LI2

Welcome to the Lego Institute for Lego Investigation

LI2 is a new research institute with ongoing R&D projects in the areas of Astronomy, Chemistry, Paleontology, Biology, and Robotics.

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Research Areas

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LI2 History: LI2 was established with a 20,000,000 micro-dollar grant from the Norvig Foundation to set up three labs in Astronomy, Chemistry, and Paleontology. Labs in Biology and Robotics were added when two principal investigators were recruited from a local maker space called The Playroom after their long-time collaborators, a pair known as The Children, accepted academic positions*. Finally, with a generous 80,000 centi-cent gift from Google we added Computing Infrastructure: a state-of-the-art 24-server computing center where each server is a 2x2, with 4 PPUs (Plastic Processing Units). The computers are on a 100-GBASE network, but you can see in the photo that they also can function off the grid.

Director's Statement: I'm uncomfortably excited to be the founding director of LI2. Recently I've seen innovative and agile new research institutes directed by my friends Oren, Richard, Saul, Bret, and Vero, and I'm thrilled to be able to start something new here. We will use a hybrid approach to fundamental research and development in areas that can have a big impact on bettering society.

Animal Research and Testing: No animals are harmed at LI2, nor are they constrained in any way from roaming free exactly as much as they would in the wild.

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Staff

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2014 Grant: Atom Splitting

In addition to our internal work, LI2 awards grants for proposals from outside researchers. Funded in 2014 was a proposal by Dr. Gordon Freeman, Dr. Stephen Eckel, and Rachel Kramer, MESc. The project resulted in the succesful splitting of Lego atoms. While the laser-shark approach was unsuccessful, the particle accelerator with atom splitting device achieved the goal of splitting atoms, as shown in the video below.

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Successful splitting of a blue Lego particle from a white particle.

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2015 Grant: Destroying The One Ring

In an effort to increase diversity, our Dr. Boromir invited promising young scientists of various species to a grant-writing bootcamp. Two of the attendees, Dr. Baggins and Dr. Gamgee, came up with a complex proposal involving a fellowship of nine co-PIs, with the purpose of disposing of the One Ring. However, as Dr. Boromir put it, "The original proposal had several of the classic grant application mistakes. It was too ambitious, the investigators had few recent papers, they needed a more senior collaborator, and there was no preliminary data to demonstrate feasibility. In addition, it is well known that one does not simply walk into Mordor."  With the help of Dr. Boromir, and with the addition of Dr. Gandalf as a senior collaborator and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a partner, an excellent new proposal emerged. Instead of walking, the proposal specified conveyance by rocket and autonomous rover, and instead of Mount Doom in Mordor, the proposal selected Olympus Mons on Mars (which happens to be the largest volcano in the solar system). This mission proved to be succesful.

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Locations

Our partners in industry (Stark) and academia (Hogwarts) have both lent us office space. Thanks!

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More Photos

Some new; some old file photos from precursor days.

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Partners