6 TED Talks to watch before TEDxCSU this weekend

Matt Smith

All speakers at TEDxCSU 2017 Photo credit: CSU Flickr

Some of the greatest minds in Northern Colorado are coming to Colorado State University this weekend, and they have a lot to say.

The event is TEDxCSU on March 25, an annual conference which, according to the TED website, aims to build “a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers.” This year’s roster of speakers includes distinguished CSU faculty, students and other members of the Fort Collins community speaking about topics from artificial intelligence to homelessness. 


Charlie Vollmer, a doctorate statistics student, will give a talk about the future of artificial intelligence, namely how it will never happen. Taking the Lory Student Center Theater stage alongside Vollmer, CSU alumnus and National Ambassador of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Joe Akmakjian will talk about how ability does not define humanity. 

March 25
Lory Student Center Theater
10:30 am

To tide over before the main event, here is a highlight reel of some of the best speakers to grace the TEDxCSU stage, along with some other notable talks:

Déjà Vu: Dr. Anne Cleary

In this talk at last year’s TEDxCSU, CSU professor of psychology Dr. Cleary dives into the science of the mysterious phenomenon of déjà vu. 

The First 20 Hours: Josh Kaufman

Kaufman, an internationally bestselling author, explains his unique approach to learning new skills and knowledge at TEDxCSU 2013.

What Makes Life Meaningful: Michael Steger

Another professor of psychology attempts to answer this ancient question with his decade of research at CSU. 


Why Cultural Diversity Matters: Michael Gavin

Gavin, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources at CSU, draws parallels between the benefits of biological diversity and cultural diversity in his 2014 talk.

Mathemagic: Arthur Benjamin

Self-proclaimed “mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin beats calculators and expectations in this 2005 display of his arithmetical prowess. This talk was given at the national TED conference.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm: Mary Roach

Not the speaking topic you would expect on the national TED stage. Roach, bestselling author of Bonk, gives a surprisingly humorous and educational perspective on the human climax.


Collegian reporter Matt Smith can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter at @latvatalo.