Serious Play: An Engineer's Perspective on Fun and Passion at Work

John Cohn Ph. D.
IBM Fellow, IBM AI Research

Chaired by
Dr NG Teck Khim, Associate Professor (Practice), School of Computing

  15 Aug 2019 Thursday, 03:00 PM to 04:30 PM

 SR1, COM1-02-06


Please join us for a playful look at a practical profession. Everyone knows that it takes a good deal of work to have a successful engineering career; however, John Cohn believes that it also requires a good dose of play. He feels that play not only keeps us satisfied, engaged and productive at work, but it is also crucial for attracting and retaining the next generation. John will discuss how his passion for play has taken him from corporate boardrooms to schools around the world and ultimately to eating rats on a reality TV show.


John Cohn is an IBM Fellow in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group based in Cambridge, MA. John earned a BSEE from MIT ('81) and a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University ('91) where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2014. John has authored more than 30 technical papers, contributed to four books and has ~120 worldwide patents. In 2005 John was elected a Fellow of the IEEE.

John is active in education issues at a local, state and national level. For his efforts in STEM John was awarded the IEEE CAS John Choma Education award in 2019. He is so passionate about promoting STEM careers that he spent 59 days living and inventing in an abandoned steel mill as part of Discovery Channel's technical survival show "The Colony".

John lives with his family in a restored 19th-century schoolhouse in Jonesville Vermont and is eager to share his love of science and technology with anyone who will listen.