PODCAST

ManifoldOne

Steve Hsu

Steve Hsu is a Professor of Theoretical Physics and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Join him for wide-ranging conversations with leading writers, scientists, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more.

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Kishore Mahbubani: A Nuanced View of Asia & China's Rise — #15
Yesterday
Kishore Mahbubani: A Nuanced View of Asia & China's Rise — #15
Kishore Mahbubani is Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.  Kishore enjoyed two distinct careers: in diplomacy (1971 to 2004) and in academia (2004 to 2019). He is a prolific writer and speaker on geopolitics and East-West relations. He was twice Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002.  Mr. Mahbubani joined academia in 2004, when he was appointed the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School), NUS. He was Dean from 2004 to 2017.In this episode Steve and Kishore discuss:0:00 Introduction2:52 Upbringing in Singapore and Asia's rise11:35 How western thinking influences China-U.S. relations23:05 Is China a threat to U.S. hegemony in Asia?25:52 The United States' long-term strategy for China32:13 How trade with ASEAN influences U.S.-China relations40:58 Can ASEAN countries play a diplomatic role between U.S. and China43:05 Xi Jinping's leadership and the zero-sum view of ChinaLinks:Can Asians Think? - Asian 21st Century - China Won? - used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.–Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Kishore Mahbubani: A Nuanced View of Asia & China's Rise — #15
Yesterday
Kishore Mahbubani: A Nuanced View of Asia & China's Rise — #15
Kishore Mahbubani is Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.  Kishore enjoyed two distinct careers: in diplomacy (1971 to 2004) and in academia (2004 to 2019). He is a prolific writer and speaker on geopolitics and East-West relations. He was twice Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002.  Mr. Mahbubani joined academia in 2004, when he was appointed the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School), NUS. He was Dean from 2004 to 2017.In this episode Steve and Kishore discuss:0:00 Introduction2:52 Upbringing in Singapore and Asia's rise11:35 How western thinking influences China-U.S. relations23:05 Is China a threat to U.S. hegemony in Asia?25:52 The United States' long-term strategy for China32:13 How trade with ASEAN influences U.S.-China relations40:58 Can ASEAN countries play a diplomatic role between U.S. and China43:05 Xi Jinping's leadership and the zero-sum view of ChinaLinks:Can Asians Think? - Asian 21st Century - China Won? - used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.–Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Greg Clark: Genetics and Social Mobility — #14
Jun 16 2022
Greg Clark: Genetics and Social Mobility — #14
Gregory Clark is Distinguished Professor of Economics at UC-Davis. He is an editor of the European Review of Economic History, chair of the steering committee of the All-UC Group in Economic History, and a Research Associate of the Center for Poverty Research at Davis. He was educated at Cambridge University and received a PhD from Harvard University.His areas of research are long-term economic growth, the wealth of nations, economic history, and social mobility.Steve and Greg discuss:0:00 Introduction2:31 Background in economics and genetics10:25 The role of genetics in determining social outcomes16:27 Measuring social status through marriage and occupation36:15 Assortative mating and the industrial revolution49:38 Criticisms of empirical data, engagement on genetics and economic history1:12:12 Heckman and Landerso study of social mobility in US vs Denmark1:24:32 Predicting cognitive traits1:33:26 Assortative mating and increase in population varianceLinks:For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls: A Lineage of 400,000 English Individuals 1750-2020 shows Genetics Determines most Social Outcomes discussion Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World Son Also Rises used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
John Mearsheimer: Great Powers, U.S. Hegemony, and the Rise of China — #13
Jun 2 2022
John Mearsheimer: Great Powers, U.S. Hegemony, and the Rise of China — #13
This interview with John Mearsheimer was conducted in 2020 on the original Manifold podcast with Corey Washington and Steve Hsu. Parts of the conversation are prescient with respect to US-China relations and the situation in Ukraine.John Joseph Mearsheimer is an American political scientist and international relations scholar, who belongs to the realist school of thought. He is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He has been described as the most influential realist of his generation.Mearsheimer is best known for developing the theory of offensive realism, which describes the interaction between great powers as being primarily driven by the rational desire to achieve regional hegemony in an anarchic international system. In accordance with his theory, Mearsheimer believes that China's growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States.Steve, Corey, and John discuss:0:00 A quick message for listeners1:21 Introduction2:39 Realist foreign policy worldview15:46 Proxy conflicts and the U.S.21:31 U.S. history: a moral hegemon, or just a hegemon? Zinn and Chomsky29:50 U.S.-China relationship, competing hegemonies?36:44 Will Europe become more united?41:23 China’s ambitions46:12 Europe’s fragmentation and population trends47:57 What drove U.S. interventions after the Cold War?51:36 Coalitions and U.S.-China competitionResources:John Mearsheimer - Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities - used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.–Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Theodore A. Postol: Nuclear Weapons, Missile Technology, and U.S. Diplomacy — #12
May 19 2022
Theodore A. Postol: Nuclear Weapons, Missile Technology, and U.S. Diplomacy — #12
Theodore A. Postol is professor emeritus of Science, Technology, and International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is widely known as an expert on nuclear weapons and missile technology.Educated in physics and nuclear engineering at MIT, he was a researcher at Argonne National Lab, worked at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and was scientific advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations.After leaving the Pentagon, Postol helped to build a program at Stanford University to train mid-career scientists to study weapons technology in relation to defense and arms control policy.He has received numerous awards, including the Leo Szilard Prize from the American Physical Society for "incisive technical analysis of national security issues that [have] been vital for informing the public policy debate",  the Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility for "uncovering numerous and important false claims about missile defenses", and the Richard L. Garwin Award "that recognizes an individual who, through exceptional achievement in science and technology, has made an outstanding contribution toward the benefit of mankind."Steve and Ted discuss:0:00 Introduction2:02 Early life in Brooklyn, education at MIT, work at the Pentagon20:27 Reagan’s “Star Wars” defense plan28:26 U.S. influence on Russia and China’s second-strike capabilities54:41 Missile defense: vs nuclear weapons, scuds, anti-ship missiles (aircraft carriers), hypersonics 1:11:42 Nuclear escalation and the status of mutually assured destruction1:32:24 Analysis of claims the Syrian government used chemical agents against their own people1:44:45 Media skepticism Resources: Theodore Postol at MIT Flawed and Dangerous US Missile Defense Plan, G. Lewis and T. Postol, Arms Control Today Cites Flaws in US antimissile Program, NY Times May 17 2010 US Ballistic Missile Defense Policy, G. Lewis and F. von Hippel, Arms Control Today, May 2018 Sarin?” by Seymour Hersh (2013) used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.–Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Raghuveer Parthasarathy: The Four Physical Principles — #11
May 5 2022
Raghuveer Parthasarathy: The Four Physical Principles — #11
Raghu Parthasarathy is the Alec and Kay Keith Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon. His research focuses on biophysics, exploring systems in which the complex interactions between individual components, such as biomolecules or cells, can give rise to simple and robust physical patterns. Raghu is the author of a recent popular science book: So Simple a Beginning: How Four Physical Principles Shape Our Living World.Steve and Raghu discuss: 1:34 - Early life, transition from Physics to Biophysics20:15 - So Simple a Beginning: discussion of the Four Physical Principles in the title, which govern biological systems26:06 - DNA prediction37:46 - Machine learning / causality in science46:23 - Scaling (the fourth physical principle) 54:12 - Who the book is for and what high schoolers are learning in their bio and physics classes1:05:41 - Science funding, grants, running a research lab1:09:12 - Scientific careers and radical sub-optimality of the existing system Resources: Book -  Raghuveer Parthasarathy's lab at the University of Oregon -  Raghuveer Parthasarathy's blog the Eighteenth Elephant - used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.–Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Scott Aaronson: Quantum Computing, Unsolvable Problems, & Artificial Intelligence — #9
Apr 7 2022
Scott Aaronson: Quantum Computing, Unsolvable Problems, & Artificial Intelligence — #9
Scott Aaronson is the David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, and director of its Quantum Information Center. Previously, he taught for nine years in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His research interests center around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and computational complexity theory more generally. Scott also writes the blog Shtetl Optimized:  Steve and Scott discuss:Scott's childhood and education, first exposure to mathematics and computers.How he became interested in computational complexity, pursuing it rather than AI/ML.The development of quantum computation and quantum information theory from the 1980s to the present. Scott's work on quantum supremacy.AGI, AI SafetyMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Vlatko Vedral: Oxford Theoretical Physicist on Quantum Superposition of Living Creatures — #7
Mar 10 2022
Vlatko Vedral: Oxford Theoretical Physicist on Quantum Superposition of Living Creatures — #7
Vlatko Vedral is Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford and Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore. He is known for his research on the theory of Entanglement and Quantum Information Theory.Steve and Vlatko discuss: History of quantum information theory, entanglement, and quantum computingRecent lab experiments that create superposition states of macroscopic objects, including a living creature (tardigrade)Whether quantum mechanics implies the existence of many worlds: are you in a superposition state right now?Present status and future of quantum computingResourcesWeb page: Between Superconducting Qubits and a Tardigrade Superposition States: entanglement of a macroscopic living organism (tardigrade) with a superconducting qubit used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or to Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Richard Sander: Affirmative Action, Mismatch Theory, & Academic Freedom — #6
Mar 3 2022
Richard Sander: Affirmative Action, Mismatch Theory, & Academic Freedom — #6
Richard Sander is Jesse Dukeminier Professor at UCLA Law School. AB Harvard, JD, PhD (Economics) Northwestern.Sander has studied the structure and effects of law school admissions policies. He coined the term "Mismatch" to describe negative consequences resulting from large admissions preferences.Topics discussed: 1. Early life: educational background and experience with race andpolitics in America. 2. Mismatch Theory: basic observation and empirical evidence; Lawschools and Colleges; Duke and UC data; data access issues. 3. CA Prop 209 and Prop 16. 4. SCOTUS and Harvard / UNC admissions case 5. Intellectual climate on campus, freedom of speech Resources: Faculty web page, includes links to publications:  A Conversation on the Nature, Effects, and Future of Affirmative Action in Higher Education Admissions (with Peter Arcidiacono, Thomas Espenshade, and Stacy Hawkins), University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 683 (2015)    Fifteen Questions About Prop. 16 and Prop. 209, University of Chicago Law Review Online (2020) Panel at Stanford Intellectual Diversity Conference, April 8, 2016, Stanford Law School used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Richard Hanania: Wokeness, Public Choice Theory, & Geostrategy — #3
Feb 10 2022
Richard Hanania: Wokeness, Public Choice Theory, & Geostrategy — #3
Richard Hanania is President of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI). He is a former Research Fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. His interests include personality differences between conservatives and liberals, morality in international politics, machine learning algorithms for text analysis, and American foreign policy. In addition to his academic work, he has written in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Hanania holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA and a JD from the University of Chicago.He is the author of the recently published Public Choice Theory and the Illusion of Grand Strategy: How Generals, Weapons Manufacturers, and Foreign Governments Shape American Foreign Policy.ResourcesRichard Hanania on Twitter - - Choice Theory and the Illusion of Grand Strategy Great Awokening | Zach Goldberg & Richard Hanania used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Steve Hsu Q&A: Complex trait prediction in Genomics, and Genomic Prediction / Embryo Selection
Feb 3 2022
Steve Hsu Q&A: Complex trait prediction in Genomics, and Genomic Prediction / Embryo Selection
Steve answers questions about recent progress in AI/ML prediction of complex traits from DNA and applications in embryo selection.Highlights:Overview of recent advances in trait predictionWould cost savings from breast cancer early detection pay for genotyping of all women?How does IVF work? Economics of embryo selectionWhole embryo genotyping increases IVF success rates (pregnancy per transfer) significantlyFuture predictionsSome relevant scientific papers:Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy: New Methods and Higher Pregnancy Rates - review article on complex trait prediction - Genomic Prediction of Human Height - Prediction of 16 Complex Disease Risks Including Heart Attack, Diabetes, Breast and Prostate Cancer - architecture of complex traits and disease risk predictors - validation of polygenic risk scores and complex trait prediction - used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon.Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.You can find Steve's writing on his blog Information Processing.ManifoldOne YouTube channel.
James Lee on Polygenic Prediction and Embryo Selection — #1
Jan 25 2022
James Lee on Polygenic Prediction and Embryo Selection — #1
James Lee is a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota. He is a leading researcher working in behavior genetics and statistical genetics. In this episode, he discusses recent progress in the genomic prediction of complex traits such as cognitive ability and educational attainment. Lee also discusses his recent Wall Street Journal editorial on embryo selection, Imagine a Future Without Sex.ResourcesImagine a Future Without Sex: Reproductive technology may lead us to realize too late that being human is better than playing GodJames Lee academic web page Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC)Nature Genetics: Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individualsMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon.Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.You can find Steve's writing on his blog Information Processing.ManifoldOne YouTube channel.
James Oakes on What’s Wrong with The 1619 Project – #46
May 14 2020
James Oakes on What’s Wrong with The 1619 Project – #46
Steve and Corey talk to James Oakes, Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, about “The 1619 Project” developed by The New York Times Magazine. The project argues that slavery was the defining event of US history. Jim argues that slavery was actually the least exceptional feature of the US and that what makes the US exceptional is that it is where abolition first begins. Steve wonders about the views of Thomas Jefferson who wrote that “all men are created equal” but still held slaves. Jim maintains many founders were hypocrites, but Jefferson believed what he wrote.Other topics: Northern power, Industrialization, Capitalism, Lincoln, Inequality, Cotton, Labor, Civil War, Racism/Antiracism, Black Ownership.ResourcesTranscript James Oakes (Bio) Oakes and Colleagues Letter to the NYT and the Editor’s Response (NYT) The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts (The Atlantic)The World Socialist Web Site interview with James Oakes Benjamin Lay, the first revolutionary abolitionist (Smithsonian Mag)Oakes, J. (2016). Capitalism and Slavery and the Civil War. International Labor and Working-Class HistoryWright, G. (2020), Slavery and Anglo‐American capitalism revisited . The Economic History ReviewJohn J. Clegg, “Capitalism and Slavery,” Critical Historical Studies 2Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2018. “Cotton, slavery, and the new history of capitalism,” Explorations in Economic HistoryFor those interested in exploring Jefferson’s and Lincoln’s views further Professor Oakes recommends the following books:John C. Miller, The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery Graham A. Peck, Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle over Freedom