Oct 20-24

Monday, October 20


MSCS Colloquium: Consulting Vignettes
Terry Therneau, PhD – Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic

“Research at Mayo is like standing in front of a fire hydrant with your mouth open.”  John Blinks, Department of Pharmacology.
The primary goal of this talk will be to give an idea of the breadth and variety of work encountered as a consulting biostatistician within medical research.  There are currently 11 “should have been done yesterday” tasks listed in the top corner of my whiteboard; I’ll give a short introduction to the medical and statistical question of several, covering one of the projects in more depth.  Topics include the summarization of fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) data from a set of 138 prostate cancer patients, modeling the long term impact of non-randomized hormonal therapy in prostate cancer, computation of incidence/prevalence in the presence of in and out migration from the Olmsted county population, normalization of Nanostring assay data (806 RNA probes on 1488 samples), comparing different endpoint measures in patients with chemotherapy induced peripheral neurotoxicity, summarization and use of shotgun proteomics data to understand the possibly multiple mechanisms of amylodosis, cataloging immune function and potential using RNASeq, and three statistical research topics.
Lifelong learning is the greatest prerequisite for success in this area, but also what makes biomedical consulting exciting and just plain fun.
3:30pm, RNS 310

Psychology: 5th annual Juta R. Millert Memorial Speaker Series in Psychology: The Psychology of Money
Dr. Kathleen Vohs, Land O’Lakes Chair in Marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Money is a pervasive element in human life, affecting people across the globe. We reviewed studies that tested how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors change as a result of being reminded of or coming into contact with money. The results suggest that the main psychological impact of the idea of money is to activate thoughts along the lines of “getting what I want.” Money cues lead people to focus on what they want and how to get it. Money stimulates the sense and display of agency, resulting in strong performance and motivation. Money makes salient the personal self, as seen in speech patterns and the persuasiveness of self-directed messages. Money is used to get what one wants from strangers and perhaps as a result of its frequent pairing with strangers, money dampens the kinds of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that would bolster communal relationships. Caring, sharing, helping, and donating are reduced when people have been reminded of money. Emotions that would be good for interpersonal closeness are stunted too. These results are robust and consistent across diverse samples, including those from North America, Europe, and Asia. Young children show money effects, as do employees and community samples. Field experiments indicate that the results are not confined to laboratory procedures. Money has taken root in the human mind to such an extent that the thought of it elicits effects in widely different contexts, and its associative impact is evident in myriad outcomes relating to competence and interpersonal functioning.
4:00-5:00 p.m., Regents Hall 150

Tuesday, October 21


No Seminar

Wednesday, October 22

Sustainable Seafood Talk (added on 10.21)
Alyse Festenstein, Bon Appetít
Ever wonder how Bon Appetít works to maintain it’s environmentally sustainable reputation and still be able to serve delicious seafood in Stav? Are you curious about what the current issues in aquaculture and sustainable seafood consumption are? Want to learn more about how climate change is affecting the commercial seafood market? If you said yes to one or more of these questions, then come join the Marine Biology Club for this talk.
4:00 – 4:45 p.m., RNS 310

Ole-Carl Physics Poster Session: Carleton and St. Olaf students present research and internship experiences from last summer 

3:30 p.m. Fourth Floor Atrium

Thursday, October 23


Chemistry Seminar:  Extraordinarily Long 2-Electron – 4-Center (2e-/4c) 2.9-Å Carbon-Carbon Bonds
What is a Chemical Bond?
Dr. Joel S. Miller
University of Utah
Carbon-carbon (CC) bonding is a key essence of organic and biochemistry. The length of a CC bond, i.e. 1.54 Å found in the diamond allotrope of carbon and ethane, is among the essential information learned by all chemistry students. This is the length of a single bond (σ) between sp3-hybridized carbons and is the longest of all common CC bonds. Our studies of the [TCNE]22- (TCNE = tetracyanoethylene) dimers reveal that 2.89 ± 0.05 Å 2 electron/4 center (2e-/4c) CC bonds are present. Structural, spectroscopic, magnetic, and computational data supporting this multicenter formulation will be presented. These unusual bonds lead to unusual physical properties that will be discussed, as will what is a chemical bond? Furthermore, examples of long, multicenter C-C bonds existing for other dianions, e.g., [cyanil]22-, as well as dications, e.g., [TTF]22+ (TTF = tetrathiafulvalene), and homo-, e.g., [tri-t-butylphenalenyl]2, and zwitterionic heterodimers e.g., TTFδ+•••´TCNEδ-(δ ~ 0.5), will be discussed.
3:00 pm refreshments 3:15 pm seminar will begin, in RNS 310

Informal Conversation about Pathways and Possibilities in Science Education

Are you planning to major in science?  Do you enjoy spending time with youth?  You can probably think of a teacher you’ve had who made a difference; have you ever thought you might be interested in teaching others?
If so, it’s a good time to start thinking about opportunities in science education.  At St. Olaf, you can become a licensed middle or high school science teacher.  Besides being a fulfilling job, science teachers are in demand.  While there are many paths to becoming a science teacher, there are some big advantages to the licensure program at St. Olaf.
If you’d like to talk about what it’s like to be a science teacher and about possibilities and pathways to a teaching license, please drop in for an informal conversation with Kathy Vadnais, visiting master teacher in biology who has 26 years of experience teaching in public schools, and Emily Mohl, assistant professor in biology and education.
Questions? Contact Emily Mohl, mohl@stolaf.edu, RNS 432
11:30 a.m., RNS 426

Mathematics Grad School Information Night:  Come hear about grad school in math
MSCS staff and Graduate Students from Madison and UM

This event is for anyone who wants to hear more about what math grad school is, how you prepare for it, what its like, how you pay for it, etc.. First and second year students should come to hear about what grad school even is!  Juniors and seniors are encouraged to come and get more specific information about the application process, etc..
We will serve dinner (lasagna) starting around 7-7:15p.m. and the panel will be at 7:30.  There will be plenty of time for Q&A, too.
6th floor lounge of RMS

Psychology Career Talk
Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D. is a Professor at the  University of Minnesota who specializes in kinesiology, sport, and exercise psychology.
6:00 p.m., Buntrock 144

Friday, October 24


MSCS Research Seminar:  Epidemiology: 99 problems and confounding’s just one
Jessica Musselman, Visiting Assistant Professor of MSCS, St. Olaf College

Most epidemiologic research occurs within the context of an observational study—that is, a study in which exposures are chosen by participants rather than randomly assigned. This requires that we make large assumptions regarding a number elements including measurement error, study bias, and confounding. Our ability to make causal inferences rests squarely on our willingness and ability to comfortably make those assumptions. Genetic and molecular epidemiology has recently emerged as a means by which we can study disease etiology without requiring an excessive number of assumptions. However, technologies for measuring biological data such as epigenome-wide methylation have developed prior to the emergence of proper analytic techniques. We will discuss the ups and downs of observational research and end with an example of a new method for analyzing these increasingly rich biological data sets using semi-structured recursively partitioned mixture modeling.
3:35pm, RNS 310

Buckthorn Pull: Help remove an invasive species
Meet the St. Olaf student naturalists at the baseball dug-out at 2:30 or walk over to the baseball pond if you arrive later.
2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Baseball Pond