Facebook's Regina Dugan kicks off innovative lecture series

Collegiate Times – news/
To create something amazing, you need to be terrified.
“I’m a little terrified pretty much every day, and what happens when we choose to be terrified is that we share our vulnerability,” said Regina Dugan, leader of the project Building 8, the advanced research group at Facebook. “That vulnerability becomes our bond; it is the bond that the VictorTango team felt here at Virginia Tech, it is the bond that people who are associated with building the future for this university feel, and it is not even when it’s a little terrifying, it is rather, precisely, because it is a little terrifying.”

Dugan is referring to “VictorTango,” a team of Virginia Tech engineering and geography students that built an autonomous urban vehicle for the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007 — seven years before the Google self-driving car was unveiled.
Dugan served as the head of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and led the Advanced Technology and Products Team at Google before joining Facebook this year. Dugan returned to Tech as part of President Timothy Sands’ Beyond Boundaries lecture series, devoted to exploring the future of Virginia Tech. 
She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.
Dugan shared how the team at DARPA juxtaposed the importance of product development and working beyond deadlines or limitations on large-scale projects.
“What is it that they’re doing different? We asked the question,” Dugan said. “The historical view, and now modern view, of innovation is that it’s a decidedly linear process.”
According to Pasteur’s Quadrant of basic science and technological innovation, organizations should strive to combine the benefits of a small team while using the expertise required to solve difficult problems.
“Before you know it, they have navigated themselves to where the science isn’t interesting and nobody cares,” Dugan …


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