The Environment & Your Health
Everything around us impacts our health—not only the air we breathe and what we drink and eat, but also the neighborhoods and buildings in which we live, work, study, and play. Environmental health serves as a discipline within public health concerned with identifying and measuring the effects of environmental factors (physical, biological, and chemical) on human health. This lecture will provide a broad introduction to the potential for agents (in our air, water, food, and more) to cause adverse effects on human health.
Monday, Oct. 094:00 PM
Is a Sino-American War Inevitable?
Perhaps the most important question facing the world today is whether the U.S. and China will go to war. Taiwan, the South China Sea, disputes over trade and human rights, and the dangers of a rising power all point to armed conflict. But there are other trends suggesting peace including the fear of nuclear conflict and the pacifying effects of economic interdependence. We'll explore this burning question of war and peace through lecture and conversation.
Monday, Oct. 095:00 PM
Increasing Wind Penetration Through New Approaches to Wind Farm Modeling and Control
Wind power represents a fast-growing renewable source of energy that has significant environmental advantages over conventional supplies. However, achieving its full potential as one of the main sources of electricity requires overcoming critical challenges. The most often discussed challenge is the inherent variability of wind, but transitioning into the role of a major power system supplier will also compel wind farms to provide critical grid services that are often required of conventional generators. This lecture discusses one such service: frequency regulation, a grid service that corrects short-term imbalances in power generation and load.
The Human-Energy Landscape: History and Path to Renewables
Energy touches all aspects of the human experience and is central to nearly every global challenge the world faces today, from raising the standards of living around the world to the existential threat of climate change. This lecture gives an overview of the global energy landscape and answers questions such as, “Where does our energy come from and what is its ultimate fate,” “How is energy consumed and produced by humans around the world,” “What is the history of human energy use," and "Why do we use the energy sources that we do today, and what could our energy future look like?”
How Do You Know What You Think You Know: A Brief Tutorial on the Mechanisms of Learning and Memory
This session is designed to demonstrate different types of learning and memory and how the brain uses the information we acquire to help guide our behavior. You'll learn about some of the procedures scientists use and participate in activities similar to those researchers implement to investigate how we process and retrieve information.
Wednesday, Oct. 255:00 PM
The Cosmic Imagination
Twentieth-century science was turned on its head by the discoveries of relativity and quantum physics. But what if you were told those discoveries weren’t uniquely the product of the field of physics, but also sprang from centuries of efforts by artists, mystics, and thinkers to probe the extremes of human knowledge and challenge our very conception of reality? In a lecture studded with gorgeous images from both art history and modern cosmology, Professor Egginton tells the sweeping story of the poets, physicists, and philosophers who upended our most basic notions of what is real. His talk will deal with the problems of time and space on a cosmic and microcosmic scale, spanning from quantum fluctuations to the curvature of the cosmos. The collection of great thinkers he’ll touch upon includes Plato, Kant, Dante, Borges, Einstein, and Heisenberg, among others.
Monday, Nov. 064:00 PM
Changes in Heart Rate During Rollercoaster Rides
From infancy through adulthood, our blood pressure stays at a relatively constant mean arterial pressure. Changes in blood pressure result in compensatory changes in heart rate to bring blood pressure back to normal, a phenomenon known as the “baroreceptor reflex response.” The baroreceptor reflex works continuously to maintain our blood pressure throughout our day, from the time we jump out of bed in the morning to the quiet time at our work desks, to vigorous exercise, and then back to bed at night. Our first-year biomedical engineering students use specially designed equipment to test their baroreceptor reflex personally on exhilarating amusement rides during a field trip to Six Flags each fall. This talk will share student data from those field trips.
Monday, Nov. 065:00 PM
Turning Waste to Gold: A Path Towards a Sustainable Future
Do you ever wonder why your cell phone battery gets worse over time? And what carbon capture is and what we do with the captured carbon? In this lecture, we'll describe how we think about sustainability and creative ways to solve critical energy problems. These include finding alternative ways to store electricity and converting abundant waste products to valuable chemicals.