Woods Lecture Series 2013-2014
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
Tandon believes that the era of engineered tissues--like, for
example, a replacement kidney grown in the lab--is just
beginning. In this talk, Tandon shows us how we (and our
bodies) have lived through most of history (Body 1.0), and then how
we evolved into "cyborgs" with implants (such as pacemakers and
artificial joints, Body 2.0).
Now, Body 3.0 is all about growing our OWN body parts. For
her doctoral thesis, Tandon drew cardiac cells that beat like tiny
hearts. In this thrilling and eye-opening talk, she explains
the process of growing tissue and transplants, and the future of
medical sciences. With the help of manufacturing and
information technology, we are on the verge of being able to grow
human tissue--and Tandon is here to walk us through this
unbelievably exciting era.
Tandon studies electrical signaling in the context of tissue
engineering, with the goal of creating "spare parts" for human
implantation and/or disease models. She is an electrical and
biomedical engineer at Columbia University's Laboratory for Stem
Cells and Tissue Engineering, and adjunct professor of Electrical
engineering at the Cooper Union, teaching a "Bioelectricity"
class. Fast Company named her one of their 100 most creative
people in business.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering
from Cooper Union, Tandon spent her early career in telecom (Avaya
Labs) and transitioned into biomedical engineering via her
Fulbright scholarship in Italy, where she worked on an electronic
nose used to "smell" lung cancer. Tandon studied electrical
stimulation for cardiac tissue engineering at MIT and Columbia, and
now continues her research on electrical stimulation for broader
National Geographic Society
Explorer-in-Residence - Sylvia Earle
The Quest for Sustainable Seas
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.,
Sylvia A. Earle is an
explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, founder
of the Mission Blue Foundation, chair of the Advisory Council for
the Harte Research Institute and the Marine Science and Technology
Foundation, and former Chief Scientist of NOAA. She was named Time
Magazine's first Hero for the Planet, a Living Legend by the
Library of Congress, and a 2009 winner of the TED Prize. Earle has
pioneered research on marine ecosystems and has led more than 100
expeditions totaling more than 7,000 hours underwater.
Earle is author of more than 175
scientific and popular publications, including "The World Is Blue:
How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One" (2009) and "Ocean: An
Illustrated Atlas" (2008). Her research places special
emphasis on marine plants and ecosystems, and the development of
technology for access and research in the deep sea.
She played a key role in bringing
about increased support for U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries during
the Clinton administration in 1999, and later helped inspire George
W. Bush to designate vast tracts of American-controlled Pacific
Ocean islands, reefs, surface waters, and sea floor as marine
national monuments, limiting fishing, mining, and oil exploration.
Today, she is leading a global effort to develop networks of
protected areas in the sea--"Hope Spots"--large enough to protect
the blue heart of the planet.
Earle has a bachelor's degree from
Florida State University and a master's degree and doctorate from
Duke University as well as numerous honorary doctorate
degrees. She lives in Oakland, Calif.
"What we still don't know about addition
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 - 7:30 PM, Reilly
How could there be
something we don't know about arithmetic? It would seem that
subject was sewn up in third grade. But here's a problem we
don't know: What is the most efficient method for
multiplication? Another: How many different numbers appear in
a large multiplication table? Come hear about many more of
these types of problems, plus some recent progress.
Pomerance received his B.A. from Brown
University in 1966 and his doctorate from Harvard University in
1972 under the direction of John Tate. During the period
1972-1999, he was professor at the University of Georgia, with
visiting positions at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, the University of Limoges, Bell Communications
Research, and the Institute for Advanced Study. From 1999-2003, he
was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories.
Currently he is the John G. Kemeny
Parents Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College and Research
Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia.
A number theorist, Pomerance
specializes in analytic, combinatorial, and computational number
theory, with applications in the field of cryptology. He
considers the late Paul Erdos as his greatest influence.
Pomerance was an invited speaker at
the 1994 International Congress of Mathematicians, the Mathematical
Association of America (MAA) Polya Lecturer for 1993-95, and the
MAA Hedrick Lecturer in 1999. More recently he was the
Rademacher Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in
2010. He has won the Chauvenet Prize (1985), the Haimo Award
for Distinguished Teaching (1997), and the Conant Prize
(2001). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS) and of the American Mathematical
He is president of the Number Theory
Foundation, a past president of the MAA and past chair of the
Mathematics Section of the AAAS. He is the author of nearly
200 published papers and several books.
"This is Your Brain on Music"
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 - 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the
Daniel J. Levitin, the James McGill Professor of Psychology and
Neuroscience at McGill University, is the author of the book
This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human
Obsession (Dutton/Penguin, 2006) which stayed on The New
York Times and The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
bestseller lists for more than 16 months. Two award-winning
documentaries base on "This is Your Brain on Music" have been
broadcast internationally: The Music Instinct co-starred
Levitin and Bobby McFerrin, and The Musical Brain
co-starred Levitin and Sting.
As a musician (tenor saxophone, guitar, and bass), he has
performed with Mel Tormé, Nancy Wilson, David Byrne, Roseanne Cash,
Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Rodney Crowell, Victor Wooten,
Blue Öyster Cult, members of the Steve Miller Band, and
Levitin earned his doctorate in cognitive psychology from the
University of Oregon. He has been a visiting professor at
Stanford University, where he taught courses in the psychology,
computer science, human biology, music, and anthropology
departments, and the School of Education. He has also been a
visiting professor in psychology at US Berkeley and Dartmouth.
Joe Ritter and John Broere
The Solar Car Challenge: Designing for
the Future (The Secrets of the Principia Solar Car Project)
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
The Principia Solar Car Project began in 1991 with a handful of
highly motivated liberal arts students. For the past 12
years, the project has consistently met its goals through active
learning and application of engineering principles. The team
has consistently place in the top seven in the numerous
cross-country races, a record particularly remarkable given that
Principia College is a small liberal arts school in Elsah, Ill.,
competing against top engineering universities, multinational
corporations, and engineering firms.
Joe Ritter joined the faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor
of chemistry, attaining the rank of professor a decade later.
He has served as chair of the Chemistry Department, director of the
Engineering Science Program, and faculty advisor to the Principia
College Solar Car Project. A longtime faculty mentor with
invaluable experience and irrepressible enthusiasm for
project-based learning, he assumed the post of assistant dean of
academics in 2008.
John Broere is an instructor of computer science at
Principia. He has been a faculty adviser to the Principia
Solar Car Team since 2007, and was a member of the team as an
undergraduate student from 1998-2002. During his time with
the team, he has had the opportunity to participate in numerous
major races and events both nationally and internationally.
he also was instrumental in erecting a wind test tower on
Principia's campus to investigate the viability of using wind power
to supplement the College's energy supply.
Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
Olcay Ünver is the coordinator of the United Nations World Water
Assessment Programme of the UN-Water and the director of the UNESCO
Programme Office on Global Water Assessment in Perugia, Italy
Prior to joining UNESCO in 2007, he was with Kent State
University, where he was a distinguished professor of water
resources since 2004. During his time at Kent State, he
founded the Euphrates-Tigris Initiative for Cooperation (ETIC), a
track-two program that aims to support and strengthen the track-one
efforts in the Euphrates-Tigris basin
Ünver holds a doctorate in civil engineering from The University
of Texas at Austin.