10 Minutes? Learn Some Science
“Science at the Center,” a series
of 10-minute lectures every Wednesday, 12:50 to 1 p.m., in
McConnell foyer, highlights science and the research interests
of the faculty at the science center. These are informal presentations of an
idea and/or a demonstration on a topic of interest chosen by the speaker. The
goal of the series is to provide a weekly event that brings faculty and students
together over a science topic.
Check out what’s coming up. And stop by Wednesdays
for some science.
10 “Augmented Reality (AR)
and the iPhone.”
Eitan Mendelowitz, assitant professor of computer science.
Mobile augmented reality (AR)
is the juxtaposition of live video with location-specific
information and graphics on mobile platforms. A number of
commercial AR applications are available on popular mobile
phones including the iPhone and Android phones. Find out
what mobile AR is, how AR works, and how you can create your
own layers of augmented reality.
good for women and good for men is bad for everybody:
real-world paradoxes in statistics.”
Nicholas Horton, associate professor of mathematics and
Unlike some paradoxes that only
arise in obscure or irrelevant settings, there are many real-world
situations where what's bad for each of a set of
groups is good overall. We'll untangle this paradox
in the context of some examples of the evaluation
of a new surgical procedure, determining the association
between smoking and mortality, and the link between
teacher salaries and SAT scores.
March 3 “German
Refugee Academics in Turkey, 1933-1955.”
Lale Burk, senior lecturer, chemistry.
outstanding in their fields, who lost their positions during
the Nazi regime in Germany, were invited to Turkey
to teach and to participate in the Turkish university
reforms. The impact of these individuals on Turkish
higher education has been profound. The present research,
which spans histories of science, exile studies and
women's history, focuses on the lives and contributions
of three scientists, the chemist Fritz Arndt, and
the biologists Kurt and Leonore Kosswig.
March 10 "Everything
you ever wanted to know about stem cells in ten minutes."
Michael Barresi, assistant professor of biological sciences.
cells represent an amazing group of cells present both in
the embryo and in the adult. Lately, there has been a lot
of excitement and debate over the use of stem cells in both
research and for medical therapies. Come hear about the facts
of stem cells, what they are, what sort of "potential" they
have for themselves and you, and what ethical concerns
March 24 “Alive
but not kicking: mechanisms of general anesthetic action
in the brain.”
Adam Hall, associate professor of biological sciences.
under the surgeon's knife by virtue of general anesthetics
we now assume that we will be blissfully unaware of the
operation, suffer no pain and have no memory of a traumatic
event. But how do anesthetics produce these miraculous
effects? This talk will explore the molecular mechanisms
of anesthetic action in the brain and how these agents
can render us unconscious and cause amnesia during surgery.
March 31 “What
is quicksand and can it really suck me to my death?”
Glenn Ellis, associate professor of engineering.
has made us aware that quicksand poses a grave danger to
those who wander about remote jungles. In this talk we will
dispel the myths and look at how ordinary sand turns quick
and the real danger it poses. All who attend will have the
chance to feel it for themselves in one of Smith's newly
built quicksand tanks.
April 7 “Collisions
between Atomic Nuclei.”
Malgorzata Pfabe, Sophia Smith Professor of Physics.
will briefly discuss how and why do we want to investigate
collisions between atomic nuclei. What can happen when two
nuclei collide with each other? What can we measure
and what can we learn about the structure and properties
of "nuclear matter."
April 14 "Climate
Change: Science & Politics in the Wake of Copenhagen." Thomas
Litwin, Director, Science Center.
high going into the Copenhagen U.N. climate change
meeting. At meeting's end, the results were far
from clear, with significant rifts emerging between
developed and developing nations. In parallel,
detractors questioned the science behind IPCC climate
change forecasts. These forces and the prospects
for an international agreement for the next UNFCC
meeting, Cancun 2010, will be explored.
April 21 “Why
do metals need chaperones?”
Elizabeth Jamieson, associate professor of chemistry.
transition metals are among the essential elements organisms
require to sustain life. However, these metals, which we
often think of non-toxic, can be harmful under certain conditions.
In this talk, we will explore the transport and storage systems
that chaperone metals in the body and keep them from causing