Saturday Program

7 April 2018
Westin St. Francis

7:45 am – 8:30 am
Coffee and light refreshments available to all registered attendees.

Welcoming Remarks
8:30 am – 9:15 am
Michael G. Cunningham, Executive Director, University of Oxford North American Office, will welcome alumni and friends and introduce the day’s program.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, will introduce ‘Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth’ and provide an update on developments at the Bodleian.

An Oxford Conversation
9:15 am – 10:15 am
The Chancellor, Lord Patten of Barnes, CH in conversation with Sir Michael Moritz (Christ Church, 1973), Partner, Sequoia Capital.

10:15 am – 10:30 am

An Oxford Conversation 
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Reid Hoffman, CBE (Wolfson, 1990), Co-Founder of LinkedIn and Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, in conversation with Eric Garcetti (The Queen's College, 1993), 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. 

Coffee Break 
11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Truth and Trust in the Era of Social Media
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The past year has been dominated by stories of how social media has influenced major political decisions on both sides of the Atlantic. Algorithms, automation and junk news have become powerful tools for social movements, but also effective tools for social control. Phil Howard, Professor of Internet Studies and Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, will introduce the OII and present the latest research from the team that has pioneered the social science of fake news, expose the democratic challenges we face next, and offer some ideas for how to restore truth and trust in public life.

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Sleep and Circadian Rhythms: Life is Short but Make Time for Sleep!
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Russell G. Foster, CBE, FRS, Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute and Fellow at Brasenose College, will provide a brief overview of recent discoveries in sleep and circadian rhythms research in Oxford. He will discuss how the disruption of the sleep/wake axis results in a broad range of interconnected pathologies such as poor vigilance andmemory; reduced mental and physical reaction times; reduced motivation; metabolic abnormalities; immune impairment and even a greater risk of cancer.

Lunch with a Presentation by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Attendees will have the opportunity to sit with their College representatives, fellow alumni and guests at lunch.

Tolkien’s Oxford and Oxford’s Tolkien
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
J. R. R. Tolkien is best known as a sublimely creative author, an aspect of his public persona that has largely overshadowed his significance as an innovative and influential academic, who reinterpreted a wide range of medieval literature for later ages. Yet for Tolkien, creative ambition and scholarly endeavour were inextricably linked, and Oxford was the crucible wherein these dual interests met and melded. Although primarily a scholar of Anglo-Saxon, Tolkien’s academic curiosity and passions for Welsh, Irish, Icelandic, and Middle English, alongside the friendships he forged, contributed to the creation of a complex man characteristically moulded in Oxford. Andy Orchard, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, will introduce us to a side of Tolkien that few know.

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Changing Perceptions of Medical Ultrasound
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Medical ultrasound imaging has undergone a transformation over the last 20 years – it is now the most widely used type of medical imaging worldwide, and has significantly benefited from advances in consumer electronics to reduce cost and size. However, the untrained eye may find ultrasound images difficult to interpret, and the trained eye may not always fully appreciate the rich content of its images. As a consequence, ultrasound is perceived as a technology for the expert user. 

J. Alison Noble OBE FRS FREng, Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Oxford University Department of Engineering Science and Fellow of St Hilda’s College, will discuss how interdisciplinary machine-learning research at the interfaces of computational science, biomedical engineering and clinical medicine is changing this perception. During this session, she will illustrate that regardless of training and frequency of use, anyone, anywhere, can perform ultrasound-based decision making.

Coffee Break
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

The British American Dream – Does It Live On?
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Is the era of prosperity built on capitalism, democracy and the migration of people coming to an end? This discussion will be moderated by The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson and include speakers Mr. Pete Flint (Magdalen College, 1993), Managing Partner, NFX, Dr. James Manyika (Keble College, 1989), Senior Partner, McKinsey and Chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute and Ms. Swati Mylavarapu (Wolfson College, 2005), Founding Partner,

Closing Remarks and a Special Performance by The Choir of The Queen’s College
5:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Drinks Reception
5:15 pm - 6:15 pm
This reception is sponsored by OUS Northern California, the local alumni group. Contact for information on upcoming activities and volunteer opportunities.






The North American Office team