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Programs » Lectureships » Past Lecturers » 2006-2007 Lecturers » Abstracts

Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers 2006-2007 Abstracts

Virginia L. Butler

Contribution of Archaeology to Conservation Biology: Case Studies from the American West (P,G)
Zooarchaeology--the study of animal remains from archaeological sites--can contribute to contemporary concerns in conservation biology in several ways. First zooarchaeological research demonstrates the ways past human predation and landscape alteration affected animal populations. Environments that early European explorers encountered in the Americas were not free of human influence--they were occupied by Native Americans. Contemporary policy that creates preserves without considering past human actions is trying to recreate environments that never existed. Management of wapiti (elk) in Yellowstone National Park provides a case in point.

Research in California's Owens Valley helps us understand the effects of habitat loss and introduced species on the loss of native fish species in the American west. Study of an 8,000 yr fishbone record shows that both the size and abundance of the different fish species changed over time in response to changes in climate that affected the size of the valley's lakes. But none of them were in danger of extinction. The only thing that changed in the last 100 years was the introduction of exotic species, predatory fish against which the indigenous species cannot compete. Unless more efforts are taken to reduce exotic species from critical habitat, the indigenous species are probably doomed to extinction.

When wildlife biologists re-establish a species they try to do so with animals from a source population that is closely related to the original native stock. Since new techniques allow genetic data to be extracted from skeletal remains, genetic analysis of zooarchaeological remains can provide the genetic signature of the locally extinct native stock. In Oregon, for example, biologists wanting to re-introduce the sea otter turned to archaeological remains to determine whether Alaskan or southern California sea otters are the closest genetic match to the population that formerly inhabited Oregon's waters.

The 13,000 Year History of Columbia River Salmon (G,S)
In the 19th century, the Columbia River was one of the greatest salmon producing rivers in the world, with annual runs of 10-16 million fish. Today, populations of all six salmon species known for the basin are severely diminished or extinct. As scientists and resource managers debate the causes for these losses and develop measures to save these fishes from extinction, it is relevant to consider the longer history of salmon in the basin and the role they played in Native American economies.

Archaeological fish bone records from the Columbia River system provide a ~13,000 yr history of fishes in the basin. The sample includes over 38,000 bones from 37 dated archaeological components along the main stem and tributaries of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Salmon represent over 2/3 of the specimens, the rest being sturgeon (Acipenser sp.), and various freshwater fish. Variation in salmon:nonsalmon bone ratios suggest ways fishes adjusted to post-glacial stream conditions and changing climates. The earliest salmon records are from the Snake River (~13,000-11,000 yr old), while earliest remains on the Upper Columbia River date ~4000 years later. These ages suggest the Snake River system provided spawning habitat much earlier than the Upper Columbia, which is expected, since the Snake River was ice-free throughout the Pleistocene and the Upper Columbia was blocked by continental ice until ~15,000 yrs ago, and then would have carried a significant silt load as continental ice melted and streams reworked fine glacial sediments.

Huge numbers of salmon remains from 8000-9000 yr old deposits at The Dalles, OR indicate salmon populations were well established in some parts of the river system by that time. Salmon abundance declined sharply ~7500-4000 years ago, reflecting deteriorated stream conditions (higher temperatures, increased silt loads, lower stream flows), which would have affected adult and egg mortality, and limited spawning and rearing habitat. Increased salmon abundance after 4000 yrs ago likely reflects improved conditions in the freshwater system that led to increased survival of developing young.

The Archaeological Record of Human Impacts to Ancient Animal Populations (G,S)
A variety of evidence is accumulating from various parts of the world that suggests past human foragers greatly affected the animal and plant populations that they were exploiting. Besides identifying prey response to human harvesting pressure, such studies also track ways human predators adjusted to reduced prey abundance, pointing out the dynamic nature of predator-prey interactions. Many studies have been conducted in a theoretical framework derived from evolutionary ecology, particularly foraging theory, and have demonstrated enormous explanatory power in accounting for subsistence change in human economies. This presentation reviews the method and theory underlying such studies and considers a number of case studies from around the world that shows ways ancient animal populations were affected by human predation and landscape alteration.

Where Have all the Native Fish Gone? The Fate of Lewis and Clark's Fishes of the Lower Columbia River (P,G)
The 200 yr. anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife of the American West since the expedition. Changes to fish populations are particularly striking. The journals the explorers kept on the lower Columbia River provide the first written descriptions of several fishes, indicate how much the group relied on fish for sustenance, and show their importance to Native American life ways. Archaeological records of fish remains from villages that date to the time of the expedition provide additional information on the kinds and abundance of fishes living in the river and adjacent wetlands on the floodplain. When these ~200 yr old fish records are compared to contemporary records from the lower Columbia, the differences seen are profound and highlight the magnitude of change that has occurred in a relatively short period.

The fish on which Lewis and Clark most relied have experienced major declines since the early 1800s. The dramatic decline in salmon and trout is a familiar story: of the estimated 10-16 million fish that migrated up the Columbia before Euro-American settlement, only about 2.5 make the journey today and the majority of these are hatchery reared. Sturgeon (Acipenser sp.) and eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) are faring somewhat better but petitions have recently been proposed to list these as endangered. Backwater slough fish populations have changed drastically in the last 200 years. Before Euro-American arrival, several species of minnows and suckers dominated these wetlands, based on the archaeological fish bone record. Today, a variety of exotic fish species introduced mainly from eastern North America comprise over half of the species and most of the actual fish in the system.

Lewis and Clark accounts and archaeological fishbone records provide benchmarks for local faunas prior to species introductions and habitat modifications. By comparing fish records from ~200 years ago to those today, the magnitude of the faunal changes in specific locales is clear. By establishing the more ancient history of the native fishes of the lower Columbia through history and archaeology, the case can be made that these impressive creatures deserve a place here long into the future.

Nicholas K. Coch

Are America's Beaches all washed up? (P)
Extensive coastal development, lack of hurricane danger perception, modification of shorelines with engineering structures and a rising sea level have increased the danger to coastal inhabitants and their structures. This talk describes how coastal systems work and evolve naturally as well as how anthropogenic and natural changes are causing problems on our coasts. Major problems will occur as we continue to build fixed structures on a moving shoreline. What are our options?

Hurricane Hazards in the U.S. (P)
Hurricanes pose a major problem for the Gulf and Atlantic coastal regions because recent research suggests that in the next decades, hurricane frequency, and possible intensity, will increase. Our coastal areas are more vulnerable to damage because of overbuilding, alterations from engineering structures and rising sea level. This talk describes the basic mechanics of hurricane damage and how these work on different types of shorelines. No major hurricane has hit a major urban coastal population in the last century - we are statistically overdue. It is vital that we develop the effective hurricane management program before the " Big One" hits the United States shoreline.

Hurricane Damage along the (New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf) Coast. (G)
The New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf Coasts each have a different hurricane landfall frequency and potential for destruction. Any one of these regions may be chosen for discussion. The lecture will review past history, present state, specific vulnerabilities, and susceptibility to future damage.

Unique Vulnerability of New york City to Hurricane Destruction (G)
The unique demographic, oceanographic, topographic, bathymetric, and geographic conditions of the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan region greatly amplify the effects of land falling hurricanes. Based on historical records, past Category 2 hurricanes have done Category 3 damage and Category 3 hurricanes caused damage equivalent to Category 4 hurricanes in the South. This talk deals with how this major urban coastal section will fate in the future. Hurricane landfalls in this area are infrequent, but their consequences can be catastrophic. What will happen when the "Big One" hits the "Big Apple?"

Forensic Hurricanology and the Reconstruction of Historic Hurricanes (S)
Forensic Hurricanology utilizes information obtained from recent hurricanes to interpret damage patters in historic hurricanes. The causal mechanisms for given damage patterns is obtained from modern quantitative data. Damage descriptions from a wide variety of historic sources provides descriptions of damage patterns. These are interpreted in light of the recent data. Inferences are made about wind speed, radius of maximum winds, surge levels and translational velocities from the historical data. Areal plotting of the data makes a reconstruction of the wind field possible. Joint analysis of the data with specialists from the National Hurricane Center, make it possible to produce dynamic computer models of the 17th through 19th century hurricanes.

Dynamics of Hurricane Destruction by Wind, Waves, Surge and Inland Flooding - Facts and Fallacies (S)
Hurricanes cause damage by wave attack, surge flooding and wind at the shoreline and by wind and inland flooding away from the coast. Recent studies have shown that hurricanes are not just coastal events, but can spread damage hundreds of miles inland if they make a high-angle landfall with the coast. The lecture reviews all of these types of damage and provides new insights into each from recent hurricanes. Damage mitigation measures have had mixed success in past hurricanes. It is time for new ideas and a modern perspective before the inevitable major hurricane hits one of our large urban coastal areas.

Heidi Cullen

Talking Climate on The Weather Channel (P,G,S)
(P) This talk will focus on the basics of global warming for the general public. It will present what we know, what we don't know, and why global warming is important. It will also take the larger perspective and show how 'natural' climate variability (like Ice Ages and El Nino) are also very important players that shape human history.

The talk will also cover how it can be tough to communicate the science of global warming from a TV perspective - it's not as visually dramatic as a hurricane.

I will intersperse video clips from The Weather Channel to illustrate how we go about "talking climate" on The Weather Channel.

This talk will focus on the types of climate stories The Weather Channel's 'Forecast Earth' segment covers as well as the challenge of making these segments come alive to viewers.

'Forecast Earth' programs on The Weather Channel examine the intersection of human history and the natural environment; topics such as hurricanes and coastal development, water resource management in the US West, and the sociology of heat waves. I will also provide some background on the general public's perception of 'global warming'.

The talk will also cover how it can be tough to talk about global warming from a TV perspective and my own personal challenges as a scientist in the world of TV.

I will intersperse video clips from The Weather Channel as an attempt to illustrate how we go about talking "climate" on The Weather Channel.

(G) This talk will focus on the types of climate stories The Weather Channel's 'Forecast Earth' segment covers as well as the challenge of making these segments come alive to viewers.

'Forecast Earth' programs on The Weather Channel examine the intersection of human history and the natural environment; topics such as hurricanes and coastal development, water resource management in the US West, and the sociology of heat waves. I will also provide some background on the general public's perception of 'global warming'.

The talk will also cover how it can be tough to talk about global warming from a TV perspective and my own personal challenges as a scientist in the world of TV.

I will intersperse video clips from The Weather Channel as an attempt to illustrate how we go about talking "climate" on The Weather Channel.

(S) This talk will cover the different climate 'products' that are out there and how they are presented on-air at The Weather Channel; products like the Drought Monitor and NOAA's seasonal outlooks. The question is how best do we communicate this climate content in a way that makes the information useful to the general public.

Richard J. Davidson

The Emotional Brain (P,G,S)
Review of new findings on the brain bases of emotion.

The Autistic Brain (P,G,S)
Review of new findings on social brain and abnormalities that are associated with autism.

Transforming the Mind: Perspectives from Affective Neuroscience (P,G,S)
Reviews work on neuroplasticity and illustrates the various ways in which the human brain can be transformed through experience, training and therapeutic intervention

Affective Style: Perspectives from Affective Neuroscience (P,G,S)
Abstract Reviews the neural basis of individual differences in patterns of emotional reactivity and shows how such differences may be related to both mental and physical health.

Adam M. Finkel
Society for Risk Analysis Distinguished Lecturer

Both Sides Now: Misguided Attacks on Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (P,G)
Given something as common-sensical as "compare the costs and benefits of each proposed action to protect health or the environment," it may be surprising how angry this activity makes people - and how it breeds critics on both extremes of the ideological spectrum. As a developer and user of risk analysis methods, I have been branded as contributing to a "vicious circle" of exaggerated risk fueling unwarranted public fears-although I have shown in my research that actually, these methods often underestimate risk, while also overestimating the costs of regulatory controls. At the same time, many environmentalists attack risk assessment for being insufficiently protective, inevitably immoral, and contributing to "paralysis by analysis," criticisms which I also view as misplaced. This talk will explore the political landscape of risk assessment, show how indispensable it has been to national and international policies to address health, safety, and environmental issues, and argue that we should neither abandon it nor allow critics to hijack it in order to bludgeon the public into "declaring victory" over unsolved environmental problems. I will summarize scientific and economic research to shed light on the crucial question of whether current methods of analysis exaggerate or underestimate risks and costs. A key aspect of this talk will be to shine a spotlight on the controversial notion of "precaution," to show how it can be used in opposite ways by different decision-makers, and how it can instead be made into an explicit and useful part of individual and social choice.

130 Million Neglected: the Fall of Worker Safety and Health in the U.S. (P,G,S)
More than 130 million Americans spend roughly half their waking hours at work, and as a consequence face risks of accidental death and chronic disease that can dwarf similar risks encountered anywhere else in life. The American workplace is unquestionably safer now than at any time in the past, and in some cases, features some of the safest and "cleanest" work environments in the industrialized world. However, the number of fatal accidents at work recently began to increase, after decades of steady decreases down to a level (roughly 5,000 deaths per year) that many still regard as unacceptably high. Scientists estimate that perhaps ten times as many U.S. workers die prematurely each year as a result of exposures to hazardous substances, and we lack the information to discern whether this number is rising or falling. For 35 years, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been charged with setting and enforcing standards to improve workplace conditions, with (as one point of reference) roughly 5% the budget and staff of the Environmental Protection Agency. Have these resources been adequate for the task, and has the agency used them wisely, in the face of some hazards known to observers for millennia and others that have only arisen with cutting-edge changes in products and processes? Having just completed 10 years as the chief regulatory official at OSHA and the chief enforcement official in the Rocky Mountain states, I have an insider's perspective on what OSHA has achieved, and where it has let the country down. The talk will emphasize practical recommendations for increasing the cost-effectiveness of our national worker-protection system, and for fulfilling the promise of the federal agency at its center.

Modernizing Quantitative Risk Analysis in Light of Human Inter-individual Variability (G,S)
We often estimate and communicate risks to health by means of the "body count," as in "42,000 people were killed in automobile crashes last year." Most of the federal and state regulations governing environmental and occupational health risks seek to lower individual risks to an "acceptable" probability, such as one chance in one million. In either case, scientists and regulators assume that one number can describe the situation for every citizen. When we start from the "body count," we often implicitly or explicitly recast it as the individual risk to the average person (in the example above, 42,000 deaths in a population of 300 million Americans yields a risk of 1.4 per 10,000); when we start from a direct estimate of an individual risk, it sometimes is intended to represent an atypical person at high risk, and sometimes the average person. None of these situations accounts for the substantial variation in individual risk that real people face, as a consequence of the widely different circumstances of exposure and the vast differences among us in our genetic predispositions, overall health status, and other factors. This talk will explain how inadequate single estimates of risk can be, in two related arenas where they are used: risks to health and safety in communities and workplaces, and results of medical screening tests (or predictions of the risk of medical interventions). I will emphasize the recent explosion of knowledge about the human genome, but will also provide examples of ignoring human differences that are much more obvious, and will conclude with policy recommendations for improving risk assessment and risk management to enlighten and benefit individuals as well as populations.

The Odyssey of a "Vindicated Whistleblower" (P,G,S)
We have an elaborate system of laws and institutions that are supposed to promote three (possibly conflicting) goals: allow witnesses to fraud, malfeasance, and "deadly neglect" to shed light on such conditions without fear of reprisal; protect whistleblowers who are harassed or punished for their disclosures; and protect agencies and companies from frivolous or erroneous disclosures. I have seen this system from both sides, first as a Regional Administrator for OSHA (the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the federal agency that investigates charges of retaliation against private-sector whistleblowers in workplace, environmental, financial-accounting, and other arenas, and most recently as a litigant against my own agency. In 2002, after protesting internally against my agency's decision not to provide inexpensive blood tests to our own employees who had been exposed to dangerous levels of beryllium dust in the course of conducting inspections of contaminated facilities, I discussed my concerns with a reporter. On the day the article about the decision appeared, I was stripped of my executive position and transferred across the country with my family. I eventually won a substantial settlement from OSHA, and the agency later revealed that the first round of medical tests had uncovered health problems in our workforce at twice the prevalence I had predicted. This talk will summarize the current information about chronic beryllium disease at OSHA and in the much larger private-sector workforce, but it will focus primarily on the lessons I learned as a target of the very agency charged with investigating worker-health and whistleblower retaliation cases. I will pay particular attention to the way scientific claims were evaluated at OSHA and at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (the agency that is supposed to protect public-sector employees), and try to put my experiences in context of other much more well-known stories of whistleblowing and their consequences.

James D. Franson

Quantum Computing Using Single Photons (G)
Quantum computers are expected to be able to solve numerical problems that are not feasible on a conventional computer. We are developing an optical approach in which the bits (known as qubits) are represented by single photons. Progress to date includes the development of quantum logic gates, single-photon sources and memories, and small-scale quantum circuits for photonic qubits. The prospects for a full-scale quantum computer using photons as qubits will be described, along with some of the interesting physics that is associated with this approach.

John R. Gersh

Visualization in Action (or, how is Mission Control like a thermostat?) (P,G)
Scientific visualization and data mining techniques have enabled the discovery and presentation of insights from complex sets of data. We need to do more than see and understand, though; people use information as the basis for action. We drive cars, control spacecraft, cook dinner, direct autonomous vehicles, fight battles. We use information gleaned from computer-driven displays of the world around us to evaluate what's happening, decide what to do about it, implement an action, and assess the results. This, ideally, involves visualizing and implementing actions, plans, goals, and tasks, all in the context of states of our systems and of the world. Considerations of cognition, automation roles and supervisory control, human-computer interaction, and knowledge representation all play in the design of systems from video recorders to robot spacecraft. For example, spacecraft control is traditionally accomplished through long strings of individual commands to spacecraft components (open the valve, dump the memory, turn on the sensor). Concepts for more autonomous spacecraft, though, involve on-board planning and replanning of higher-level tasks (take some pictures, send them home, respond to component failure). How should the plan be depicted to mission controllers? How about deviations from the original plan? How can system designers and engineers accomplish objectives like these? What theoretical and practical issues are involved in providing visual representations of what we want our automated systems to do and providing indications that they will, in fact do what we want in evolving situations? What pitfalls lie in store for unwary designers?

"What was I thinking?" - Capturing Analysts' Insights (G,S)
Information analysis and knowledge discovery tasks usually extend over significant periods of time and can involve collaborative teams of people. How can an analyst share insights and discoveries with colleagues and with and his or her later self? Intelligence analysis, business planning and even scientific discovery can all involve querying complex sets of data, visualizing the results, and discovering interesting items or patterns in them. These computer-supported sensemaking activities combine to provide, one hopes, insight into what's going on in the world and why. As Hamming famously said, "the purpose of computing is insight, not numbers." If that is the case, though, the explicit representation of such insight within the information system could potentially benefit the analysis process. Insight in information analysis is a tricky concept, though. Of what does insight consist? What is a general set of attributes by which "an analytical insight" may be characterized? How can the development of insight be recorded as an analyst explores a complex collection of information? How can we handle changes in insight over time? How can insights be further explored, monitored for validity, elaborated, compared, and shared? The talk will cover the development of a simple framework for representing, depicting, and transforming analytical insights, the motivation for this work, its relation to sensemaking theory, examples of visualization and interaction, and application to intelligence analysis problems.

Diane Gifford-Gonzalez

Animal Disease Challenges to the Spread of Pastoralism in Africa: Archaeological and Epizootiological Perspectives (G,S)
African savannas today are home to numerous pastoralist cultures, but archaeology of sub-Saharan Africa reveals not one but two puzzling delays in the implantation of such cattle-based economies from the Sahara-Sahel region. Domestic cattle are found in the present-day Sahara by at least 8000 years ago. DNA studies suggest they may have been independently domesticated in northern Africa, and any case, pastoralists thrived there for nearly 5000 years. However, in both East and South Africa, development of cattle-based economies seems to have been delayed up to a thousand years after sheep and goats first appearance. Sleeping sickness is perhaps the least threatening of four diseases lethal to cattle today that probably hindered successful introduction of cattle-based economies into these regions.

Before Farming and Villages: Early Pastoralists of the Sahara (P,G)
Emerging evidence from the Sahara and from cattle DNA suggests that ancient Africans followed a very different path toward food production than taken by ancient Near Eastern peoples. Sedentary life around Saharan lakes and rivers during the moist phase immediately after the Ice Age is richly evidenced, as is 9800-year-old pottery. Domestic cattle are found in northern Africa at least 8000 years ago, and DNA studies suggest they may have been independently domesticated in the region. In any case, pastoralists thrived there for nearly 5000 years, without any trace of domestic plants. How did this divergent path emerge? What finally led to domestication of sorghum, millet, yams, and other crops? Why does this seem puzzling?

The Case of the Disappearing Fur Seals: How Bones, Isotopes, and Ancient DNA Are Helping Solve a Prehistoric Mystery (G,S)
Archaeological sites along the southern Californian to Alaskan coasts testify to a different distribution of eared seals than is historically documented. This is especially true of the northern fur seal which was among the most common pinnipeds in many archaeological sites up c 1000 AD. Our research team has applied new age determination methods, bone isotope analysis, and ancient DNA to reconstruct prehistoric fur seals' foraging and reproductive habits. We have strong evidence for a substantial resident fur seal population along the coast of "Lower 48," with multiple rookeries on the Oregon and California coasts, and for substantial differences in the species' weaning behavior. The relevance of our work to ongoing debates about fur seal conservation and over aboriginal peoples' role in their disappearance well before European contact is discussed.

Ancient Farming in Africa: Creating New Species along a Distinctive Path (P)
Ancient African farming and herding has been misunderstood not only by the general public but also by scientists. Only recently has enough archaeological evidence come to light to propose that African peoples brought numerous indigenous plant species under domestication under harsh climatic conditions, after millennia of using pottery, domesticated cattle, sheep, and goats, and intensively harvesting wild plants. This path to farming looks very different from that of people in the Near East, in Mexico, or in South America, but all these independent cases of domestication share an underlying logic.

Joany Jackman

Breath as a Diagnostic (P,G)
This is a discussion of the important features of breath to examine human performance, infection and underlying human diseases. This includes a discussion of both protein and volatile markers in breath.

Agroterrorism (P)
If protecting a single species such as humans from 10-20 known bioterrorism agents is daunting, imagine the difficulty in protecting 20-50 plant species from 100+ bioterrorism agents. This topic discusses the impact of plant disease, the unique difficulties in detecting plant diseases, distinguishing plant diseases and finally discusses new technology approaches

History of Bioterrorism (P)
This is a unclassified history of bioterrorism. Bioterrorism was not used only in the 20th century to change the outcome of battles. This history will also highlight research and impact on bioterrorism.

Using Biology Against Bioterrorism (G)
Pathogens themselves have natural enemies, have natural means to sample bacteria or virus and are the evolutionary target of biological systems to overcome the effect of the pathogen. Some of these strategies will be discussed relative to their exploitation in combating bioterrorism.

Gretchen Kalonji

Multinational Project-Based Approaches to Internationalizing Education and Research (PG)
We describe an effort underway at the University of Washington, in partnership with a number of universities around the world, on the transformation of research and education through the creation of multinational student-faculty projects in a wide variety of disciplines. Our basic approach is to build the curriculum around working in teams, with students and professors at other universities in various regions of the world, on addressing common, practical research challenges. All of the teams are multinational and interdisciplinary, and the research invokes the participation of a variety of non-academic social sectors, such as state and local government, industry and the non-profit community. In addition to engineering, our collaborations involve faculty and students from natural and physical sciences, social sciences, natural resource management, arts and humanities. For some projects, the collaboration takes place within a single course that is jointly taught at multiple sites, and for which the students interact electronically, via e-mail, the web, video-conferencing, etc. An example is our collaboration with Tohoku University, in Sendai, Japan, on first-year engineering design, a program in place since 1999. For other projects, the students participation is of far longer duration, such as the jointly-offered four-year curriculum we have created with Sichuan University, in Chengdu, on Challenges to the Environment in the US Pacific Northwest and southwest China. While our primary efforts to date have focused on undergraduate education, we have recently created a new collaborative doctoral program, working with colleagues in China, Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. In this talk, we will describe some of the lessons learned to date in this project-based approach to integrating international research and education, and outline our directions for the future.

US-China: Collaborations on Reform of Science and Engineering Education (PG)
Both the US and the Peoples Republic of China have in recent years been heavily engaged in the re-evaluation of science and engineering education, both in terms of curricular content and pedagogy. While there are similarities in the issues identified, there are also interesting differences in the interpretation of priorities. In recent years, we are also seeing increasing efforts by Chinese and US academics to work together on the reformulation of higher education in technical disciplines. In this talk we will provide an overview of trends in science and engineering education reform in the two countries. We will also highlight some new models for partnership, including the University of Washington űSichuan University joint research-based undergraduate program, which focuses on challenges to the environment in the US Pacific Northwest and southwest China.

Engineering Education Reform: Transformation through Internationalization (GS)
In recent years, there has been a flurry of activity in engineering education reform, not only in the US but in most regions of the world. The driving forces for this activity include the dramatically rapid changes in the nature of the profession, the profusion of technology and the challenges and opportunities afforded by it, the need to increase and diversify the pool of young people interested in science and engineering, and the rapid pace of the globalization of the world economy. In this talk we provide an overview of models of transformation of engineering education through the creation of new, multidimensional international partnerships. We will describe some of the issues that arise in internationalizing our programs, and outline some of the surprising, and often unexpected, ancillary benefits. The overall focus will be on understanding the challenges and benefits to students, faculty, and institutions of forming new, integrated multinational alliances in education and research.

Todd R. Klaenhammer

Eat Bacteria - Get Cultured: New Horizons in Bioprocessing and Health (G)
From Pasteur to Genomics (P)

Since the time of Louis Pasteur, the field of microbiology has exploded with the realization that billions of microorganisms inhabit our biosphere, our food, and our bodies. Most are non-pathogenic and exist unrecognized in a variety of niches where they often provide important and beneficial roles. The lactic acid bacteria, which have been used traditionally for thousands of years to ferment food, wine and dairy products are now being exploited to deliver a variety of health benefits to humans and animals. These bacteria are widely recognized as safe for oral consumption and are now providing unique opportunities to expand our horizons in bioprocessing and health.

Louis J. Lanzerotti

Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Technical and Policy Issues (PG)
Based upon the National Research Council Report "Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Public Report (2005)"
A group of prominent scientists and engineers published in 2003 a technical analysis suggesting that spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools at the nation's nuclear power plants might be vulnerable to certain types of accidents or terrorist attacks. The authors recommended that plant operators be required to transfer older spent fuel from these pools into dry storage facilities to reduce the potential vulnerabilities. Such a move was estimated to cost the industry or taxpayers several billions of dollars. The nuclear power industry and its regulator disputed this analysis and asserted that pool storage was being carried out in a safe and secure manner. Congress called upon The National Academies to examine these competing claims, and Dr. Lanzerotti chaired the National Academies study committee that carried out this examination. This talk describes events leading up to this congressional request, the publicly-released study results, and some of the follow-on work that is being carried out by the federal government and industry to address the study recommendations. The technical issue of this study is used to illustrate how scientists and engineers and the organizations they work for help to shape important national policies that can affect large numbers of American citizens.

Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Technical and Policy Issues (PG)
Based upon the National Research Council Report "Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope (2004)"
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has operated continuously since 1990. During that time, four space shuttle-based service missions were launched, three of which added major observational capabilities. A fifth servicing mission (SM-4) was intended to replace key telescope systems and install two new instruments. The loss in 2003 of the space shuttle Columbia, however, resulted in a decision by NASA not to pursue the SM-4 mission ű leading to a likely end of Hubble's useful life in 2007-2008. This situation resulted in an unprecedented outcry from scientists and the public. As a result, NASA began to develop a robotic servicing mission, and Congress directed NASA to request a study from The National Academies of the robotic and shuttle servicing options for extending the life of Hubble. Dr. Lanzerotti chaired the National Academies study committee that carried out this examination. This talk describes events leading up to this congressional request and the results of the study. The results include an examination of the contributions made by Hubble and those likely in the future as the result of a servicing mission, and a comparative analysis of the potential risk of the two options for servicing Hubble. The study concluded that the Shuttle option would be the most effective one for prolonging Hubble's productive life. The technical issues surrounding this issue are used to illustrate how scientists and engineers and the organizations they work for help to shape important national policies.

Clark Spencer Larsen

Behavioral Reconstruction from Human Skeletal Morphology: The Last 10,000 Years (S)
In prehistoric and non-industrialized societies, hunter-gatherers are often characterized as being highly mobile and hard working. In contrast, farmers are characterized as being sedentary and have light workloads. Are these depictions of lifestyle in these different kinds of subsistence strategies true? The study of skeletal pathology and morphology offers a wealth of information for interpreting activity and behavior in the past, especially with regard to assessing difficulty of lifestyle. Articular disease, and especially osteoarthritis, gives important perspective on activity. More osteoarthritis indicates heavier stress on articular joints than less osteoarthritis. Biomechanics, the application of engineering principles to skeletons, provides an important means of reconstructing patterns of activity. Application of the simple beam model from civil and mechanical engineering allows measurement of the strength of bones¨in particular, arm and leg bones¨in order to draw inferences about the use of the limbs in life. Bones of the skeleton are adapted to withstand forces generated in normal day-to-day activities, such as walking and lifting. By analyzing the size and distribution of bone in cross-sections of major limb bones, we can infer the amount of force applied to the bones in life and to draw inferences about difficulty of different lifestyles in the past with regard to workload and activity. Findings from these kinds of studies show a general decline in skeletal robusticity, indicating a general a decrease in workload and activity in the last 10,000 years of human evolution, especially in regard to the shift from a lifeway based exclusively on hunting and collecting of wild plants and animals to that based to varying degrees on domesticated plants and animals. These changes in skeletal morphology and articular pathology reflect the changing cultural environments of humans as they develop new subsistence practices.

In the Wake of Columbus: The Biological Consequences of Contact and Colonialism in the Americas (G)
The lives of Native Americans changed in dramatic ways soon after Christopher Columbus made landfall in the Caribbean islands in the autumn of 1492. Historical records¨written accounts of early explorers and others¨present a picture of conquest and devastating epidemics that resulted in the deaths of millions across the Americas. Until recently, most of what was known about the biological consequences of conquest and contact were based on written source, emphasizing epidemics, population collapse, and extinction. Bioarchaeology, the study of human remains from archaeological settings, of the pre- and post-conquest eras, is providing new perspective on the health, daily lives, and consequences of contact for native peoples. Among the best documented regions is Spanish Florida, the present-day states of Georgia and Florida, and especially those groups who lived in the numerous Spanish missions in this region. Study of skeletons of native people who lived in these missions and comparison with their prehistoric ancestors reveals a fund of information about the consequences of contact in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Skeletons from these sites, especially from mission sites along the coast of Georgia and northern Florida, provide scholars with a surprisingly complete picture of key parameters of health and lifestyle in the contact era, supplementing and clarifying the sometimes unclear historical records. Using tools from bone chemistry, dental anthropology, paleopathology, and biomechanics, we have determined dramatic changes in nutrition, health, and quality of life. Study of bone pathology shows an increase in infectious diseases of various kinds, increased workload, and exploitation of native peoples. Although epidemic disease contributed to a decline in native peoples, other factors led to population loss, especially with regard to decreased nutritional quality and increased disease and workload.

Skeletons in Our Closet: Revealing Our Past through Bioarchaeology (P)
The dead tell no tales. Or do they? In this lecture, Larsen shows that the dead do speak, especially about their lives and lifestyles, through the study of ancient human skeletons and the science of bioarchaeology. The human skeleton is a storehouse of information, recording the circumstances of growth and development deriving from factors such as disease, stress, diet, nutrition, activity, and violence. Drawing from a ranges of sciences¨chemistry, geology, physics, and biology¨bioarchaeologists read the bones of the dead in order to reconstruct and interpret life for our human ancestors. For example, the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture¨an event that began about 10,000 years ago with the retreat of the glaciers of the last ice age¨has been largely interpreted as a major advance in the human condition. However, the growing record suggests that although agriculture provided the economic basis for the rise of civilizations worldwide, it came with a cost ű namely, a decline in health in many settings. Some key health problems of today, such as some of the major infectious diseases, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, have its roots in this major economic transition. In this lecture, Larsen draws from his own research on thousands of skeletons from around the world, providing a guide to major health and adaptive shifts, such as the adoption of agriculture, the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, and the settlement of the American West in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The dead do tell tales.

Gary S. May

Intelligent Semiconductor Manufacturing (S)
Recent innovations in the field of artificial intelligence, including neural networks, genetic algorithms, and expert systems have the potential to revolutionize the multi-billion dollar semiconductor manufacturing industry. Research at Georgia Tech is a leading contributor to intelligent semiconductor manufacturing.

Diversifying the Engineering Workforce (P)
This talk examines the various factors that contribute to the success of minority students in engineering programs by exploring past and current paradigms promoting success and analyzing models for advancing the participation of members of these populations. Student success is correlated to several indicators, including pre-college preparation, recruitment programs, admissions policies, financial assistance, academic intervention programs, and graduate school preparation and admission. This review suggests that the problem of minority underrepresentation and success in engineering is soluble given the appropriate resources and collective national "will" to propagate effective approaches.

Jon McCammond

Mission Impossible: Learning from what Cannot be Done (P,G)
Many of the most historically famous open problems in mathematics were finally resolved when someone came along and was able to prove, once and for all, that they simply could not be done. This talk consists of a layman's tour through some subset of the following list of such instances: the irrationality of the square root of 2, Euclid's parallel postulate, trisecting an angle, doubling a cube, solving a fifth degree polynomial, sizes of infinite, axiomatizing arithmetic, the halting problem, Goedel's incompleteness theorem and general issues of decidability. The level of this talk can be easily adjusted according to the level of the audience in attendance.

Wallpaper Patterns and Platonic Solids: Understanding the Structure of Symmetries (P,G)
Symmetry is an absolutely fundamental concept that lies at the heart of many key scientific principles. In this talk I will discuss how a mathematician might go about classifying the symmetries possessed by a 2 or 3 dimensional object such as a molecule or a physical system, leading up to an explanation of the somewhat cryptic claim that there are exactly 17 different types of wallpaper.

Roots, Ratios and Ramanujan: Finding Surprises Through Repetition (G,S)
When things get iterated over and over, something eventually has to give. Like a two-year-old who has discovered the word "why" mathematicians are often fascinated with the results of repetition. This talk will focus on a connected set of surprises that arise through simple iteration: punching the [cos] button repeatedly on a calculator, continued fractions -- along with their connections to the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers, and continued square roots, with some mentions of Ramanujan, Chebyshev polynomials, and the Mandelbrot set thrown in along the way.

John H. McMasters

Perspectives on Airplane Design - Past, Present and Future (G,S)
For much of the 20th Century, advances in aeronautics and aerospace have served as a poster child for modern technological progress. Over the past decade, however, a spate of national studies and articles in both the popular and professional presses, has decried the seriously declining state of aeronautics in this country. This current situation has been brought about in part by the end of the Cold War, a supposed maturation of traditional aerospace technologies, and the competition for talent and resources with the explosive growth in information, communications and other newer technologies. Whatever the reasons for the putative decline in aeronautics, two fundamental factors are cause for serious immediate concern. The first is the fact that we as an aeronautics community have been unable to create a collective vision of our future as compelling and exciting as that which has driven our past. The second, which is reciprocal to the first, is the need for an aggressive means to replenish and sustain the pool of technical talent required to maintain an industry that continues to find a multi-billion dollar a year market for its products and services and which remains important to the continued growth of our global economy and national security. The purposes of this presentation are several-fold. One is to examine the co-evolution of aeronautical technology development and airplane design practice in a very broad, long-term historical context. A more important purpose is to discuss the emerging recognition that airplane design (and engineering in general) is a ˘social activity÷ that demands as much attention be devoted to technical workforce development issues as has traditionally been directed toward technology and process development if we are to assure the future of our endeavor. Aeronautics may be a maturing industry (at least in some traditional product areas), but a central concern within our technical community must be for the development and proper utilization of a future generation of practitioners in our always-evolving enterprise. The material presented is a work in progress which in no way represents an official position of The Boeing Company. Some possible future airplane concepts will be discussed and pictures of them will be shown. [This presentation can be tailored to the backgrounds and interests of a wide variety of potential audiences.]

Reflections of a Paleoaerodynamicist (P,G,S)
Aeronautics is usually presumed to have started as a formal engineering discipline somewhere in historical time between the mythological experiments of Daedalus and his ill-fated son, Icarus; and the dreams and schemes of Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance. As reviewed in this presentation, ˘aeronautics÷ has a far longer history, extending over a period of about 300 million year beginning with the evolution of the ability of insects to fly. With the advent of the success of the Wright brothers, technologists quickly turned their attention from the inspirations and lessons provided by natural models of flying machines to a more practical quest for increasingly dramatic improvements in speed, range and altitude performance far beyond the limits of what muscles and flapping wings could provide. Based on recent work in support of the NASA/DARPA Morphing Aircraft Structures Program and other unconventional "airplane design projects (e.g. an undersea glider, two robotic pterosaur replicas), a purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate in broader terms some of the numerous, very rich sources of inspiration such multi-disciplinary explorations continue to offer both the engineering practitioner and educator in a wider range of disciplines. [The contents of this lecture can be tailored to the backgrounds and interests of a wide range of potential audiences.]

The (Airplane) Design Professor as Sheepherder (P,G,S)
The purpose of this presentation is to discuss, from an early 21st Century perspective, some of the issues and opportunities we within the broader technical community (in industry, government and academe) face in assuring an adequate future supply of well prepared engineering graduates for the full range of employers who have need for such talent. While presented from an aerospace industry perspective and thus from that of a ˘mature industry÷ (at least in some major traditional product areas), it is believed that the issues to be addressed have far wider relevance. The evolution of engineering (and specifically design) practice in the ˘airplane business÷ provides a useful lens for discerning future trends in both professional practice and requirements for university and post-employment engineering education programs throughout industry in this country. Four specific issues are the primary focus of this presentation. The first is the question of how many engineers we may need in our future as we confront the problem of an aging workforce and the globalization of our industry. The second is the question of what skills and abilities these engineers will need to possess as the overall industry continues to evolve. Third is the pervasive need for more systems-oriented, multidisciplinary-skilled talent. Finally, and most particularly, the issue of what academe needs to do to support the development of a future generation of engineering talent is addressed. Although much has been accomplished in the past decade to enhance engineering education, we, as both educators and practitioners, have much to do to cooperatively create a strong and vivid vision of our future, to assure the proper development of a future generation of scientists and engineers with the skills and motivation to meet societies needs in our always evolving and ever-volatile enterprise. [This presentation can be made a broad or specific as any particular audience may require.]

Albert J. Paul

Increasing the Accuracy of Data for Compound Semiconductors (S)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has produced the first high-accuracy composition standard reference material for a ternary III-V compound semiconductor. Photoluminescence spectroscopy(PL) was used to measure the composition-dependent emission energies of Al(x)Ga(x-1)As compound semiconductor films grown by molecular beam epitaxy on GaAs substrates. Results were compared with four independent methods used for measuring composition; reflective high-energy diffraction(RHEED), wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy(WDS), electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), and inductively coupled plasma optical-electron spectroscopy(ICP-OES). We also look at other factors that can cause shifts in emission peaks such as ambient temperature drifts, spatial inhomogeneity, and uncertainty in the wavelength scale.

PL and microRaman spectroscopic techniques were also used to measure respectively, the emission energies and vibrational modes of GaAs substrates Al(x)Ga(x-1)As thin films as a function of applied stress. A load cell was constructed in order to apply a calibrated biaxial stress to 11mm specimens that were cut from 75mm diameter wafers. We examined the peak shifts for five Al mole fractions which included those with both direct and indirect bandgaps.

Stress data is essential for the design and modeling of semiconductor devices. We demonstrate how the band-structure of materials can change from their stress-free measured film properties when attached to surfaces.

Measuring the Stress in Compound Semiconductors (G)
In recent years, strained materials have become increasingly important to the semiconductor industry. They exhibit larger electron mobilities that result in greater power handling capabilities. Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopies are two non-destructive technigues that can be used to measure the effects of strain on band structure and properties of thin films. Micro-Raman and photoluminescence spectra of GaAs substrates and Al(x)Ga(x-1)As/GaAs films were obtained as a function of calibrated applied stress. The specimens were placed under a variable load with the construction of a load cell. Vibrational modes were excited with the 488nm line of an Ar+ laser. Data was obtained as a function of incident and scattered light polarizations. Photoluminescence measurements were made under the same conditions and on the same specimens used in the Raman measurements. Commercial software was used to fit peak positions of Raman and PL data. The goal of this work is to simultaneously evaluate the stress and composition of Al(x)Ga(x-1)As films.

Vito Quartana

Integrating Multiscale Data for Simulating Cancer Invasion and Metastasis (G,S)
Cancer research has undergone radical changes in recent times. Producing information both at the basic and clinical levels is no longer the issue. Rather, how to handle this information has become the major obstacle to progress. Intuitive approaches are no longer feasible. The next big step will be to implement mathematical modeling approaches to interrogate the enormous amount of data being produced, and extract useful answer. Quantitative simulation of clinically relevant cancer situations, based on experimentally validated mathematical modeling, provides an opportunity for the researcher and eventually the clinician to address data and information in the context of well formulated questions and ˘what if÷ scenarios. At the Vanderbilt Integrative Cancer Biology Center (
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/VICBC/) we are implementing a vision for a web site that will serve as a cancer simulational hub. To this end, we are combining expertise of an interdisciplinary group of scientist, including experimental biologists, clinical oncologists, chemical and biological engineers, computational biologists, computer modelers, theoretical and applied mathematicians and imaging scientists.

Currently, the major focus of our Center is to produce quantitative computer simulations of cancer invasion at a multiplicity of biological scales. We have several strategies for data collection and modeling approaches at each of several scales, including the cellular (100 cells) multicellular (<102 cells) and tissue level (<106-108 cells).

For the cellular scale, simulation of a single cell moving in an extracellular matrix field is being parameterized with data from lamellipodia protrusion, cell speed, haptotaxis. Some of these data are being collected in novel bioengineered gadgets.

For the multicellular scale, we have adopted the MCF10A 3dimensional mammosphere system. Several parameters, including proliferation, apoptosis, cell-cell adhesion, are being fed into a mathematical model that simulates mammosphere morphogenesis and realistically takes into account cell mechanical properties.

At the tissue level, our hybrid discrete-continuous mathematical model can predict tumor fingering based on individual cell properties. Therefore, we are parameterizing the hybrid model with data from the cellular and multicellular scales and are validating the model by in vivo imaging of tumor formation.

Understanding Life by Data Integration at Multiple Scales (P,G)
This lecture explains how the best way to understand life is by organizing the enormous amount of biological data into a continuum of scales, from molecule, to subcellular organelles, to cells, tissues, organs and organisms. Examples are given for how this is being done in cancer biology, which is becoming more and more rooted in a comprehensive, systems approach.

Biology Becomes an Exact Science (P,G)
This lecture focuses on the emergence of a new type of biomedical scientist, either experimental biologist or physician, who is fluent in the language of both mathematics and biology. It shows, with concrete examples mostly from cancer research, how biology is undergoing a fast transition akin to the transformation of alchemy into chemistry, and is adopting more and more the tools and mindset of mathematics or engineering. Considerable creative input will be necessary to finalize this transition.

Diana Rhoten

A Multi-Method Analysis of the Conditions for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration (G,S)
This lecture reviews the structures and dynamics of research networks in a sample of six NSF-funded interdisciplinary research centers working in the area of environmental research. Using social network and ethnographic data, this lecture will explore: (1) The structural relations and positions of the research networks in each center; (2) The influence of individual attributes versus organizational factors on network interactions; and, (3) the outcomes of interdisciplinary collaboration within these networks. The lecture introduces important insights about such things as the role of junior versus senior researchers in interdisciplinary centers, the consequences of ˘exchange÷ versus ˘production÷ activities for interdisciplinary collaboration, and the profiles and products of disciplinary versus interdisciplinary research ˘stars÷. This lecture should be of interest to researchers, administrators, and policy makers interested in implementing and/or improving structures and strategies of interdisciplinary research and collaboration. It should also be of interest to students and faculty interested in organizational analysis, particularly scientific organizations.

From Analyzing to Assessing Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (G,S)
Interdisciplinary and integrative graduate education and research training is on the rise throughout the U.S. ű engaging students and faculty, garnering financial support, and effecting structural change on campuses and beyond. This lecture presents the preliminary results of a three-year multi-level, multi-method analysis into the organization, functioning, and performance of innovative, integrative, interdisciplinary ű or I3 ű graduate education programs (n = 30 I3 programs, and 60 non-I3 programs for purposes of comparison). The analytic approach and results discussed are distinctive in several ways. First, the structures and behaviors as well as the products of interdisciplinary training are explored. Second, both the individual and institutional level influences on as well as impacts of interdisciplinary education and training processes and outcomes are examined. And, third, the impacts of I3 graduate education and training are considered and compared with non- I3 graduate education and training along various dimensions, including the intellectual, professional, and ethical. This lecture should be of interest to researchers, administrators, and policy makers interested in the changing context of graduate education and the implications of interdisciplinary approaches for participating as well as non-participating institutions and individuals.

Research Methods for Knowledge Production and Innovation (G,S)
A new territory of research is opening around the topic of knowledge production and innovation, particularly for studies that can strike that difficult compromise between traditional evaluation and theory-driven social research. This lecture begins by exploring the contours of this new terrain, including looking at how the changing configurations of disciplines, technologies, and institutions are altering the generation and dissemination of knowledge. After mapping some of these new constellations, the lecture presents strategies for examining their implications. Methodological in focus, the lecture reviews approaches to designing and applying studies that include and combine techniques of social network analysis, bibliometric analysis, content analysis, and interview and observation. This lecture should be of interest to students of organizational analysis, science studies, evaluation, and history of knowledge production. Some familiarity with these different social science research methods is required.

Dan Rockmore

Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis (P,G)
Ever since the time of Euclid, many of the greatest mathematicians have puzzled over the way in which the prime numbers fall among the natural numbers, seeking a law to describe their somewhat less than steady appearance. One hundred and fifty years ago, a German mathematician, Bernhard Riemann, in a short paper that was his only contribution to number theory, found a way to state such a law, but its precision depends upon on gently stated "hypothesis" embedded in this brief work. The now famous and infamous "Riemann Hypothesis", a simple statement about a particular kind of mathematical function has kept mathematicians busy ever since, leading to surprising connections between primes, card shuffling, chaos, and quantum mechanics. In this talk we'll survey the history of the problem, from its early beginnings to today and show why the hunt to settle the Riemann Hypothesis is one of the most important problems in mathematics today.

Artful Mathematics (P,G,S)
All too often we see mathematics and the arts as two sides of the science/humanities coin. In this talk we'll see a place in which the two come naturally together in exciting new research. For in today's world in which almost all aspects of life are brought to the common medium of the computer, it is now possible to quantify and extract the style of an artist via computation. Examples are gleaned from the literary, visual, and dance arts, and include applications to the problem of authentication. Taken together this work reveals just how stylish math can be.

Living Math (P,G,S)
These days the media is all aflutter with the tremendous advances being made in the life and social sciences, ranging from new understandings of the origins of life, to the workings of the cell, the body, and even the mind, and ranging from the individual to ecosystems. Often, hidden beneath the fanfare is the crucial role that mathematics plays in enabling these great achievements in biology, medicine, ecology, and sociology. This talk will survey some of these recent mathematical hits and in doing so, give a glimpse at the new and exciting frontier of applied mathematics found in the life sciences.

The FFT - An Algorithm the Whole Family Can Use (P,G,S)
The Fast Fourier Transform or "FFT" is one of the most ubiquitous algorithms in all of computational mathematics. In this talk we'll explore the FFT from its astronomical origins in the prediction of celestial orbits, to its modern instantiation as the primary tool of digital signal processing, and then move on to its generalizations as a basic scheme for data analysis in the presence of symmetry - i.e., group theory. We'll see how this more general framework has proved useful in a variety of areas including biology, robotics, and even quantum computing.

Safety In Numbers (P,G,S)
In our age of quantification and digitization, almost all information has been reduced to a string of numbers, from the the bits and bytes that encode our electronic correspondence and digital images, to the personal data that increasingly defines us. Mathematics plays a key role in the protection of this information as well as its utilization for the purpose of safeguarding our future, through various forms of risk analysis. In this talk we'll look at some of the ways in which we increasingly look to and require safety in numbers.

Sue V. Rosser

The Science Glass Ceiling: Academic Women Scientists and their Struggle to Succeed
The Science Glass Celing explores the experiences of women science and engineering faculty in universities across America. Responses of 450 women scientists and engineers to e-mail questionnaires reveal the obstacles, barriers, as well as the encouragements the women face from their colleagues and institutions. Respondents were recipients of either the NSF POWRE award or the Clare Booth Luce Professor Awards. In-depth interviews with 50 of these individuals, representing some of the country's top female scientists about their research, love of science, and daily life in the laboratory suggest solutions to some of the obstacles and policy changes that might transform the cultures at both small liberal arts colleges and larger research institutions to enhance their careers.

Transforming Institutions through ADVANCE
Principal investigators sow the seeds for successful institutionalization and sustainability of their ADVANCE grants when they make the decision to submit the grant and plan the goals, objectives, and activities underpinning the particular aspects of institutional transformation that their university will pursue within a gneeral framework to advance faculty women to senior and leadership positions. Receing the NSF funding in a very competitive, peer-reviewed program and the relatively large size of the NSF grants carry considerable prestige. It is the institutional investment in terms of both human and capital resources and commitment on the parts of administrators and faculty to establish, change, and implement policies and practices to support ADVANCE that leverages the NSF support and assures long-term impact of the initiative.

Daniel H. Sandweiss

The Archaeology of El Ni˝o in Ancient Peru (P,G,S)
El Ni˝o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a global climatic perturbation that has affected natural and cultural systems for thousands of years. First identified on the coast of Peru, that area remains a core region of ENSO activity. Unfortunately, standard paleoclimatic archives such as lake sediments and corals do not exist or have not been identified in this region. Consequently, climate signals from archaeological sites remain the most useful tool available for studying ancient El Ni˝os on the Peruvian coast. Using marine animal remains and other archaeological data, my colleagues and I have studied the last 13,000 years of ENSO activity in this region. We identified major shifts in El Ni˝o frequency that correlate in time with major changes in ancient Andean cultures. In this illustrated lecture, I review the methods and results of our studies of ancient El Ni˝os and cultural development in coastal Peru.

Ancient Fishermen: 13,000 Years of South American Maritime Adaptations (G,S)
For years, archaeologists believed that the first Americans were big game hunters who turned to alternate resources only after the extinction of mammoths, mastodons, and other large mammals at the close of the last ice age. In Peru, research through the 1970s suggested that marine resources were among the last to be added to the subsistence repertoire, coming into use only after about 6000 years ago. Research since the 1980s has revealed that this view is erroneous: the earliest inhabitants of Peru fished and gathered shellfish. Through the subsequent millennia, fishing played an important role in the development of Peru's coastal cultures and was even important within the Inca Empire. In this illustrated lecture, I review the archaeology of Peruvian fishing by focusing on several sites that I excavated during the last quarter century: Quebrada Jaguay (the oldest known fishing site in the Americas), the Ring Site (another early site), Ostra (a 6000-7000 year old fishing camp), and Lo Demßs (a specialized Inca fishing settlement dating to about 500 years ago).

Explorations with Thor Heyerdahl: Peruvian Pyramids and a Cuban Connection (P,G)
The vast, barren ruins of the pyramids of T˙cume rise out of the flat coastal plains of northern Peru. Though eroded over the centuries, these massive monuments still bear witness to their original grandeur. Covering over 220 ha (540 acres) and including 26 major pyramids as well as myriad smaller structures, the ancient city is truly impressive. Norwegian explorer and scientist Thor Heyerdahl first visited T˙cume in 1987; though best known for his pioneering trans-Pacific voyage on the Kon-Tiki balsa raft in 1947, Heyerdahl began a major research project at T˙cume in 1988. Over the following six years, we learned much about this ancient city. First built around AD 1100 by people of the Lambayeque culture, it survived and even grew under successive waves of conquest by the Chim˙ and later Inca armies, only to fall into ruins within a few years of the Spanish conquest. While the T˙cume project was still on going, Heyerdahl was also instrumental in re-opening Cuba to American archaeologists in the early 1990s. In this illustrated lecture, I review Heyerdahl's contributions to New World prehistory through our joint work at T˙cume and in Cuba.

Robert Shepard

In Search of the Influential Scientist. (P,G)
Demographic factors have come into play in the nation's elementary and middle school grade levels. This means that America's classrooms reflect a broad spectrum of diverse backgrounds and ethnic make up. If the sine qua non of a modern economy is a well-educated, versatile workforce able to conduct R&D and to convert its results into innovative products, processes, and services, how can the U.S. produce more globally competitive scientists and engineers in the future from a talent pool that has been historically underutilized in the past? This talk discusses an option for expanding the potential talent pool from among home-grown resources.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Myths and Misunderstandings. (P,G)
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of African Americans. The HBCUs were founded and developed in an environment unlike that of any other institutions of higher education - one of legal segregation. In the midst of such conditions, they strived to serve a population which lived under legal, social, economic, and political restrictions. These early conditions gave rise to myths and misunderstandings that seem to transcend time. This talk strikes a balance between the real and the imaginary.

Paul Sherman

Darwinian Medicine: A New Approach to Health and Disease (P)
The exciting, new interdisciplinary field of Darwinian Medicine takes an evolutionary approach to human health and disease. Whereas medical researchers traditionally study how annoying symptoms are brought about (their underlying mechanisms) and attempt to develop more effective ways to eliminate them, the Darwinian approach emphasizes asking why those symptoms occur in the first place and whether or not it is advisable to eliminate them. These two perspectives are not mutually exclusive: complete understanding of any biological phenomenon requires both mechanistic and functional analyses.

This lecture will illustrate the applicability of Darwinism to medicine, first in determining which symptoms and behaviors serve useful purposes (adaptations) and which do not (pathologies), and second in considering how to treat such symptoms as fever, anemia, pain, allergies, cravings for fat, menstruation, morning sickness, and emerging infectious diseases. Decisions about whether or not to eliminate particular symptoms will be better informed if they include consideration of whether those symptoms are aiding or hindering an individual's recovery. Thus, a Darwinian approach may complement and enhance traditional medical practices in the 21st century.

Why We Use Spices (G)
For centuries spices have been important in food preparation throughout the world. However, patterns of spice use differ considerably among cultures. This lecture will introduce the new field of Darwinian gastronomy, and address two specific questions, namely (1) what factors underlie cultural differences in spice use?, and (2) why are spices used at all? To investigate these issues, I quantified the frequency of use of all spices (n=43) in the meat-based recipes (4,578) of all countries (36) for which traditional cookbooks (93) could be located. I also compiled information on climatic variables, ranges of spice plants, and their antimicrobial properties. These data were used to investigate several alternative hypotheses, including that spices disguise the taste and smell of spoiled foods, increase perspiration and evaporative cooling, provide micronutrients, or eliminate foodborne microorganisms.

In support of the latter hypothesis, secondary compounds in all spice plants inhibit or kill foodborne bacteria, some very effectively. Within and among countries, proportions of recipes containing spices, numbers of spices per recipe, total spices used, and use of the most potent antibacterial spices all increase with increasing mean annual temperatures (an indicator of relative spoilage rates of unrefrigerated foods).

A corollary of the antimicrobial hypothesis is that, within cuisines, vegetable dishes should be less spicy than meat dishes, because cells of dead plants are better protected physically and chemically against bacterial and fungal invasions than cells of dead animals, whose immune system ceased functioning at death. As predicted, among countries, vegetable dishes called for fewer spices/recipe than meat dishes, and 38 of 41 individual spices were used less frequently in vegetable recipes. Proportions of recipes calling for >1 spice, and >1 extremely potent antimicrobial spice also are lower for vegetable than meat dishes in most countries.

Although the proximate (immediate cause) reason spices are used obviously is to enhance food palatability, the ultimate (long-term) reason most likely is to cleanse foods of bacteria and fungi. Prior to widespread availability of refrigeration and artificial food preservation, spices probably enhanced the health, longevity, and reproductive success of people who found their flavors enjoyable. This, in turn, explains why spices taste good to their descendants.

Protecting Ourselves from Food. (S)
Most of us will eat more than 75,000 meals in our lifetimes. And, for many, eating is the most dangerous thing we do, because ingesting bits and pieces of the outside world provides a free pass to the bloodstream for whatever lurks in the foodstuffs. Foodborne pathogens, especially in "leftovers," have been problematic ever since early hominids began killing game that was too large to consume immediately. This lecture will take a Darwinian approach and discuss two mechanisms, one cultural and one physiological, that serve to protect us from what we eat.

The cultural mechanism involves cooking with spices. Usually spices are considered solely as flavorings, but they also have antimicrobial properties deriving from secondary compounds that evolved in the plants as protection against their own biotic enemies. Humans use these natural pharmaceuticals to help cleanse food of pathogens and retard food spoilage. Spice use is more prominent in traditional cuisines from hot than cool climates, and more prominent in meat than vegetable dishes (the former are more conducive to bacterial growth). Prior to widespread refrigeration and artificial food preservation, spice use probably enhanced the health, longevity, and reproductive success of people who found their flavors enjoyable.

However, the very chemicals that inhibit foodborne pathogens can have negative side-effects as carcinogens, teratogens, and abortifacients. These dangers are particularly relevant for pregnant women. How can they protect themselves and their delicate embryos from the dangers of foodborne illnesses, on the one hand, and from naturally-occurring plant toxins on the other? The answer is the intricate physiological mechanism known as "morning sickness."

Food aversions during the first trimester (when embryogenesis is most sensitive to disruption), reinforced by nausea and vomiting, focus primarily on meats and strong-tasting vegetables (i.e., the most "dangerous" foodstuffs in our evolutionary past). Miscarriages and fetal deaths are less likely to occur to women who experience morning sickness than those who do not, and the greater the symptoms the better the pregnancy outcome. Traditional societies with no evidence of morning sickness rarely eat meat or strong-tasting plants, instead consuming mainly corn. Morning "sickness" apparently is a misnomer - rather it is a prophylactic mechanism the provides wellness insurance.

 

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