Max Bloomfield has been a technologist for 22 years, with expertise in computational techniques and hardware, artificial intelligence and machine learning, chemical processing, materials science, and microelectronics design and manufacturing. Dr. Bloomfield received his PhD. from the oldest technological university in the United States, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Chemical and Biological Engineering, and holds degrees in math and science and chemistry. He currently holds the position of Research Scientist in the Scientific Computation Research Center and the Center for Computational Innovations at RPI. With over 75 publications in various science and engineering fields, Dr. Bloomfield has presented his work to audiences in North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
"I have always loved science, but it was only by later in life studying an engineering discipline that I got a better perspective on the difference between the two, and how they can complement each other. Science is about analysis; engineering is about design. But good design must be analyzed to reach its full potential. It is too easy to do science that is irrelevant and too easy to design something that fails because the understanding is not there."
As an educator, Dr. Bloomfield has experience both communicating complex ideas in clear language and penetrating the often overly complex communications of others, which all too often mask incomplete analysis or holes in otherwise good work.
"It is unfortunate that students do not always see the value in trying to poke holes in an idea or a piece of work. You never really understand how best to use an idea or concept unless you know what its limits are. I take elevators all the time, but I also realize there is a reason that there is a 'maximum capacity' sign posted!"
Dr. Bloomfield believes that innovativeness is a skill that can be honed and even taught outright. He has developed exercises for his students that push them to find new uses for existing technologies, to identify opportunities for new technology development, and then communicate them in a manner that others can understand.
"Communication is absolutely essential for scientists and engineers, but we have been sold the image of the wild-haired inventor that speaks in big words and complicated formulas. I think that is a damaging stereotype we have to avoid. By forcing ourselves to explain our work on a freshman level, we can find out what parts we do not truly understand. Ultimately, even if you find a cure for cancer, if can't tell people about it, you haven't actually saved lives."