Five Questions for Science Knight Out Headliner Mike Hahn

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5 Questions for Mike Hahn

The 2024 Science Knight Out headliner offers a few details on his May 1 talk at the Shedd Institute


What can machine learning teach us about human performance, injury prevention and human health? How are wearable sensors helping sports scientists bring the laboratory outdoors to athletes in their natural setting? University of Oregon professor Mike Hahn will explore these and other questions as the featured speaker at this year’s Science Knight Out talk on May 1 at the Shedd Institute.

An expert in sports science and biomechanics who was recently featured in a University of Oregon podcast, Hahn wears lots of hats, including serving as a professor of human physiology, the director of the Bowerman Sports Science Center and as an associate director of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Oregon, where he leads an innovation hub focused on helping track and field athletes improve performance and recover from injuries.

Two people with soccer cleats and a soccer ball
Mike Hahn with Ph.D. student Emily Karolidis

We caught up with Hahn in advance of Science Knight Out and asked him a few questions about what to expect from his upcoming talk.

In a nutshell, what are you going to be covering?

I’ll be speaking about our work in the Bowerman Sports Science Center where we use wearable sensors to take athletes outside of the lab to measure their performance and make mathematical models that are representative of what we can measure inside of the lab.

Why did you feel it was important to be a speaker at this event?

We work in Hayward Field, which is in Eugene, which we know is Tracktown so we know there are a lot of people who are fond of the University and fond of track and we thought it would be good for them to know what we are doing at the University that blends all of those interests.

You’ve been to a lot of previous Science Knight Out talks, what have been a few of your favorite moments?

First one that comes to mind is Bala Ambati’s talk where he gave personal stories of patients that he has worked with and new technologies being developed for retinal surgeries and new techniques to help people be able to see again.

This is the eighth version of Science Knight Out. What makes your talk unique?

Athletes, sports. Many of the previous talks have been with people who are doing really high-end work in the molecular or cellular stage and we do work with athletes who run and jump and set world records and I think that sets it apart.

What’s one thing you hope people will take away from your talk?

An appreciation for the ways in which the data is gathered and how the technology works and some inspiration for how they could use the wearable technologies on their own athletic pursuits.

Thank you. We can't wait for your talk!