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Rotarians to Get Low Down on Mind-Directed Computers, Prosthetics

Published on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | 5:47 am
Dr. Sumner L. Norman

Dr. Sumner L. Norman is working on a project with the goal of enabling people to power computers and prosthetic limbs with their minds and the Rotary Club of Pasadena will convene July 24 to hear about it.

Norman is a postdoctoral scholar in biological engineering and the topic of his lunchtime talk at the University Club will be “Brain-Machine Interface.”

His work at  Pasadena-based Caltech’s Andersen Lab, is in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, the goal of which is nothing short of revolutionizing understanding of the human being’s gray matter.

As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellow at UC Irvine, Norman has leveraged technology to awaken new pathways in the brain.

His mission is to restore function in limbs paralyzed by neurological injury. Now, he is developing a new ultrasound-based technology to enable non-invasive, high-speed brain-machine communication.

Aside from being awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, The Good Doctor has received the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholar Award, and the University of California Public Impact Fellowship. He was also recently nominated for the Rotary Humanitarian STAR Award.

Dr. Norman is active in state and federal government advocacy for science and education funding, and served as an editor and writer for the Journal of Neural Engineering and Rehabilitation and the NPR program “The Loh Down on Science.”

He will be introduced by Paul Martin during the Rotary Club meeting Wednesday, which is open to the public with no RSVP required.

Buffet lunch is $33 and includes complimentary valet parking. For inquiries, email From Noon to 1:30 p.m. University Club Pasadena is located at 175 North Oakland Avenue.

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