Archive for October 2015

October 26 – 30, 2015

It’s Quiet Week! No seminars.

Friday, Oct. 30

TWISHalloweenPicHalloween Party! Faculty and students are welcome to gather in RNS for Halloween fun between  3-4pm. Costumes encouraged.  Faculty will wander around the building with treats for students. Hot Cider and popcorn provided in the fourth floor atrium. This takes place concurrently with some student organization parties to maximize the festivities.

October 19-23, 2015

Monday, Oct. 19

MSCS Colloquium: A Mathematical Playground
St. Olaf Mathematics Professors, Kos Diveris and Matthew Wright
Come and wander with us through the creative side of mathematics.    Discover how to cut a pizza evenly.  Explore the powers of tangent lines.  The St. Olaf problem-solving group will share some of our favorite problems, and maybe even some of their solutions.  You will broaden your mathematical horizons and find new uses for the tools in your mathematical toolbox.
RNS 301, 3:30 talk, 3:15 enjoy cookies and a time to visit

Tuesday, Oct. 20

No Seminars

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Physics Colloquium: A (very) abridged view of 25 years of discoveries with the Hubble Space Telescope
Michael Rutkowski; Research Associate, Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Minnesota.
2:00 pm, RNS 210

Chemistry Seminar:  “2015 Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lecture”
Dr. Brian Kobilka, Stanford University School of Medicine, Nobel Laureate 2012


3:00 p.m. in Tomson Hall 280 with light reception to follow:
Structural insights into G protein coupled receptor signaling
G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) conduct the majority of transmembrane responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, and mediate the senses of sight, smell and taste. The 2 adrenergic receptor (2AR), the M2 muscarinic receptor and the mu-opioid receptor are prototypical Family A GPCRs. We have obtained three-dimensional structures of these receptors in inactive and active conformations, as well as a structure of the 2AR in complex with the G protein Gs. Comparison of these structures provides insights into common mechanisms for propagation of conformational changes from the agonist binding pocket to the G protein coupling interface. We have also used fluorescence, EPR and NMR spectroscopy to study the dynamic properties of the β2AR. I will discuss what we these studies have taught us about signal transduction by GPCRs.

7:00 p.m.  in Tomson Hall 280 with dessert reception to follow in Tomson Hall Atrium:
G Protein Coupled Receptors: Challenges in Drug Discovery
G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate the majority of cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, and are consequently the largest group of targets for drug discovery by the pharmaceutical industry. Approximately 40% of the drugs currently on the market target GPCRs; however, most efforts by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs for GPCRs are not successful. I will discuss the challenges and opportunities for GPCR drug discovery.

Thursday, Oct. 22

MSCS To Be Or Not To Be event
Faculty members of MSCS
“To Be Or Not To Be” event will help you sort out how to live the rest of your life! Get information on what programs, courses, activities, and what on-campus and off-campus opportunities there are. Visit the information tables where MSCS faculty can answer all your questions about MSCS courses, research and internship opportunities, advice for what you should take while here, or careers you should consider upon leaving St. Olaf.  Of course, strategies for identifying and applying to graduate schools will also be available.
MOST IMPORTANT:  Top it all off, with ice cream sundaes!
6:30PM, TOH 280 & TOH East Lantern

Friday, Oct. 23

No Seminars

October 12 – 16, 2015

Monday, Oct. 12

No classes – Fall Break 

Tuesday, Oct. 13

No Classes – Fall Break 

Wednesday, Oct. 14

No Seminars

Thursday, Oct. 15

Chemistry Seminar: “Watching energy dance in plastic solar cells”
Dr. David Blank, University of Minnesota
3:00 p.m. refreshments, seminar will start at 3:15 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 16

MSCS Research SeminarThe combinatorics of q-analogues
Joel Lewis is a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota.
Often, a combinatorial question involving permutations may be phrased naturally in terms of permutations matrices.  In this case, it is sometimes possible to phrase the same question in other contexts; in particular, for invertible matrices over a finite field having q elements.  In many situations, these two questions are related in the following very surprising way: the limit as q tends to 1 of the answer about matrices over finite fields is equal to the answer of the original question about permutations.  In this talk, I will discuss examples of this phenomenon of “q-analogues” that come from the part of combinatorics known as rook theory.  The only prerequisites for this talk are familiarity with linear algebra and the concept of a field.
3:30 p.m., RNS 204

October 5 – 9, 2015

Monday, Oct. 05

Psychology Seminar: Juta R. Millert Speaker Series in Psychology
Science and Pseudoscience in Everyday Life
Scott Lilienfeld, Ph.D., Emory University
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., RNS 150 (overflow in RNS 190)


Biology Seminar: Research in the Science Classroom

4-5PM RNS 410

1005Research in classroom flyer

MSCS Colloquium: Pop rocks and coke: urban myths of public health

Jessica Bestrashniy, Visiting Assistant Professor of MSCS
In this colloquium, we will discuss several controversial or questionable public health conclusions and demonstrate how DAGs could have been or should be used to address those question properly.
3:30pm, RNS 310

Tuesday, Oct. 06

No Seminars

Wednesday, Oct. 07

No Seminars

Thursday, Oct. 08

No Seminars

Friday, Oct. 09

No Seminars