Archive for borovskt

Dec 8-12

Monday, December 8

Chemistry Distinction Seminars
Jorden Johnson ‘15
Functionalization of silicon nitride membrane for protein immobilization

Emily Reeves ‘15
Synthesis of Hybrid PVP-Cysteine Coated Silver Nanowires
3:00 p.m. refreshments, seminar will begin at 3:15 RNS 390

MSCS Mega Menger Build-a-thon
St. Olaf will play its part in a world wide Mega- Menger Project by bringing a Level 2 Menger Sponge to life here on campus. Menger Sponge is a common example of a fractal and can be generated with a handful of simple functions, yet it is a fascinating object with infinite surface area and zero volume. In this participatory colloquium you will be introduce to the Menger Sponge, and then help build one out of paper.
3:30 p.m., RMS 6th Floor Lounge

Biology Seminar: Development and Flexibility in Wild Birds: An Eco-Immunology Approach
Biology Department Faculty Candidate
4:00 p.m., RNS 410

Tuesday, December 9

MSCS Game Night
Enjoy a fun night of playing one of your favorite games or choose a game you have not played before from the large selection, with friends and faculty.
6 p.m. – 9 p.m., RMS 6th Floor Lounge

Wednesday, December 10

Biology Seminar
Biology Department Faculty Candidate
4:30 p.m., RNS 410

Thursday, December 11

No Seminar

Friday, December 12

Biology Club Christmas Party
Take a break from your end-of-the-semester studies to enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies and the holiday spirit!
Sponsored by the Tri-Beta Officers
3:00 p.m., RNS 4th Floor Central Atrium

Dec 1-5

Monday, December 1

Chemistry Seminar
3:00 refreshments, 3:15 seminar will begin
RNS 390

MSCS Colloquium: CaMP
Olaf Hall-Holt Associate Professor, St. Olaf College; Eileen King, ’13; Stephen Akers, ’17
What do the Google search algorithm, Lego robots, and real-life role models have in common?  All have been part of a middle school camp here in Northfield that provides younger students with exposure to topics in mathematics and computing.  In this colloquium, everyone will get a chance to learn about the PageRank algorithm (which involves simple probability and graphs), consider paths that can lead to MSCS majors, and interact hands-on with robots! Accessible to all students.
3:30 p.m., RNS 310

Biology Seminar
Biology Department Faculty Candidate
Understanding the Role of Neurovascular Dysfunction in Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
4:00 p.m., RNS 410

Tuesday, December 2

No Seminar

Wednesday, December 3

Physics Colloquium  
Eric Hazlett, Professor of Physics, Carleton College
What’s Colder Than Cold?  
Dr. Hazlett will explain how lasers are used to take atoms at temperatures greater than 500 Kelvin, down to within billionths of a degree from absolute zero!  He will also describe the research he has done to characterize quantum interactions shifts that will allow for more precise atomic clocks, the simulation of condensed matter systems, and the prospects for trapping atoms in a hollow laser beam.
2:00 p.m., RNS 210

Thursday, December 4

No Seminar

Friday, December 5

No Seminar

Nov 17-21

Monday, November 17

Biology Seminar: Influences on nest success in a reintroduced population of whooping cranes
Jeb Barzen, International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, WI
Most aspects of the reintroduction of whooping cranes to the tallgrass prairie have been successful. Adult survival is high and pairing, foraging, migratory, and copulatory behaviors appear normal. Reproductive rates, however, are low due to blood-feeding black flies, slow maturation of breeding birds, inappropriate energy-storage patterns, maladaptions to wild situations, inappropriate habitat use and predation. Our research on nest success is helping to guide reintroduction efforts as the reintroduced birds respond to varied situations for the first time in more than a century.
4:00 p.m., RNS 410

Chemistry Seminar
3:00 refreshments, 3:15 seminar will begin
RNS 390 (note room change)

MSCS Colloquium: Linear Algebra is Everywhere! Groups, Products, Automorphisms, and Matrices
Jill Dietz, Professor of Mathematics, Chair of MSCS
Much of my recent research and that of my students has focused on properties of “semi-direct products” of groups. In this talk I will gently lead the audience from “clock arithmetic” to metacyclic groups, and from linear transformations to automorphisms of metacyclic groups. Along the way we’ll talk about group actions, different products of groups, and the role of linear algebra in these endeavors.  Anyone who knows what functions and matrices are (e.g. anyone who has had a least a half-semester of Math 220) will be able to follow along for most of the talk; anyone who knows what groups are (e.g. anyone who has had a least a half-semester of Math 252) will know some of the secret details; and all will learn something new and interesting.
3:30 p.m., RNS 310

Tuesday, November 18

Biology Movie Night (for those not going to the Biology in South India informational meeting! :) )
TriBeta is hosting a biology themed movie night.  Kick back, relax and watch a biology themed movie.  Popcorn provided.  Movie title to be revealed as date nears and your curiosity peaks.
7:00 p.m., RNS 410

Biology in South India Informational Meeting
Biology in South India is an interdisciplinary exploration of ecosystem and human health.  This study service program features two independent research projects.  Come to the meeting to meet experienced India travelers, find out what makes this a “study service” program, learn where students in South India travel, who teaches the courses, and more.
7:30 p.m., RNS 435

Wednesday, November 19

Physics Colloquium
Student Panel on Summer REUs
Panelists:  Jon Schut ’15, Sara Swenson ’15, Daniel Hickox-Young ’16, Emily Witt ’17
2:00 pm, RNS 210

Chemistry Seminar 
4:30 p.m.
RNS 410 (note the room change)

Thursday, November 20

No Seminar 

Friday, November 21

No Seminar

Nov 10-14, 2014

Monday, November 10

MSCS Colloquium: The Futurama Theorem
Joseph Benson, Visiting Assistant Professor, St. Olaf College
The animated sitcom Futurama (1999-2003, 2008-2013) featured on its creative staff a PhD in Applied Mathematics (Ken Keeler), a PhD in Computer Science (Jeff Westbrook), and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry (Bill Odenkirk).  Set in the year 3000, the writers are able to play with far out science fiction ideas and incorporate various scientific phenomenons into the show, particularly incorporating mathematics like no other show has done before.  In the episode, “Prisoner of Benda”, a bonafide original mathematical result and proof play an integral role in solving the situational problem presented in the episode.  In this talk, I will discuss and demonstrate the problem arising in the episode, as well as the prove the theorem which will solve the problem.  Then we will watch the episode.
3:30p.m., RNS 310

Kleber-Gery Speaker: Estimating the Net Benefits of Spatial Management in Watersheds
Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota Regents Professor and Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics
Polasky’s research interests focus on issues at the intersection of ecology and economics. They include the impacts of land use and land management on the provision and value of ecosystem services, and natural capital, biodiversity conservation, sustainability, environmental regulation, renewable energy, and common property resources. His research has been published in Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Frontiers of Ecology and Environment, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, and other journals.
3:30 p.m., RNS 150

Biology Seminar: The Clinical Relevance of Immunophenotyping Research in Hematologic Cancers
Andrew Menssen ’12, Hematologics, Inc.
4:00 p.m., RNS 410

Kleber-Gery Speaker: Accounting for Nature: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Societal Decision-Making
Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota Regents Professor and Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics
See seminar listing above for information on Dr. Polasky’s research.
7:00 p.m., Tomson 280

Tuesday, November 11

Environmental Science in Australia Interest Meeting
Dave Van Wylen, Dave Nitz (Program Director for 2016)
If you would like to learn more about the 2016 Environmental Science in Australia program, this interest meeting is for you!
4:30 p.m., BC 142

Wednesday, November 12

No Seminar

Impact Seminar: Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Cardiac Theranostics
Katie Hartjes, Mayo Graduate Student, IMPACT Coordinator
This is an information and Q/A session.  Come learn more about this exciting undergraduate competition! IMPACT is an undergraduate collaboratory sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
7:00 p.m., RNS 410

Thursday, November 13

No Seminar

Friday, November 14

MSCS Research Seminar: Using Linear Algebra and Analysis – some very interesting infinite matrices and how they operate.
Elizabeth Strouse, Universite de Bordeaux
Toeplitz matrices are matrices with constant diagonals while Hankel matrices have constant counter-diagonals. These matrices have been studied ever since people started talking about linear algebra. One can actually represent such matrices as a multiplication by some square-integrable (L2) function on the circle, followed by an orthogonal projection onto a particularly interesting subspace of L2 called the Hardy space. This representation gives us a way to answer questions like: when does the product of two Toeplitz matrices equal a Toeplitz matrix; which matrices commute with Toeplitz matrices or; which matrices act boundedly. I will try to show how this extends some ideas from linear algebra and real analysis – and shows the relationship between the two! I will also say something about my research related to and generalizing these ideas.
3:35p.m., RNS 204

Nov 3-7, 2014

Monday, November 3

MSCS Colloquium: Sequential Designs for Computer Experiments 
Marian Frazier, Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College
The federal government wants to understand how much people depend on their retirement pensions, which is related to income, expenses, and interest rates.  NASA is designing a new reusable rocket booster and wants to understand how flight characteristics like lift, drag, and pitch will change as a function of speed and angle of attack. Ossur wants to build a stronger prosthetic limb and needs to understand the relationship between durability and explanatory variables like material and weight. What do all of these situations have in common? In all of them, performing a traditional physical experiment is infeasible.  Instead, we perform a computer experiment.  In this talk, I will discuss the two major questions we must answer in order to investigate the situations above: How do we design these experiments?  And how do we develop a model to understand the relationship between the explanatory variables and the response?  After answering these questions, I will present an investigation of the retirement pension situation using a specific model-design combination.
3:15 p.m. snack and time to visit with MSCS faculty; 3:30 p.m. Colloquium, RNS 310

Biology Graduate School Panel
Wondering about graduate school in a biology related field?  A panel of Biology faculty will share their experiences and answer your questions……Why should I consider graduate school?  How do I find the right program?  What is the application process like?   Is it true that I could get paid to go to graduate school? (Yes!)  Come find out the answers to these questions and more!
4:00 p.m., RNS 410

Statistics Graduate School Panel
Marian Frazier – Gustavus Statistics Professor with PhD in Stats (2013) from Ohio State
Andy Lithio ’11 – PhD student in Iowa State Statistics Dept
Jess Musselman – University of Minnesota MS in Biostatistics (2009) and PhD in Epidemiology (2013)Gustavus Adolphus College.
Three panelists who are currently/recently in graduate programs in statistics or biostatistics will provide insights and answer questions such as: what is graduate school like? how does one choose a program? how does St. Olaf prepare you? what can one do with an advanced stats degree? and, is it true they really pay you to go to grad school?
6:00 p.m. – Dinner served (Gyros, salad, pizza!!)
6:30 p.m.  –  7:30 p.m. – Panel discussion
Regents Hall 207 (the CIR room)

Tuesday, November 4

No Seminar

Wednesday, November 5

Physics Colloquium: The Differences in Onset Time of Conjugate Substorms
James Weygand, ’92, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Department at UCLA
2:00 pm, RNS 210

Thursday, November 6

Psychology Seminar: Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Susan Gatto, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
6:00 p.m., Buntrock Commons 144

Friday, November 7

Chemistry Joint Seminar with Carleton and St. Olaf
Chris Calderone, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Carleton College
Deciphering Natural Product Biosynthesis
Natural products are small molecules produced by bacteria, fungi, and plants, and represent a crucial source of therapeutics. Indeed, a 2012 analysis calculated that more than one-third of small-molecule drugs approved between 1981-2010 were natural-product-derived or natural products themselves. Understanding the biochemistry and enzymology utilized in the production of these molecules holds promise for (1) uncovering novel biochemistry; (2) enabling genome sequence-based methods to discover new natural products; and (3) introducing the possibility of rationally engineering novel, “unnatural” products. In this talk, I will describe our lab’s efforts to characterize enzymes involved in the production of the natural products tabtoxin and ECO-0501, and the insights we have gained regarding the biochemical and metabolic strategies utilized in natural product biosynthesis.
3:00 p.m. refreshments, 3:15 p.m. seminar will begin, RNS 310

MSCS Research Seminar: Aligned Hierarchies for Sequential Data
Katherine Kinnaird, Visiting Assistant Professor, Macalester College
We present aligned hierarchies, a novel solution to the dimension reduction problem, representing high-dimensional and noisy sequential data as a low-dimensional object that encodes relevant information. In this work, we motivate our presentation and discussion of aligned hierarchies through the lens of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), constructing aligned hierarchies by finding, encoding, and synthesizing all repeated structure present in a song. Given a particular MIR task, such as locating the chorus of a given musical song or finding all copies of a particular recording of a song, we compare songs based on their aligned hierarchies. Considering the fingerprint task and the cover song task, we present comparisons for two music data sets, one based on digitized scores and the other one performances of scores. Results from these comparisons on clean data had very high precision-recall values and provide a proof of concept for the aligned hierarchies. Results on noisy data were not as successful, but demonstrate the effect of different pre-processing techniques on the comparisons.
3:35 p.m., RNS 204

Oct 27-31, 2014

It’s Quiet Week!  No seminars.


Friday, October 31

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

Thank you for your survey responses!

We had well over 100 responses, many of which included helpful ideas and were considerate of our dilemma.  We are working on some new methods for disseminating TWIS so please bear with us for now.  Here is a breakdown of the survey results:

126 responses

How often do you look at TWIS?
Once a week: 68%
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Other: 2%

Does the new format effectively convey seminars and events?
Yes: 45%
No: 38%
Other: 17%

Which format do you prefer?
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Email: 80%
Other: 9%

I am a
Student: 77%
Faculty: 20%
Other: 3%