video combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

“TEDxVirginiaTech Kaleidoscope is going to be an exciting event. This year, the committee has worked to add more live performance elements to the show to enhance the Entertainment portion of TEDx,” said Danielle Lusk, associate director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, and chair of the TEDxVirginiaTech organizing committee.  “As for technology and design, the speakers for this year’s event bring with them a wealth of knowledge on topics that are pertinent to today’s society. Attendees will be left with thought provoking ideas and questions, and have insight into groundbreaking research taking place at Virginia Tech. You’ll want to stay to the end of the show.”

More than 75 people were nominated by themselves or others to present talks. Nominations were reviewed and potential speakers interviewed by TEDxVirginiaTech committee members. 

The event is being presented by Virginia Tech’s Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, the Institute for Creativity Arts and Technology, and University Relations.

Visit the TEDxVirginiaTech websiteFacebook page, and Twitter page for additional information.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED


TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The TED2014 Conference takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast in neighboring Whistler. TEDGlobal 2014 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration.