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University events and lectures preview/review


A preview and review of U events and lectures, March 24-April 10

Compiled by Adam Overland

Grubbs - thumbnail 117
2005 Nobel Prize winner Robert Grubbs visited the U.

March 24, 2010

REVIEW:
Nudge from a Nobelist, March 2.
A pep talk from the 2005 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry gave students a glimpse into the importance of early research experiences. One listener was undergrad William Wolf, who wrote this account.

On March 2, Robert Grubbs, the 2005 Nobel laureate in chemistry, visited the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus.

In a public lecture that morning, Grubbs spoke about how his early interest in science was sparked by the launch of Sputnik in 1958 and how he became involved in research as an undergraduate.
Grubbs earned the Nobel for researching and developing a chemical reaction called olefin metathesis, and for synthesizing the Grubbs catalyst, a highly versatile component in the metathesis process. The reaction is used to generate a variety of industrial chemicals from olefins, which are components of crude oil.

Grubbs was in good spirits as he fielded questions about the technical aspects of his research and about winning the Nobel Prize. He also gave advice on conducting research as an undergraduate and finding the right field of study.

He said that undergraduate research is a valuable experience that exposes students to the graduate school environment early, which can help avoid future problems. Grubbs said his job as a professor is to give undergraduates a really good experience that will allow them to decide if graduate school is right for them.

Finding the right mentor is another piece of the puzzle. Grubbs spoke of his experience as an undergraduate, where he planned on studying agriculture. He wasn't even thinking about chemistry until he met his undergraduate research adviser, who got him actively involved in research and helped him along the way to graduate school. For more information, see "Nudge from a Nobelist."

PREVIEWS:
Frontiers in the Environment: The Raingarden Renaissance, a film screening with associate professor Mark Pedelty. March 24, noon-1 p.m., IonE Seminar Room, R380 Vocational-Technical Education. The Raingarden Renaissance is a film about Metro Blooms' bold effort to clean up Powderhorn Lake. Metro Blooms and the "Neighborhood of Raingardens" volunteers are working with residents to install 150 rain gardens in Powderhorn Park, and using a similar-sized neighborhood as a control to evaluate the effect of the rain gardens on storm water quality and quantity. The film presents compelling images, sound, and information related to the material, animal, and human components of Metro Blooms' pioneering project. A team of University of Minnesota faculty, students, and professional staff is working on the film. Watch live via UMConnect.

The Virtual Body: Tom Boellstorff, March 24, 7:30 p.m., Campus Club, Coffman Memorial Union. By Amir Hussain, publicity assistant, Institute for Advanced Study

On March 24, Tom Boellstorff, professor of anthropology at University of California, Irvine, will present a lecture that draws upon his ethnographic research in the virtual world of Second Life, an Internet-accessed virtual world in which members participate, explore the virtual terrain, and communicate with each other through avatars. For two years, as part of his research, Boellstorff conducted virtual interviews and focus groups with Second Life avatars. His most recent book, Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human, is an in-depth account of his research inside this virtual world. Boellstorff's lecture will provide a basic history and overview of virtual worlds, followed by a discussion about how the virtual embodiment of humans raises fascinating new questions about technology, identity, and the self. The lecture is part of the Institute for Advance Study’s symposium on Body & Knowing, which examines the human body, asking questions of scientists, social scientists, artists, and activists about what we know about the body and how we know it.

Coffee with the Times, March 25, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m., 227 Burton Hall. The New York Times and the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning invite the U community to an event featuring Ozier Muhammad, an award-winning photographer with The New York Times. Muhammad will present his portfolio from his recent assignment following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. He will also be available for questions and discussion following his presentation. Any and all interested in the recent events in Haiti, journalism, photography, visual arts, writing, and issues pertaining to poverty and development are urged to attend. Coffee and pastry will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

CURA Housing Forum: Working Toward Transformation in the Built Environment, March 26, 12:15-1:45 p.m., L-110 Honeywell Auditorium, Carlson School of Management. Featuring John Carmody of the U's Center for Sustainable Building Research. According to Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute, "The building sector is responsible for a large share of world electricity consumption and raw materials use. In the United States, buildings--commercial and residential--account for 72 percent of electricity use and 38 percent of CO2 emissions. Worldwide, building construction accounts for 40 percent of materials use." The transportation sector is responsible for another 27 percent of carbon emissions and this is affected by the design of communities and neighborhoods. An urgent, major transformation needs to happen in the design of the built environment in order to respond to impending climate change and other environmental degradation. While  progress has been made in recent years, there is a sense that these piecemeal efforts are not enough to address the magnitude of the problems and need for a rapid response.

NanoDays 2010, April 1, 1-4 p.m., Electrical Engineering-Computer Science Building. Just a few years ago, not too many people knew what nanotechnology was. Now there's a national day for it. The Nanofabrication Center will celebrate National NanoDays, an event held at learning centers across the country to bring greater understanding to the field of nanotechnology. The event will feature live demonstrations of the nanotechnologies behind many advanced devices and materials, and a laboratory tour that will highlight nano research at the U. Visitors can even try on a clean room suit! The event is for children and adults of all ages.

First Fridays: Virtue and Vice in the Stacks--Patience and Wrath. April 2, noon-1 p.m., 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library.
Patience and Wrath 165Patience is a virtue that many aspiring authors and illustrators strive to cultivate as they navigate the twists and turns of the publishing industry. The Kerlan Collection of the Children's Literature Research Collections offers a unique insight into the patience required on the road from first draft to final product. Join us to learn about the patience--or lack thereof--that was required to bring your favorite books to print, and the different roads that various authors traveled in their journey to the printed page.

Wrath is at hand in selections from the Literary Manuscripts Collection and Performing Arts Archives. Through poetry, prose, and scene designs, anger and fury are vividly portrayed.

Two Shakespearean plays, Measure for Measure and Antony and Cleopatra April 1-4, Arena Theater, second floor Rarig Center. Watch the power struggles and passionate snuggles as the Sophomores of the BFA Actor Training Program present Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and Antony and Cleopatra in repertory. Using only minimal sets and costumes, this project will focus on the student's acting and story-telling, allowing the actors to truly embody the emotion of the character. Antony and Cleopatra will be performed on April 1 and April 3, 7:30 p.m., and April 4, 2 p.m. Measure for Measure will be performed April 2, 7:30 p.m.; April 3, 2 p.m.; and April 4, 7 p.m. Performances are free, but seating is limited; arrive 20 minutes prior to show time to be assured of a seat.

Minnesota Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, April 2-3, 8:45 a.m.-7 p.m., Mariucci Arena and Williams Arena. Robots will shoot soccer balls into a goal, climb a tower, and lift other robots off the playing field at this year's regional robotics competition. More than 100 high school robotics teams from Minnesota and surrounding states will gather at the U to compete in the competition. Those attending will be allowed into the pit area where they can talk to teams and see robot repairs in action. Bring the entire family to enjoy this free, exciting competition. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:45 a.m. each day.

Frontiers in the Environment: Why We Can't Stop Eating, with Dean Allen Levine. April 7, noon-1 p.m., IonE Seminar Room, R380 Vocational-Technical Education. The world is home to 1 billion overweight and 300 million obese people. There are a variety of hypotheses about the cause of the obesity epidemic. This seminar will address the central nervous system controllers that regulate food intake and the rewards associated with ingestion. Watch live via UMConnect.

Martin Luther King Social Justice Series concerts, multiple dates/locations. Every year people come to the U from communities across the state to pay musical tribute to Dr. King and celebrate how far we’ve come over the last 40 years. Next up in the year-long program of concerts, lectures, films, symposia, and other events:

Guest recital by Adrian Anantawan, violin, and Claudia Chen, piano, on April 7, 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Young virtuoso violinist Adrian Anantawan, who was born without a right hand, produces music of exceptional sensitivity and maturity that has been called "exquisite" and "profoundly beautiful."

From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop & Action
, takes place April 9-11, Weisman Art Museum, featuring "I used to love H.E.R. Bringing Back the Love": Hip Hop Feminism (April 9); "Remixing Borders, Transgressing Boundaries": Hip Hop as Transnational & Transgenerational Praxis (April 10); and "Us": Hip Hop for Healing (April 11).

Survivorship Series: Moving Beyond Cancer: 5th Annual Educational Conference on Cancer Survivorship, April 10. This annual conference focuses on questions and issues survivors and their families may face after cancer treatment or following stem cell transplantation. At this year's conference, survivors, their families, and healthcare professionals will learn about research work and processes; late medical effects of cancer treatment; caregiver, return-to-work, and disability issues; and exercise and stress reduction techniques. Keynote speaker is Patricia Culliton, faculty at the Center for Spirituality & Healing, who will discuss healthy living after cancer. Daniel Mulrooney, director of the Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic at the University of Minnesota, Medical Center, Fairview, will be the conference moderator.

Find more Twin Cities events using the  U's events calendar.