Speaker Series: Temple Grandin


Good morning everyone. My name is Wynn Coggins and I am the deputy
chief administrative officer for the USPTO. I want to welcome everyone both here in person
and those joining us online to what is our third installment of the USPTO speaker series. Today’s event is very special. It features an inspiring individual, Dr. Temple
Grandin, she simply has an extraordinary story story to tell. We look forward to hearing from her in a few
minutes. At this time, if you wouldn’t mind, placing
your devices on silent. That may not be the baby. [laughter] And it is now my great pleasure
to make a special introduction. He is an extraordinary leader who is making
a tremendous impact on intellectual property community. And is passionate about sharing inventor stories
and how their inventions are simply changing the world. Today’s speaker series event and the speaker
series itself would not have been made possible without the passion he has for innovation
and the passion he has for all that we do collectively here at the USPTO. Please join me in giving a warm welcome to
the under secretary of commerce of intellectual property and the director of United States
patent and trademark office. [Applause] Thank you and welcome everybody. Great to see everyone here. This is indeed the third such event. And it is the largest. So good to see so many of you out here. Both PTO employees as well as people from
the outside. In addition to what you see here in the room,
I know we have hundreds of folks watching and listening online. That is fantastic to see. By the way, I think the baby was crying because
they knew I was going to speak next. It’s good only the babies are crying so far. We will try to keep it that way. Let’s get right to it. Obviously aside from our main job which is
to protect intellectual property rights, I believe one of the most important things we
do here at the USPTO is to tell the life-changing history altering and inspiring stories of
American innovation, invention and entrepreneurship. Joining us today to shore — share a remarkable
piece of that national narrative is Dr. Temple Grandin. [Applause] Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal
science at the state university. And a true pioneer in the field of improving
the handling and welfare of farm animals. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Franklin
Pierce College and went on to earn a Masters of science in animal science at the Arizona
State University. And later a PhD in animal science from the
University of Illinois. In addition to speaking and consulting around
the nation and abroad she has written hundreds of publications, journal articles, and several
books. I actually brought my books with me here today. And in fact you can join Dr. Grandin for a
book signing of her book, calling all minds how to think and create like an adventure,
right upstairs at the national inventors Hall of Fame. Doctor Grandin will be there after the event
between 1 PM and 2 PM today. Please join her. Dr. Grandin overcame many obstacles on her
way to incredible success in her career. She has also written and spoken extensively,
in addition to invention, innovation and science, she has with — has written extensively on
autism, the thinking brain, and others. She has done extensive work in designing facilities
for handling life stock . She received a patent on her system for humanely preparing animals
for slaughter. Using techniques for stunning and for that
and other work the USPTO created an inventor card for. I have props. This is great. These are hers. They were unveiled I think a year or two ago. This morning she told me she regrets not filing
for a patent on one of her important other improvements on farm equipment that she designed
in which nowadays roughly half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled effectively
and humanely. I am sure you will hear much more about that
in her talk in a minute. And if that was not enough , she was also
the subject of an award-winning 2010 HBO biographical drama starring Claire Danes which illuminates
Dr. Grandin’s fascinating story how autism can provide unique and beneficial ways of
viewing problems rather than a hindrance it is so often considering — considered to be. While the HBO film is wonderful, there is
nothing better and more wonderful than hearing from Dr. Grandin directly and firsthand. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Grandin. [Applause] Great to be here. I have a slight ginger. One thing I like in the movie is they put
all my projects in there. That part is accurate. I think that is important. This is my grandfather’s patent. He was the coinventor of the autopilot since
of airplanes. He did it with another person named Andrew
Nikki who was probably autistic and came up with this crazy idea for magnetic oils. And then my grandfather had to tinker and
make it work. This is an example of different kinds of minds
working together. They worked on it in a loft over the area
where they fit — fixed trains. Sometimes it works and sometimes it didn’t. They finally figured out the trains going
underneath messed up the field. The head to tinker. I used to ask my grandfather unless science
questions. Wise the sky blue? Why is grass green? One of the problems we have today is children
are doing enough real activities. We need to get them doing things with real
tools. I went to this fabulous kindergarten a year
ago where six-year-olds were making robots unbroken computer parts. Can we hook it up to the charger and work? Is it going to walk? I don’t think so. But you have them doing tools. You have a lot of kids growing up today separate
from doing things with her hands. A big mistake. This is one of my hands on drawings. You might wonder why the curves. The cattle come around the bend, they think
they’re going back to where they came from. That is a natural behavior for cattle. I love the fact that the movie had my real
drawings in it. Why do I have you need to touch to proceeds? — Perceive? I saw and drafting two computers. In the mid-90s when this was going on we got
weird mistakes on drawings. Like the center of the circle wasn’t the center
of the circle. I got these mistakes from every major meat
company. When I looked at was drawing the drawings
it was someone who never built anything and they had never drawn by hand. They were not seeing the drawings. It was that simple. I got to go down to Cape Kennedy and see SpaceX
launch. That was so cool. I did model rockets as a young child. Here’s the real thing. I learned a person with Tourette’s syndrome
worked on designing this launch pad. Doing things. You can buy the rockets premade, that is not
the point. The only places I was not fully teased as
a child was shared interest, writing horses, model rockets and electronics. I get asked all the time how did get into
my interesting cattle. I have no background. I was introduced as a teenager. This brings an important thing about careers. Students get interested in things they get
exposed to. Find out what they like and they might find
stuff they don’t like as well. There’s the rocket taking off. This is my bird kite. I tinkered to get it to work. I couldn’t get the same kind of paper I had
as a child. Notice has wing tips like modern jets. I should’ve panted that when I was seven. The rough surface of the paper had something
to do with white worked because golf balls fly better when they are rough. I could not get the same paper. There is a wingtip first-generation for fuel
saving. There is something fancier. There’s blended. And the patents are really fun. They are so simple children can understand
them. They simply are shapes. You can go fully nuts and come up with that. That is just totally weird. One private jet ended up with that. You might wonder why the backend of the jet
engine is scalloped, it makes it quieter. Really fun things . So simple children can
understand it. Top aviation patents. Another project I did in high school was the
teams distorted room. My science teacher wasn’t going to have to
do it, he wanted me to figure out for myself. Kids are too scared of making mistakes of
the. He gave me one hand, this is from the title
of the movie, you see the trapezoidal shape, he showed it briefly to me of a textbook and
that he wanted me to figure it out. We have to get these classes back in schools. If I hadn’t had sewing and woodworking and
art I would’ve hated school. I am seeing too many smart kids getting shoved
into special ed and they are going nowhere. I looked at a lot of models here. When the patent office for started — the
geeks in the minutes it’s — misfits probably made those things. Theater, another good field. That won’t get replaced artificial intelligence. We have to get this stuff back. Around this part of the country I think they’re
doing better on skilled trades than other states. I am seeing a lot of grandparents coming up
to me and they are finding out there dyslexic, artistic, and they find out when the kids
are diagnosed but they have good jobs because they learned how to work. I see too many kids get babied and becoming
their label. I’m happy to see other people who are differently
hired here. That is really good. Brain variability. A brain can be more thinking or more social
emotional. A little bit of autism gives you things like
autism — iPhones, the electric light. He was labeled a high school dropout. Here’s a mindblower , genomic trade-offs,
autism and schizophrenia the steep price for a human brain? The same genes that make us human are the
same genes the give you autism and schizophrenia. The thing I want to ask you is, what would
happen to some of today’s top innovators? Some of the people you have in the patent
Hall of Fame, Edison , hyperactive high school dropout. Einstein would probably be laid — be labeled
autistic. Steve Jobs was bullied in school. How about Tesla who developed the alternating
current and powerplant. What would happen to them today? I’m seeing too many kids getting various labels
and I’m worried about them getting screened out. I also see too many parents over protecting
kids where they are getting overprotected they are not learning any basic skills. How about dyslexia in business? JetBlue, the only airline that gives you space
in the back of the plane. It’s a good chance he’s a visual thinker. He knows what it’s like to get stuck in the
back of the plane. Thomas Edison, there is is patent. He probably had autism. I’ve read some biographies on him. What are some of the common denominators of
these different kinds of minds? Growing up with lots of books. Loved books and reading as a kid. Was slow to learn reading. My mother taught me with phonics. There other kids are going to learn whole
word. Don’t get hung up on one method. Everything is learning how to work. Edison had a paper route at 11. Telegraph operator at 14. What can we do today to teach work skills? How about volunteer jobs? Churches, synagogues, whatever. Walking Dobbs — dogs for the neighbors. They have to learn how to do things on a schedule
outside the home. I had great mentors. I mother always encouraged my ability in art. Had a great science teacher. He was always encouraging me to do lots of
different projects. He got me going because then education became
a pathway to a goal. I was a troubled student, kicked out of ninth
grade for fighting. Went away for — to boarding school with the
kids with problems. For the first three years I ran their horse
barn , I didn’t study Ballard have to work. And they would not let me become a recluse
in my room. Kids today are afraid of making mistakes. That is the closest books I could find online
that were similar to the books I had as a child. That I loved. A Nobel prize winner is 50% more likely to
have an arts and craft hobby compared to other scientists. This is another reason for keeping all these
hands-on classes in the schools. This is one of my most different slides. This is the different kinds of minds. When I first started out in my work with livestock
I didn’t know I was a visual thinker. I thought everyone was a visual thinker. Over the years I’ve been learning more and
more about how different people think differently. Everything I think about is a photo, the movie
showed that absolutely accurately. They were showing it in the lobby and pictures
of shoes coming up, that is how I think. I can’t do algebra. And I’m seeing this is a giant obstacle for
a lot of kids. End up in the basement and video games. I worked a lot of skilled trade people, complicated
plants, don’t worry I won’t show you slaughter stuff, just new construction. People tend to stick up their nose at skilled
trades. We have water systems around the country falling
apart. I stayed in four hotels in the last year where
the water system failed, we almost had to do a conference with porta potty’s in a nice
hotel in a major city. The other kind of mine is a mathematical mine. Think patterns. They don’t think in pictures. The thinking patterns. The correct scientific names is object visualizer. Those kind of inventions would’ve been done
by object visualizer’s. Once I see around here. Things like electronic and programming that
will be more a pattern thinker. I have a book called the autistic brain I
give you the science to show you the science is not rubbish. You have verbal thinking. Education is getting taken over by the verbal
thinkers. Tend to overgeneralize. Then you have a person who is great in sales,
dyslexic and he is an auditory learner. These mines exist and we need to have them
work together. I got to do some brain scans and find out
I have a big visual thinking circuit. I get asked, how do you tell kind of a thinker
a person is? Visual thinkers will do a lot of drawing. My ability and drawing was encouraged from
an early age. The mathematicians will be good at math and
they need to give them harder math. Don’t make them do the baby stuff. There is more visual thinking stuff. Where I had a problem is I have no working
memory. A person that has a bad working memory, you
have to do is any task that involves sequence is give them a checklist. If there’s us — start out by giving them
a checklist, bullet points, to jog your memory. Also multitasking can be a problem. This is what Thomas Edison had to say about
mathematicians. He said I am not a mathematician, I can always
hire some but they can’t hire me. That is what he had to say. There is a book the autistic brain, another
on dyslexia and visual thinking. I’m getting worried that we are not valuing
visual thinking enough. Early patent office had mechanical engineering
— and worried our educational system is screening it out. We need visual things to prevent messes like
Fukushima. They put the emergency equipment in a non-waterproof
basement. Electric operated pump doesn’t work well under
water. How about electric — watertight board — watertight
doors. That is basic. What I have learned is the mathematic mind
doesn’t see it. I used to call it stupidity. It is not. They simply don’t see it. We need them in science. A lot of problems replicating scientific
results. Slight differences in methods can change cancer
research. Whether you shook the cells or gently stir
them. When I reviewed journal articles I go over
the methods. I’ll let someone else do the statistics. I get after the methods. Tell me what breed of cattle you used in your
study. In my book: all minds, I have Grace Murray
Hopper and she was terrible at Latin. A lot of minds that are different have uneven
skills. Good at one thing and batted something else. We need to have a lot more emphasis on building
up the thing that a person is good at. That you can turn into a career. I think an education we need to be looking
more at where is a student 10 years after high school? I was doing those projects that were shown
in the movie continues after high school. Stephen Hawking was doing math in his head. Penrose geometry. You want to find cool stuff for kids to do
in math, type mathematical terms into Google. Use the image function. Type in things like fractals, all kinds of
stuff. You will find great stuff you won’t find in
the word Google. I like what Stephen Hawking had to say about
disability. “Concentrate on the things your disability
doesn’t prevent you from doing well.” He could do geometry in his head. He could not right. It had to be done in his head. He also was really good at floating around
in a weightless plane and having a fun time doing it. Visual thinkers, artificial intelligence,
people with autism and dyslexia were bottom-up thinkers. I want to talk about the double rail restrainer
system, the thing I wish I had patented. If I build upon previous work that was patented
then at the University of Connecticut, what they did when they started on their project
was searched all the patents and it was a pain in the 70s. To look at the state of the art so they didn’t
reinvent the wheel. They showed it straddling conveyor, a low
stress way of handling an animal. I saved their plywood model from the dump
and my job was to make it work in a plant. It was like my grandfather working with Andrew
on the auto plant. I did have two patentable things on it which
I’m kicking myself I didn’t patent. They are in an article I did in the national
Journal of agricultural engineering research in the late 80s. Had to invent the adjustable sizing. That was patented also I was shocked to learn
two years ago that a simple artificial intelligence system the diagnosed melanoma uses the bottom-up
approach. You show lots of pictures of melanoma, lots
of pictures of other kinds of stuff on the skin and it learns to categorize. People with autism are a bottom-up thinker. You take the kid it’s different and get him
doing things the fills the database with information, then they get less autistic as they learn
more and more bottom-up. There is the iPhone app. Ultimate bottom-up thinking. We are not making any hypotheses upfront,
we are using patient drive data to generate hypotheses. That is how I think. When I first started working in cattle hand
facilities I went to every feed guard in the area. The were some facilities, what I did do was
combine a lot of bits together to come up with better systems from bad things that don’t
work, take the good bits and put them together. It helped me in my annual behavior. — Animal behavior. Some of the first work I did was look at the
cattle were looking at. I didn’t know I was a visual thinker in the
70s. I thought everyone was. I didn’t know. Until one day I asked the speech therapist
to think about the church steeple and I was shocked she saw vague 20 thing. My mind names them off. That was my first inkling that maybe I thought
differently. There are eclipse shadows. That is on the sidewalk and our university. I watched hundreds of students walk over this. I didn’t know eclipses did this with the trees
but I noticed the shadows. I still have to talk to people about chains
hanging down. Yellow tape scaring the cattle. Things we tend to not notice, they noticed. I was asked, do they know they’re getting
slaughtered? I’ve been in three different places were a
paper towel hanging down like this stopping the animals. Visual distractions. I still have to talk about these things. I have checklists I give people on this. Nonslip flooring is super important. Let’s see how we are on perceiving things. Raise your hand if you saw that animal was
looking at the sunbeam. We are doing moderate. Better than the mathematicians another place
I went to. The school administrators were the worst. I show this to elementary school kids and
over half the hands go up. They will see it is looking at the sunbeam. Animal memories are specific because they
are sensory-based. If you want to understand animals it’s a sensory-based
world. What are they seeing, hearing, touching and
smelling? It is not word based. Early exposure to career interest, writing
horses, learning carpentry, lots of hands on things. That is how I get interested in livestock. Exposure as a teenager. When you are weird, how do you sell yourself
when you’re weird? When you’re super weird you have to show your
work off. This is a drawing for the system depicted
in the movie. I love the fact that they re-created my projects. That was cool. There is my brochure. I sold myself by showing my work. I was living in a student apartment called
the oasis Apartments. I renamed it the oasis building Suite 218. That sounds better than apartment 218. Here is
an original project I did in 1976, there is another picture right there. I love the fact that the HBO movie built a
replica. The work stuff in there was correct. Starting my career interest — and construction,
it was hard being a woman in a man’s world but there were some people helped me. He was a contractor. He seek me out. The other thing I’ve learned about construction
is it’s about outcomes. You have to get a job done. I’m seeing too many kids not learning how
to work. I talked to the parents and they say we are
thinking about it. I say we don’t think about it in construction,
you have to do. Let’s look at who builds great big huge factories. Like meat companies like Tyson. Swift plant. Complicated factories. What I learned is, and I found it true for
every major meat company and I work for all of them, one of the big ones I work for doesn’t
exist anymore. The visual thinkers, my department, we lay
out the plant. Visual thinkers invented the clever mechanical
equipment. Things like packaging equipment, conveyors,
stuff similar to your models. Now we have the mathematically inclined engineers,
boilers, refrigeration, roof trusses, concrete, power, water, soil compaction requirements. You need the whole team. Right now, they are not able to replace the
visual thinkers. They are playing video games in the basement. This is the problem. Last year, 2017, I went to two brand-new processing
plants. We built the building. We built the cool room doors. There too expensive to ship in a container. But a lot of the specialized equipment, the
things would be like your models, we don’t make any more. And one of the reasons for that is taking
skilled trade stuff out of the schools and not putting enough value on visual thinking. Frustrates the kid with the algebra requirement
and don’t let them take geometry. How they managed to get the college? There was a quirk in 1967. The required class nationally was finite math,
matrices, statistics. And some probability stuff. A bit more visual, I can understand it. You need the whole team. By the time I got through the second processing
plant was about to cry. Are visual thinkers are in the basement and
there being labeled. Here’s a system put in in 2017. We stone — still know how to build a beef
plant. There is one company that still does it. Can the sun take over the business — son
take over the business? I don’t know. I
like to show this slide off, I like to a heavy-metal. Don’t stick your nose up at it. There’s a lot more stuff in the rest of the
plant more complicated than this. This is a visual thinking equipment. This is one of my curved lanes coming up to
the Dip Vat. Is the cattle come around the bend they think
they’re coming where they came from. This is a tight space layout. I had to lay it out so the animals enter you
could dead ended. Have to see a place to go. And you take them around the curve, here’s
an aerial view of a ranch set up. These are pictures I used to use in my portfolio. A lot of parents, when I talk to them, how
do you get into the back door? How do we get into backdoors and find our
ways into things? There’s a scene in the movie go up and get
the editors card. That scene is real and important. I recognized if I started writing for the
magazine, that I produced an article about my thesis work on cattle squeeze shoots, and
I started doing a column and then they started paying me. It got me up press pass into big expensive
meetings. Writing was another important thing in my
career. I wrote a book of things I did. Trade magazines, nationally and locally. I am proud of the fact that half the cattle
are handled in my system. I get asked, what you think changed the industry
the most? A scoring system I developed for meat plants. I made the mistake early in my career that
I could fix everything with engineering. If I could build the right and doing we wouldn’t
need management. Equipment would manage it self. That is not how things work. I said, I used to design hardware, non-a software
engineer. I developed a scoring system, we have to manage
the soft stuff up in here. I was hired by McDonald’s Corporation, trained
their safety auditors how to do it. In the year 2000, it made a huge difference. The other thing I saw is when you take the
bosses of the big corporations and yank them out of the office, it’s just like that show
undercover boss, never forget the day when a vice president, at McDonald’s saw a hafted
dairy cow going into its product. We have some things we have to change. The industry today so much better than what
it was. Back in 2019 99. — Back in 2000 and 1999. We were able to make simple changes. Flooring, lighting. Cattle don’t like to go into the dark. I didn’t shove a double rail restrainer down
their throat, I made what they had worked. 75 big pork and beef suppliers , only three
had built something expensive. Everything else was fixed in training, three
plants had to get rid of plant managers. And then things worked. This is my double rail center track restrainer
system that I developed for large cattle. There is an entrance design which I wish I
had patented. And kicking myself. And the adjustable sides. Two patentable items. If I had known the patents would be so easy
, that I can take a phone and look at the patent, in the mid-80s that was beyond my
wildest imagination. The could have such a thing. There is the center track restrainer system. I love that the movie has titles from the
real drawings. This is a scoring system. The trick is you’ve got to figure out what
are the important things to measure. They don’t tell you how to build a plant but
these are outcome measures. The first one is rendering unconscious on
the first shot. If you couldn’t shoot 95 percent on the first
shot you failed. It was that simple. Number one reason for failing was busted equipment. That’s management. Things are way better now. The USDA has stepped up enforcement on the
lot. But still, maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. And I will do talk that our North American
need Institute meeting and the scoring is the heart of our industry trade voluntary
guideline. Is being used in other countries. Government guideline. It’s hard for people sometimes to understand
how something this simple could work. You have to figure out what are the critical
control points. I love the critical control point used in
food safety. What is the really important thing? You know what it might be with lettuce? Making sure they have porta parties in the
field. Something people don’t want to talk about. That may be a critical control point. And everything has to be dead when you hang
it up. One of the managers was not intuitive. Cattle moving when you handle them . When
they are moving, they are mooing because you’re poking them. If you’re doing a bad job it can be 20% or
30%. Falling down. We used to have 20 pixel down during handling. Now it’s about none. Things have gotten a lot better. You measure these things and it was six automatic
failures. Abuses. Slamming gates and purpose on animals. Dragging animals, beating them up. Have a video, where I whack a plastic pig
and we talk about when tapping becomes beating. Clear-cut guidelines. It’s the same principle as traffic. Traffic rules work really well, let’s just
do a little exercise here in critical control points. Using traffic as a model. If you could only enforce three traffic rules,
what three would you enforce to get the most public safety if you are only allowed to enforce
three? Speeding is one of them. What’s the next one? Definitely not. Traffic lights, stopping. And the third one is drunk driving. What I have found is almost always that comes
up last. Texting is going to be number four. And seatbelts are number five. The reason why I don’t put the belts — the
— they don’t protect me, they protect you against me. What are the important things? I can’t stand bureaucracy. When I first came to CSU someone put a sign
up in my office that said administration. Heaviest element into science. Reacts with nothing because it’s inert. And that is administrating them. Figuring out what are the important things. It worked beautifully. They had to make certain scores, 1% on falling. He could be rough handling or slippery force. — Floors. This worked well. When I first started in 1996 USDA hard me
to click baseline data and only 30% of the plants could shoot 95% on the first shot because
everything was busted. We have McDonald’s and there. Look at the big improvement. I don’t have any more recent data because
the lawyers involved and I can’t get the data. Leave it to the legal department to mess up
everything. When I learned that I think differently , gave
me a lot of insight. The first step, people have to do , is learn
that there are different kinds of minds. And figure out how they complement each other. Take Steve Jobs with the iPhone,
he had to have engineers and mathematicians to make the phone work. But if the engineers had designed it would’ve
been so complicated no one could’ve used it. That’s an example of the different minds working
together. The first step is recognizing different people
are good at things. Students were super good at running the computer,
running the experiments, but they get lost in the math. And forget about the cattle. I was looking at a book on cattle breeding
the other day and it was all mathematical. Well, you go crazy selecting from reproduction
traits and cattle caught you’re going to get leg problems. I was one who said we are getting collapsed
ankles, twisted feed. We better do something about this. They don’t see it. We have to make sure educators don’t screen
out different kinds of minds. I want to leave lots of time for questions. Medium finished early. Were not going to do questions and thank you
for coming. [Applause] — We are now going to do questions. Thank you for coming.[Applause]
>>We will sit and converse. I will start with a couple of questions and
we will leave plenty of time for audience questions. Start thinking about questions. Their microphones in the audience. You can line up. Let me get this going. So, talk a little bit about, I have noticed
a common trend among inventors, perseverance. Inventors just never give up in the face of
failure. Talk about failures you have encountered,
how you have overcome them, and are you afraid of failure? When I was making my bird kite I experimented
with it, taping adhesive tape, I had half-inch adhesive tape and cellophane tape, I would
experiment with different ways of folding the wings and bending the wings. I had a parachute and experimented with different
ways to fix it so the strings would entangle. That is perseverance. Edison said, it’s 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. I had a project fail in 1980. I learned a real lesson from it. That’s when I got over thinking engineering
can solve all the problems. In education, we give every kid a laptop and
that fixes education. It doesn’t. It was an old plant and it’s been torn down
now, pigs had to walk up to the third floor and they hired me to build a conveyor to take
the pigs up there. They sat down on it and flipped over backwards. I had to supervise coming up with torches. That was an unhappy time. But I learned an important thing. Looking at root causes of problems. You don’t pick this fix pig genetics with
conveyors. — You don’t fix pig genetics with conveyors. It got me out of the mode of thinking I can
replace management with engineering. You can’t. How do we teach children not to be afraid
of failure? They need to be doing a lot of projects, the
going to have to tinker with that bird. Couldn’t buy the paper. I wasn’t going to tell people to go to weird
websites. File folders don’t work as well as rough surface
art paper. They might have to put masking tape on it
to rough in the service. They will have to experiment. I expected for hours. Let’s begin by going to the audience.>>[Indiscernible-low volume] I am really into moviemaking in the movie
industry. Different types of people in minds. And fascinated with the fantastic beasts movies,
the new character confirmed he is on the Asperger’s spectrum. My question to you is — There are lots of people in that field on
the spectrum. Half of Silicon Valley is on the spectrum
and they have avoided the label. Autism is an important part of who I am, but
being a professor and a designer comes first. In the movie I had those cattle pens, even
when I was in my 20s, the cattle came first. Also in that movie because it takes place
in the 1920s, it was before autism was properly diagnosed,. My question is what things in the movies would
you want to see as far as portrayals with people with autism or neuro- divergent minds? I like to show the things we can do. I think the emphasis needs to be on what we
can do. “Concentrate on the things your disability
doesn’t prevent you from doing well.” From Stephen Hawking. For me it’s visual thinking. For others it may be programming and math. Those abilities have to be developed. The kid is not going to learn programming
if no one exposes them to it. There’s a huge need for programming and skilled
trades. Good jobs that won’t get replaced. That to get a lot more respect. I got that respect working on these giant
factories. For seven or eight major companies. Thank you. You gave wonderful advice and insight about
how education could be changed to better serve children. Do you have any words on how adults who were
not diagnosed as children but are who finding out as adults, how they can have a better
quality of life and productivity? Have a another book called different — different
not less, 14 people all employed from low-level jobs to high-level caught doctors and veterinarians,
where the diagnosis help was on relationships. I am seeing too many kids who are smart where
it’s holding them back. Driving. That is going to take longer. I was lucky that on my aunts ranch her mailbox
was three miles away on a dirt road so by the end of the summer I had 200 miles of driving
under my belt. Before doing traffic. Spending more time in totally safe places
like giant parking lots. Then you start doing suburban easy traffic
may be early morning Sunday. And then you do driver’s ed. If I had learned to drive, I would not have
been able to do on the of my livestock stuff. Thank you. With self driving vehicles coming, who knows. That would solve that problem. They are quite here yet. We tend to have a lot of labels and put individuals
in buckets. I’m starting to see where we are sort of acknowledging
that instead of everyone being on one extreme or the other there may be a bit of a spectrum. Autism is a total spectrum. The brain could be more thinking more social
emotional. When does Kiki become a little autistic? Everything is the doctors keep changing the
guidelines. No one is doing that with tuberculosis. Either have tuberculosis or you don’t. [Applause] What drives me crazy is I back
and forth, I go here, to NASA, Silicon Valley, one of my jobs, working with the skilled trades
people, they are all retiring in the can’t be replaced. In certain parts of the country it’s a problem. We need all the different kinds of mines. I was wondering, when we have the titles visual
thinker and spatial thinker can you be a strong combination of both? There are some people who are both. The thing is, when you get a label you tend
to have a bigger divergence between the thing you’re good at and the thing you are bad at. There are some people who are able to do both. They are mixtures. But the super visual thinkers and the super
mathematicians usually don’t do both. If there extreme on one of those traits.>>Thank you. One thing you said in your book is that it’s
not necessarily the one is better than the other, it’s that on the innovative team your
best if you have all sorts of thinkers. You need them all. My kind of mine is not going to touch refrigeration
or the boilers. We’ve got to have that and we got to have
a good foundations of the building doesn’t fall down. You need to have the whole team. In the meat industry, we are very democratic. Everybody has a junkie office in the boiler
room in my history. I’ve gone to other places, all evening out
since your recording, or the engineers get the fancy offices in the tower and my department
is in the tunnel with the cable trains. Don’t belong there. You’re not going to have some of these projects
without us. Every time I see cable trays they make me
mad. I want to place four years ago. — [laughter] Everyone has a bad office that
shakes and is noisy in the meatpacking plant and its next to noisy equipment that runs
the plant. That’s where the work gets done. The drafting, welding, and the mass gets done
there as well. Offices are all horrible. We are very democratic in the meat industry
on our engineering teams and drafting teams. Other industries are not necessarily the case. I’m an artist who works here at the USPTO
and was diagnosed with ADHD late in life. What you do here? I’m a
patent examiner — I did this. You made the cards? Climax — [Applause] . Wow! My son is autistic. How old is he? Four years old. This is the problem: the kids are little there
are some it looked bad. I looked horrible as a kid. This is why it’s important to do early intervention
and get them talking. Everything you need to do with your four-year-old,
always give them a chance to use his words, give them time to respond. When he makes a mistake like putting his fingers
in the mashed potatoes, calmly given instruction instead of screaming no and teach turn-taking. When I was four years old that was taught
to me with boardgames. Wait and take turns. That is super important.>>Thank you. I have a book, the way I see it,. Here’s my question. Here’s my question. The people who make decisions, decision-makers
, if I propose a project an idea I’m having a hard time hearing you.>>One of the things I’ve noticed specifically,
for visual thinkers, it’s hard to make themselves understood. Explaining themselves. For example, I noticed that a lot of public
schools when they are teaching the arts they are doing it wrong, they are teaching it more
like arts and crafts instead of a profession.>>When I went to school, the teachers market my writing and corrected my
grammar. We are having a lot of problems with graduate
students, I’ve talk to professors all over the country about this, writing skills are
atrocious. Part of the reason is no one marked up the
copy editors at work. I have sat on flights and corrected Journal
articles for ninth grade English. I don’t know what they are teaching in school,
the writing schools are terrible. One of the things that helped me was writing. The other thing is a visual thinker tends
to ramble. If I don’t have slides, what I have to do
is give myself a checklist with bullet points, almost like a list of my slides. And then I can talk down that list. When I did my book thinking in pictures, the
editor about ripped her hair out, she didn’t do any line editing, and she moved chunks
around. You have to stop the rambling. The way to do that is to make a tight outline. I don’t do more than one doublespaced page
without having a subject header. You have to stop the rambling. Visual thinking is assaultive. — Associative. Today I saw the shoe picture in the lobby,
was thinking about shoes. Had hightops came up. I had a white sneaker as a kid and now I’m
writing my bike wearing that white sneaker. Do you see how there is an associative link? Nine putting blank cards in the spokes to
make my bicycle sound like a motorcycle. You see how it is an associative link? When asked when how that works that makes
sense. How did I get to sneaker to a bicycle? I’m seeing a dirty white sneaker on the pedal. Thank you. Dr. Grandin, my question is what strategies
did your teachers and family use for you to become comfortable with social interaction? You have to make them do it. One of the reasons why, grand parents of job
engineer doesn’t, grand parents were taught social rules and my generation was taught
social rules in a more structured way. A common thing in my generation, as soon as
kids were about seven years old, the family had a party, you have to put your good clothes
on, greet the guests, take the coat, serve them snacks. We did serve not — obviously we did not serve
the alcohol. You were taught how to shake hands. How to stand. How to do it. That was done in a much more structured way
in the 50s. I was raised in the Northeast. Everything is teachable moments. And social mistakes are made they are corrected. No matter where I went grown-ups corrected
children. If I was messing up something in the store,
the clerk said only touch the stuff you’re going to buy. They would give the instruction. I think some of this is 50s upbringing. I walked out of my very first talk I did in
graduate school, I learned to have really good slides or really good notes with bullet
points . If I panic I can go back to the notes. You got to do it. Thank you. And you need to be coached, like in a foreign
country. On that construction project in 1974 I showed,
I criticized some welding and said it looked like a pigeon dude on it. That’s not socially acceptable. The engineer pulled me into his office in
the boiler room, and he quietly told me, that need to apologize for the rude talk I had
to go up to the cafeteria and apologize and he also told me that Whitey was the employee
and I should’ve come to him if I didn’t like the welding. He explained calmly what I should do. He handled
it vertically.>>I would like to introduce myself first. My name is Gordon, I am somewhat on the mild
side of autism. I can relate to monopolizing the conversation. Do you work here? I am a student at George Mason University. What are you studying? History. The first thing I would recommend is you have
to learn how to work. I made a slow transition from the world of
school to the world of work. Ideally, when you graduate from George Mason,
I want you to have internships under your belt, jobs under your belt. You’ve got to learn how to do tasks with deadlines. You’ve got to be there on time. It super important. When I was 13 my mother got me a sewing job. When I went away to a fuss — 28 special school
I ran the horse Barnes. I didn’t do one drop of studying. But they made me go to classes. They were not going to allow me to be a recluse
in my room. Can’t allow these kids to be addicted to video
games. There are bad outcomes. If you’re studying history, what you might
want to do, try to get internships in that or just get a job somewhere that doesn’t have
too much multitasking. I don’t to stick you in a clothing store it
Christmas rush. Or McDonald’s lunch rush. Too much multitasking and too hectic. But I strongly recommend each summer you get
a job. I think that is really important. My mother put internships together for me
before there were internships. I worked in a research lab with pharmaceutical
experiments on mice. I worked as an aide for an autistic kid. And I went to my aunts ranch. I’d been out there a couple years and my mother
said you have to do something else. Half the summer at my aunts ranch and half
at the research lab. So you are always stretching. Always doing stuff.>>Ask your question quickly and that is unfortunately
the last question from the audience. How can you avoid misunderstanding other people,
because sometimes I misunderstand my fellow students and other people and somehow I get
upset — I get upset because I misinterpret. How can I avoid misinterpreting? First of all, everything you learn will be
specific examples. When Harley told me about the pigeon dude
do I learned not to criticize in that environment. I go to the boss of the employee. The thing is, it is learning specific examples. It’s how the AI system works. The most basic AI system. Specific examples put in categories. How did I learn cats or dogs? I first sorted them by size. My neighbor has a docs in. I can’t sort by size now. — My neighbor had a docs and — small dog. I had to learn to categories by shape of the
nose, bark and smell. The more stuff you get out and do, the more
you learn. Fill the database up and you have to relate
back to the database. That is how my mind works. That is also how AI works. I we learned about a couple years ago. Is the autistic brain. Thank you very much. Since we are the PTO I want to finish weekly
on innovation. In your book , calling all minds, you say
if you have ever wondered how America has been the forefront of so much innovation,
part of the answer is the very freedom our country is founded on which includes the freedom
to invent, to market those inventions and to protect the inventors ideas. It’s really important to protect ideas. On the other hand, you can get to the point
where you’re making nitpicking things. I think it’s interesting when I look at the
models, overall visual thinking of inventors, as a visual thinker there are some patents
out there, especially some design stuff, things for lawyers to send out cease-and-desist
letters. And actually hold back innovation. Things like my grandfather’s patent, the two
items I had on the center track restrainer, I should’ve panted that, it would’ve been
public domain anyway. But I would’ve liked the publication. On the other hand I remember reading and history
of patents when they were giving examples of years ago things that aren’t patentable,
like slight changes on playing cards. I was in the hotel and thought what about
a scalloped edge on this mere. That Pat would be silly. Novel and nonobvious. A holder they have any airplanes hold your
tablet or your iPad, two different airlines have two different ones. They were very clever.>>The models she is talking about our upstairs. Even downstairs. Throughout the building. They are through the 1800s, they are real
models from the 1800s, inventors had to submit them to the patent office so examiners could
look and touch them. We don’t require that anymore obviously. The other thing is, sometimes very basic foundation
pack wins are simple. I remember — foundation patents are simple. The Xerox machine, selenium on the drum. Or the needle with the eye next to the point
for sewing machine. These are things where you can’t design around
it. Sometimes the very simple things are difficult
to think of. I go back to my father’s dimension. It’s a simple device. In the 70s I went to the Corporation that
makes it and an engineer goes, it’s a simple flux valve and stuck his nose up at it. I got really mad and said, those simple things
are not easy to think up. I will end with that. Please join me in thanking Dr. Grandin!

1 thought on “Speaker Series: Temple Grandin

  1. This invention sold to the industry that is complicit in mass slaughters of animals bred to be killed and eaten is nothing to be proud of. I don't get how killing animals in a way that stops them from sheer terror by holding them still while you murder them is helping animals. There is no reason to kill eat or animals in a civilized world where we have the technology and wherewithal to be vegan. There is another Autistic Vegan who is urging us not to eat animal flesh.

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