March 2 – 6

Monday, March 2


Title: Diversity and flexibility of visual processing in the retina

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences  Washington University School of Medicine
Vision begins in the retina. Photoreceptors translate changes in photon flux into changes in glutamate release, the language of neurons. This signal is then processed by a diverse array of neural circuits, which parse information into spike trains of ~20 retinal ganglion cell types (RGCs). RGCs are the only output neurons of the eye and the sole source of visual information for the brain. Research in my lab is trying to decipher what RGC spike trains tell the brain about the visual world and how circuits in the retina detect the features encoded in RGC spike trains.

I will discuss three studies from my lab, which highlight the remarkable diversity of computations in the retinal circuits and reveal unexpected flexibility in their output in different lighting conditions.
RNS 410 4:00pm

MSCS Colloquium: Celebrating Women’s History Month
A showing of the documentary “Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II”
In 1942, when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians were recruited to complete secret research for the US Army. This documentary shares the little known story of the women and technology that helped win the war and usher in the modern computer age.
3:30 p.m., RNS 310 (cookies and welcome at 3:15p.m.)

Tuesday, March 3

No Seminar:

Wednesday, March 4

Physics Seminar: C3PO: Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online
Evan Frodermann, ’02, University of Minnesota
2:00 pm  RNS 210

Thursday, March 5

Chemistry Seminar: Natural Biomarkers for Monitoring Bioenergetics in Living Cells
Dr. Ahmed A. Heikal, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is a key cofactor in energy metabolism pathways and a myriad of oxidation-reduction reactions in living cells. NADH is naturally fluorescent and its emission is rather sensitive to protein binding. As a result, NADH autofluorescence would allow for noninvasive and ultimately quantitative monitoring of energy metabolism in living cells. In this seminar, I will highlight our efforts in establishing NADH as a natural biomarker for cellular energy metabolism, mitochondrial anomalies and related health problems. Macromolecular crowding effects on enzyme binding reactions with NADH will also be discussed using a combination of both fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy methods.
3:00 p.m. refreshments, seminar to begin at 3:15 p.m., RNS 310

Psychology Speaker
Derek Peterson, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Community & Adolescent Resiliency. ICAR-US offers education, materials, and support to individuals (adults and youth), schools, agencies, communities, and statewide organizations in their youth development related work. And specializes in three areas:

  • Creating measurable supports for each individual youth
  • Increasing caring and connection within school environments — THE critical component to ANY systemic school reform effort
  • Working to support caring and connected communities

6:30 p.m., Buntrock 143

Friday, March 6

No Seminars