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Cafe Scientifique Orlando event schedule



 



Phoenix on the Red Planet

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 00:20:23 +0000

Presenter: 
Demeter, Derek
When: 
2 Jul 2008 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32803
Country:
United States

Come to our first event, where we’ll hear about our new exploration of the red planet. Mars has gotten a lot of skygazers’ attention lately, now that we have technology to explore it in far more depth than we could have thought possible even a few years ago. Admission is free. Get a bite to eat and glass of wine or mug of beer, and join in the discussion.

(Publicity flier)


Notes from event

Attendance: 29

References in talk:


Afterthoughts




Evolutionary Antecedents of Obesity

Thu, 03 Jul 2008 03:33:07 +0000

Presenter:  Lieberman, Leslie Sue When:  6 Aug 2008 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Stardust Where:  Stardust Video and Coffee Street: 1842 E Winter Park Rd. City: Orlando, Postal Code: 32803 Country: United States Evolutionary medicine provides insights into why we are experiencing a global pandemic of obesity, and what we might do about it. The presenter, Leslie Sue Lieberman, Ph.D., is a Professor of Anthropology and the founding Director of the Women’s Research Center at the University of Central Florida. She is a biomedical anthropologist with research specializations in type-2 diabetes, nutrition, and obesity. She has co-authored or edited 11 books, and published over 70 journal articles and book chapters. Her research has been supported by NIH, NSF, HRSA, NIMH, and others. (Publicity flier) (Discussion forum) Notes from event Attendance: 38 References in talk: M&Ms, nutritional value and color histories Barker JL, Olsen LW, Sorensen, TIA. 2007 Childhood body-mass index and risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood. New Eng J Med 357:2329-37. Bray G, Neilsen S, Popkin B. 2004 Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutri 79:537-43 Brownell KD, Horgan KB 2003. Food fight: the inside story of the food industry, America’s obesity crisis and what we can do about it. New York: McGraw Hill/Contemporary Books. Leonard WR, Robertson ML. 1992. Nutritional requirements and human evolution: a bioenergetics model. Am J Hum Bio 4:179-95. Lieberman, LS. 2008 Diabesity and Darwinian Medicine. In: Trevathan, W., Smith, EO., and McKenna, JJ. New Perspectives in Evolutionary Medicine. New York: Oxford University; 516-558. Rozin P, 2005 The meaning of food in our lives: a cross-cultural perspective on eating and well-being. J Nutr Edu Behav 37: S107-S12. Wansink B. Environmental factors that increase the food intake and consumption volume of unknowing consumers. Ann Rev Nutr 2004; 24: 455-79. Young LR, Nestle M 2002 The contribution of expanding portion sizes to the US obesity epidemic. Am J Pub Heal 92: 246-49 . [...]



On Water Pollution

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 14:48:03 +0000

Presenter: 
Geiger, Cherie
When: 
3 Sep 2008 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32803
Country:
United States

Water pollution: what is causing it, what can be done about it, and what clean-up strategies are economically and scientifically feasible. Dr. Cherie Geiger is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Chemistry at UCF, and past president of the Florida Academy of Sciences. Among her areas of current research are new catalyst systems for removing and destroying PCBs from painted surfaces, soils, and sediments; catalysts for removing heavy metals from fresh-water and marine soils and sediments; and synthesis of new screening aerosols that don’t harm the environment. She has won several awards in the past two years including: The Federal laboratory Consortium Commercialization Award, NASA Invention of the Year Award, Government Commercialization of the Year Award, Induction into the Space Act Hall of Fame, and Induction as one of the 2007 Intel Environmental Laureates in the Tech Museum of Innovation.

(Publicity flier)

Notes from event

Attendance: 26

Slides from event, in MSFT-PPT, PDF, and OpenDocument formats.




The War on Weeds

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 15:25:55 +0000

Presenter: 
Von Holle, Betsy
When: 
1 Oct 2008 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32803
Country:
United States

Effects of non-native species are a great hazard to global biodiversity, second only to habitat destruction. United States spends US$120 billion a year on direct costs from non-indigenous species, and Florida is one of the most invaded states, with significant resources spent on nonnative control and eradication. Dr. Von Holle will first enumerate methods of preventing, eradicating, and controlling nonnative species, then discuss the historical approach that Florida has used for control of nonnative species, and finally suggest a way forward. The presenter, Dr. Betsy Von Holle, studies the interaction of nonnative species and ecologies, especially ecological resistance, the impact of land use history, community structure, and disturbance and restoration ecology. She is an Assistant Professor at UCF.

(Publicity flier)




Tidal Modeling in the 21st Century

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 16:04:41 +0000

Presenter: 
Hagan, Scott
When: 
5 Nov 2008 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Postal Code:
32803

Modern technology now allows us to model tides on the scale of entire oceans, which gives new insights into local coastal and estuarine systems like the St. Johns River. The presenter, Scott C. Hagen, received his Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied under Joannes J. Westerink. Dr. Hagen is presently an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Central Florida and is a registered Professional Engineer with the State of Florida. At UCF he has established a nationally- and internationally-recognized lab for coastal hydroscience analysis, modeling and predictive simulations. Currently, much of the research that Dr. Hagen and his students pursue is grounded in astronomic and meteorologic tidal modeling, including hurricane storm surge simulations and tidal flow analyses. Scott serves on the ASCE Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute Wetland & Sediment Management Committee, chairing the subcommittee on Coastal and River Modeling.

(Publicity flier)

Notes from event

Attendance: 16




The Neandertal Enigma

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 22:13:23 +0000

Presenter: 
Cowgill, Libby
When: 
3 Dec 2008 - 19:00 - 21:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32803
Country:
United States

Neandertals have long fascinated both scientists and the general public. Due to their close evolutionary relationship to modern humans, they captivate our imagination because they are us, but not us, and therefore have stood as a guidepost for defining ourselves. Changing perspectives on Neandertal biology and behavior are partial reflections of both advances in scientific research and of our own preconceptions about humanity, our identity, and our place in the world. This talk will introduce both current anthropological evidence for Neandertal lifeways and paleobiology, but also evaluate how the cultural and social lens through which the scientific community views the fossil record filters and shapes scientific knowledge.

Dr. Cowgill is an assistant professor of anthropology specializing in biological anthropology. Her primary research focus includes late Pleistocene human evolution, human growth and development, human variation, and functional morphology. In particular, she is interested in understanding how childhood activity patterns affect the developing skeleton during growth, and how these forces shape the adult skeleton. She received her B.A. in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001 and a M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001 and 2008. Dr. Cowgill has done extensive field research in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.


Event notes

Attendance: 46




The Nature of Science

Fri, 02 Jan 2009 19:51:16 +0000

Presenter: 
Demeter, Derek
When: 
7 Jan 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32803
Country:
United States

In the year 2009, we intend to follow monthly themes suggested by the Coalition on Public Understanding of Science. First up: About science itself.

Join Seminole Community College Planetarium Director Derek Demeter as we explore the evolution of science from the times of Ptolemy to the modern science we know today. We will begin our journey in ancient Greece, where the first scientists sought out observational truth about the natural world they lived in. We then venture into the Middle East during the middle ages, where experimental science began to develop. Following, we emerge to the time of Galileo where observation and experimentation takes its final form in what we now know as modern science. We end our journey in modern times to see what science has in store for the future.




Evolution in School

Wed, 28 Jan 2009 15:09:08 +0000

Presenter: 
Savage, Kathy
When: 
4 Feb 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Stardust
Where: 
Stardust Video and Coffee
Street:
1842 E Winter Park Rd.
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32803
Country:
United States

We continue with COPUS Year-of-Science-2009 themes, making this month’s theme “Evolution”. Evolution is the unifying theory of biological sciences, and without it very little of biology makes sense. It remains one of the most respected theories in science, and yet in the general population in the United States, about the same percentage “believe in evolution” as “believe in ghosts”. In a poll spanning 34 countries, only Turkey ranked lower than the US in acceptance of evolution.

Our presenter, Kathy Savage, is a high-school science teacher in Oveido and board member of Florida Citizens for Science. She will tell us of her struggles, both in teaching students who are already inculcated to distrust science and particularly evolution, and in helping to protect Florida’s new science education standards from being poisoned with nonscientific ideas.




Physics of Saturn's Ring System

Wed, 28 Jan 2009 15:13:24 +0000

Presenter: 
Colwell, Josh
When: 
4 Mar 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

The COPUS theme of March is “Physics and Technology”, and we’ll talk about the physics of Saturn’s distinctive rings and the ongoing Cassini probe to that system.

Dr. Josh Colwell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics’ Planetary Sciences Group at UCF.

(Please note the new location! Same day and time as usual, though.)




Ethical Quandaries in Genetics

Wed, 28 Jan 2009 15:15:42 +0000

Presenter: 
Wheeler, Patricia
When: 
1 Apr 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

The relatively new field of genetics and its changes in what we can do raises ethical questions about what we should do. Local geneticist Patricia Wheeler will present several real cases and the moral conundrums they bring with them. Dr Wheeler has both a MD (from Indiana University School of Medicine) and an MS (in medical and molecular genetics also from IU School of Medicine). She did residencies in both Pediatrics and Clinical Genetics and is board certified in both specialties. She is division chief of Genetics and Metabolism at Nemours Children’s Clinic here in Orlando.


Additional info:

Nova scienceNOW “Personal DNA Testing”. See especially, “Kitchen DNA”.




Measuring Exoplanets from Space

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 04:23:10 +0000

Presenter: 
Harrington, Joseph
When: 
6 May 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Prior to 1993, we knew it would be a long time before anyone detected a planet orbiting another star. Then suddenly it happened, and it was bizarre! Not one, but several worlds doing the impossible: Orbiting pulsars—strange piles of neutrons leftover from powerful supernova explosions that no planet was thought capable of surviving. Shortly thereafter, a normal planet was found to orbit a normal star, in an orbit of just 4 days! The surprises do not end there.

Dr. Joseph Harrington, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCF, one of the first to measure exoplanets by their own light, will present a number of news-making discoveries by his team and others that have set the theory community abuzz.




Surface Water Improvement

Sun, 24 May 2009 13:50:50 +0000

Presenter: 
Brabham, Mary
When: 
3 Jun 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Water is one of the most important and fragile natural resources Orlando and Florida has. We’ll learn how authorities are protecting and improving the surface water around us.

Mary Brabham, PE, will present information on the SJRWMD and the Middle St. Johns River Basin, descriptions of the waterbodies and watersheds of the Middle St. Johns River Basin, and the District SWIM Program that is working to improve the water quality of these waterbodies.

Mary Brabham is the Basin Program Manager for the Middle St. Johns River Basin at the St. Johns River Water-Management District. The Middle St. Johns River Basin includes Lakes Harney, Jesup, and Monroe, the Econlockhatchee and Wekiva Rivers, and the St. Johns River sections that lie between these lakes and major tributaries. The Middle Basin represents one of several priority waterbodies within the St. Johns River Basin at the SJRWMD. Mary Brabham is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida that has been working at SJRWMD for 20 years. She has a BS in Biology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia and a masters degree from the Environmental and Civil Engineering program at the University of Central Florida.




Climate Change

Tue, 21 Jul 2009 14:34:15 +0000

Full Title:  Climate Change, science and skeptics Presenter:  Snow, Richard & Mary When:  5 Aug 2009 - 19:00 - 21:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Since civilization began some 6000 years ago, the mean temperature of Earth has not varied more than 1°C from the average. The change in temperature of between 1.5 and 4°C (2.7 to 7°F), forecasted for the next hundred years, has no equal in the recent history of the planet. Several natural phenomena do contribute to climate change and most of the past changes in climate can be explained by a combination of them. However, none of these natural phenomena, individually or collectively, explain today’s rapid climate changes. In the short (in terms of geologic time) period that people have inhabited Earth, we have brought about massive changes in the environment, which have had a significant impact on Earth’s climate. Dr. Richard Snow and Dr. Mary Snow examine the evidence and effects of climate change as well as the well-orchestrated attempt to create controversy and disseminate misinformation regarding global warming. Drs. Richard and Mary Snow are both Associate Professors of Meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, and doctors of physical geography with specialties in life sciences. They present research to numerous professional organizations (such as American Meteorological Society, National Weather Association, National Council for Geographic Education, and Association of American Geographers) and published many peer-reviewed papers and refereed-journal articles. Post-talk notes: Union of Concerned Scientists ExxonMobil Report: Smoke Mirrors & Hot Air slides (PDF) (MSFT PPT) [...]



Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation

Thu, 13 Aug 2009 13:39:10 +0000

Presenter: 
Parkinson, Chris
When: 
2 Sep 2009 - 19:00 - 21:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

If we want to devise strategies to slow human-induced destruction of ecosystems and their resident organisms, we must first document these ecosystems’ “biodiversity”—the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems. Then, using evolutionary principles, we can investigate patterns and processes related to the formation of that biodiversity. Dr. Parkinson will discuss how one documents, describes, and names species; how genetics is used in biodiversity research; and how we can make management plans to facilitate conservation efforts.

Dr. Christopher L. Parkinson graduated with his undergraduate degrees in botany and wildlife biology from Ohio University, and then went on to complete his doctorate at the University of Louisville in Molecular Systematics. He spent twenty years studying the evolution, biogeography, and systematics of snakes, plants and small mammals. He conducted post doctoral work at Indiana University and at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh Pa. Dr. Parkinson has published over 35 articles in the areas of conservation genetics, taxonomy, and systematics. He has carried out field research in 15 different countries, mainly in Central and South America. Dr. Parkinson has been awarded over 3 million dollars in grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Geographic, USFWS, Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, and several other agencies. He is one of the leading experts in the evolution of New World venomous snakes and the conservation genetics of endangered species.




Building the Amazon

Tue, 22 Sep 2009 14:55:05 +0000

Presenter: 
Walker, John
When: 
7 Oct 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Dr. John Walker is an archaeologist working in the Amazon Basin and he studies how pre-Columbian farmers engineered that environment, showing that our supposition of a pristine Amazon is wrong and that instead the Amazon has been managed and cultivated for thousands of years. At UCF, he teaches Archaeology of Complex Societies, History of Anthropological Thought, GIS Applications in Archaeology, and other courses. His most recent book is Agricultural Change in the Bolivian Amazon (2004). He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and joined the UCF faculty in 2006.




Energy Issues

Thu, 08 Oct 2009 11:47:03 +0000

Presenter: 
Hampton, Michael
When: 
4 Nov 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Dr. Michael Hampton is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Director of Interdisciplinary Studies. He has been a UCF faculty member since 1981. He also has worked in the Materials Testing Branch of Kennedy Space Center as a Materials Engineer for NASA. He is also currently Deputy Editor-in-Chief, “International Journal for Alternative Fuel and Ecology”, and holds an appointment at the Florida Solar Energy Center. His research is in the area of hydrogen storage, sensing, purification and separation, and production. He works with scientists in the former Soviet Union funding for peaceable research.




High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 13:16:40 +0000

Full Title: 
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Controversies and Common Sense
Presenter: 
Angelopoulos, Theodore
When: 
2 Dec 2009 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

High Fructose Corn Syrup is often mischaracterized and misunderstood. This sweetener, which was introduced into the food supply in the United States and some other countries in the late 1960s and 1970s, existed in relative obscurity for many years. The presentation will explore the metabolic and nutritional effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup with a particular emphasis on its relationship to sucrose, which is the substance that it was designed to replace.

Theodore Angelopoulos, Ph.D., MPH is a Professor in the Department of Health Professions (Program in Physical Therapy), College of Health and Public Affairs, and the Research Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at UCF. In addition, Dr. Angelopoulos is the Associate Editor of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. His major research areas include exercise, obesity, weight management, lipoprotein metabolism, and muscle hypertrophy. He is a prolific author and has published more than 55 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. In the last 10 years he has had more than $1.2 million in federal and private research grants and contracts.




The National Children's-Health Study

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 17:53:42 +0000

Full Title: 
The National Children's-Health Study: Visionary Research for the Next Decade and Beyond
Presenter: 
Wan, Thomas
When: 
6 Jan 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

The National Children’s Study aims to improve the health and well-being of children. It will examine the effects of environment on development of 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The Study defines “environment” broadly, taking a number of natural and man-made factors into account. Researchers will better understand the role those factors have on health and disease. Orlando is one of a number of sites in Florida that will participate.

Dr. Thomas T. H. Wan, Ph.D., MHS is a Professor of Public Affairs, Health Services Administration, and Medical Education, Director, Doctoral Program in Public Affairs and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Public Affairs. He is the UCF lead researcher for the National Children’s Health Study. He focuses on the structure and function of healthcare institutions and services, policies and long-term care. He has been funded by many federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and serves on many national committees involving health care. He has published 19 books and monographs and nearly 150 book chapters and articles.




Rehabilitating Raptors

Mon, 11 Jan 2010 19:01:57 +0000

Presenter: 
McCorkle, Carol
When: 
3 Feb 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Carol McCorkle of the Avian Reconditioning Center, in Apopka, describes ecology and environment of wild birds of prey, and how she uses falconry and rehabilitates injured birds, before release back into the wild.




Fast Food and Nutritional Perceptions

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 19:07:45 +0000

Full Title: 
Fast Food and Nutritional Perceptions in the Age of “Globesity:" Perspectives from the Provincial Philippines
Presenter: 
Matejowsky, Ty
When: 
3 Mar 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Dr. Ty Matejowsky examines prevailing fast food consumption patterns and nutritional perceptions in the contemporary Philippines. Survey data from a 2005 consumer survey, completed by over 160 participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, provides revealing insights into how this style of cuisine is now conceptualized and used locally. Survey findings establish a basis from which general conclusions about fast-food’s growing impact on healthways in moderate- and low-income countries can be drawn.

Dr Matejowsky is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor at UCF, and his interests lie in economic anthropology, globalization, and culture change.




Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:33:18 +0000

Presenter: 
Demeter, Derek
When: 
7 Apr 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Derek Demeter, Director of the Seminole Community College Planetarium, will describe the scientific approach to discovering life beyond the Planet Earth. Topics will include the biological definition of life, looking for extremephiles here on Earth, the search for primitive life on bodies in our Solar System, the search for planets beyond our solar system that could harbor life, and ways to communicate with possible Extraterrestrial Intelligence through the methods of radio Astronomy.




Using Light to Make Materials

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:43:57 +0000

Full Title:  Using Light to Make Materials that Control Light -- Playing with “Nanophotonics” Presenter:  Kuebler, Stephen M. When:  5 May 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Fiber optic telecommunication, microscopy, lasers, holography, and optical computing are all applications that all depend upon the ability to generate, manipulate, and/or transmit light. At the fundamental level, researchers are advancing such fields by discovering more about how matter and light interact. Nanophotonics is an emerging field in which lessons learned from nanotechnology are applied in the development of new materials and devices for optical applications. In our work, we take this a step further. We use light itself as a tool for fabricating new nanophotonic materials that can be used to manipulate light. In this talk, we will explore the field of nanophotonics and show how light can be used to make materials that control light. Stephen M. Kuebler joined the faculty at the University of Central Florida in August of 2003 as an Assistant Professor through a joint appointment with the Department of Chemistry and CREOL. Kuebler earned a BS degree in chemistry and a BA degree in German from Tulane University. He was awarded a Marshall Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to pursue graduate research in chemistry at the University of Oxford. There he earned the DPhil degree for his studies of the third-order nonlinear optical properties of molecular materials with Professors Robert G. Denning and Malcolm L. H. Green. Before joining UCF, Kuebler worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Caltech and later at the University of Arizona investigating the photophysics, photochemistry, and applications of two-photon absorbers. In 2008 he was awarded an NSF CAREER Award and promoted to Associate Professor. His broader interests include the physical and chemical properties of optical and electronic materials and their development for new technologies. [...]



Sewage Contamination of Florida's Coral Reefs

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:48:20 +0000

Full Title: 
Sewage Contamination of Florida's Coral Reefs: the Link to Disease of Federally Threatened Corals
Presenter: 
Sutherland, Kathryn Patterson
When: 
2 Jun 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Coral reefs worldwide are in severe decline. In Florida and elsewhere in the Caribbean, the once common reef-building elkhorn coral is showing high rates of decline due to a combination of environmental stressors. In the Florida Keys, where 87% of the elkhorn population has already died, the majority of the loss has been attributed to white pox disease. This disease exclusively affects elkhorn coral and is caused by a human strain of the common fecal enteric bacterium, Serratia marcescens. This coral pathogen was recently found in both reef and sewage sources in the Florida Keys, establishing a causal link between sewage contamination of coral reefs and the demise of an iconic coral species now listed as threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act.

The presenter is Kathryn Sutherland. She is presently an assistant professor at Rollins College, and she got her biological oceanography doctorate from the University of Georgia.




Inorganic Biochemical Lessons from Nature

Fri, 07 May 2010 13:34:37 +0000

Presenter:  Igarashi, Robert Y. When:  7 Jul 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Nature’s biological systems are probably the best empirical experimenters, because they have the luxury of conducting iterative trials that span immense time frames. They have, with exquisite chemical precision, evolved sophisticated solutions to some of nature’s most complex problems. In human endeavor, much of how our chemical sciences have impacted human life has been in the field of organic chemistry, a carbon-based chemistry, which ranges in applications from petroleum based polymers to pharmaceuticals. These organic-based applications have been largely beneficial, but humankind still faces numerous challenges. Also inside biological systems, inorganic processes perform some of the most complex and difficult chemistry in nature. Through scientists’ study of them, those inorganic processes potentially hold solutions to many of the problems and challenges that we currently face or will encounter in the next century. We will discuss lessons bioinorganic chemists have learned and how those lessons affect how we will deal with energy, medicine, agriculture, and the environment. Robert Y. Igarashi is currently an Assistant Professor since 2007 in the Department of Chemistry and also holds a joint appointment in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at UCF. Igarashi earned a BS degree in Biochemistry and MS degree in Chemistry from California State University Fullerton. He earned a PhD in Biochemistry from Utah State University under the tutelage of Prof. Lance C. Seefeldt where he elucidated the reaction mechanisms in the enzyme nitrognese. He then studied the enzymatic assembly of complex biological iron-sulfur clusters at University of California Berkeley under the guidance of Prof. Paul Ludden. Dr. Igarashi’s current research at UCF investigates the enzymatic mechanisms of iron-sulfur utilizing proteins that perform some of nature’s most complex reactions. [...]



International Opportunities

Tue, 03 Aug 2010 18:05:35 +0000

Full Title: 
International Opportunities: Collaborations, Partnerships, Exchanges and More
Presenter: 
Okoniewski, Rusty
When: 
4 Aug 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Science is an international endeavor including university undergraduate and graduate degrees, multicountry research projects and multinational scientific conferences. The UCF Office of International Studies (OIS) facilitates the development of study abroad programs in all academic areas, assisting with the internationalization of courses and programs, facilitating international partnerships, and assisting with the identification and procurement of external funding for internationalization. Rusty Okoniewski will highlight some of these programs and opportunities.

Mr. Rusty Okoniewski is the Assistant Director of the Office of International Studies at UCF and is in charge of fellowships including Fulbrights and grants among other university and community activities. Formerly, he was the Director of Sponsored Programs in the Institute for Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida and Director of the Division of Sponsored Research at UCF. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from UCF.




Building Planets on Suborbital Rockets

Tue, 04 May 2010 15:14:39 +0000

Presenter: 
Colwell, Josh
When: 
1 Sep 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Dr. Josh Colwell, who last year gave a fascinating and beautiful presentation on Saturn’s rings, returns to Cafe Sci to discuss research on the early stages of planet formation with a particular emphasis on a new capability for microgravity experiments, enabled by the new generation of tourist-carrying suborbital spaceships such as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.

Dr. Colwell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics’ Planetary Sciences Group at UCF.




Sharpening the focus of laser beams

Mon, 23 Aug 2010 14:29:15 +0000

Full Title:  Sharpening the focus of laser beams for nano-scale fabrication, imaging, and information storage Presenter:  Kuebler, Stephen M. When:  6 Oct 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States This talk is somewhat more technical than we usually have at Cafe Sci. The easy, not-very-accurate description is: Light behaves a lot like a wave, and lasers are concentrated light waves that travel with the waves in lock-step. When we want to use laser light to etch very precisely, about as small as the wave’s length, calculation of how to use those waves is really hard or impossible, so Dr Kuebler will talk about how he tries to solve that problem. More accurately, the talk will introduce mathematical techniques that can be used to design optics that improve the focus of a laser beam. There are wide-ranging applications in imaging, nano-fabrication, and optical data storage. The challenge is that many targeted 2D and 3D distributions of the focused beam are not themselves “solutions to the wave equation” — which means that they cannot be achieved in practice. However, one can use mathematical techniques to find solutions that come closest to satisfying the constraints associated with the targeted distribution, even though not all can be satisfied simultaneously. The talk will illustrate how math, optics, and chemistry can be combined to solve problems in nano-scale interdisciplinary research. Stephen M. Kuebler joined the faculty at the University of Central Florida in August of 2003 as an Assistant Professor through a joint appointment with the Department of Chemistry and CREOL. Kuebler earned a BS degree in chemistry and a BA degree in German from Tulane University. He was awarded a Marshall Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to pursue graduate research in chemistry at the University of Oxford. There he earned the DPhil degree for his studies of the third-order nonlinear optical properties of molecular materials with Professors Robert G. Denning and Malcolm L. H. Green. Before joining UCF, Kuebler worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Caltech and later at the University of Arizona, with Professors Joseph W. Perry and Seth R. Marder, investigating the photophysics, photochemistry, and applications of two-photon absorbers. In 2008 he was awarded an NSF CAREER Award and promoted to Associate Professor. His broader interests include the physical and chemical properties of optical and electronic materials and their development for new technologies. Dr Keubler presented earlier at Cafe Sci. [...]



Eat The Weeds

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 22:31:41 +0000

Presenter: 
Jordan, Deane
When: 
3 Nov 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Green Deane” is a speaker Chad has been eager to book for a while. Deane Jordan is a popular Youtube figure, engaging explainer, expert in the flora around us in Central Florida, and reviver of nearly-forgotten wisdom about plants. His web site and advocacy have the same name, “Eat the Weeds”.

In online videos, and in his foraging classes that he gives somewhat regularly, he describes how many of the plants around us are worthy of far more than visual appreciation or herbicide. After a while with Green Deane, one will probably know how to identify plants safe to consume, and to make salads, teas, and breads from the materials in one’s back yard.




The Early Universe

Sun, 14 Nov 2010 02:11:56 +0000

Presenter: 
Oluseyi, Hakeem M.
When: 
1 Dec 2010 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Dr Hakeem Oluseyi loves to talk about the state of the early universe. We’ll hear a description of what we know of cosmology and how we know it, including the “big bang” (and why that’s a terrible name), the nature of light, the cosmic background radiation, the expansion of space, nucleosynthesis, and so on.

Hakeem M. Oluseyi has addressed diverse problems in astrophysics including understanding the nature of the dark energy that accelerates our universe, the origin and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, and the mechanisms by which magnetic fields heat and accelerate astrophysical plasmas. His work in technology development has included developing instruments for space-based astrophysical research and new techniques for manufacturing computer chips. Originating from one of New Orleans’ poorest neighborhoods, Dr Oluseyi has made it his life’s work to educate the poor in America and in the 3rd World. Some of his current science and education projects include being a member of the development team for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is the highest priority observatory for the U.S.; the UNESCO Earth-Observing Satellite, which is a project between the U.S., Russia, and African nations; and Hands-On Universe Africa, a project to bring real scientific data to science classrooms in underdeveloped nations.




Genetics of Autism

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 16:14:37 +0000

Presenter: 
Wheeler, Patricia
When: 
5 Jan 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Autism is being increasingly diagnosed but the causes of its occurrence are often unclear. This talk will discuss known genetic causes of autism and the difficulties in finding specific etiologies for autism in many affected individuals.

Dr Wheeler has both a MD (from Indiana University School of Medicine) and an MS (in medical and molecular genetics also from IU School of Medicine). She did residencies in both Pediatrics and Clinical Genetics and is board certified in both specialties. She is division chief of Genetics and Metabolism at Nemours Children’s Clinic here in Orlando. She last spoke at Cafe Scientifique in April 2009 about genetics and the moral questions it raises.




Deep Time and Shallow Thermodynamics

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 15:18:46 +0000

Full Title:  Deep Time and Shallow Thermodynamics: How we know the age of the solar system Presenter:  Britt, Dan When:  2 Feb 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States The age of the solar system (and Earth) has had a long history of contentious debate, most famously in the last decade of the 19th century between Lord Kelvin and his one-time assistant John Perry. Today radiometric dating has the precision to detail events during the formation of the solar system and the geochemical evolution of the Earth. Dr Britt will review how we know the ages of the Solar System and the Earth and how that knowledge has changed our understanding of their formation and evolution. Dr. Daniel Britt is an Associate Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences in the Department of Physics at UCF. He was educated at the University of Washington and Brown University, receiving a Ph.D. from Brown in 1991. He has had a varied career including service in the US Air Force as an ICBM missile launch officer and an economist for Boeing before going into planetary sciences. He has served on the science teams of two NASA missions, Mars Pathfinder and Deep Space 1. He was the project manager for the camera on Mars Pathfinder and has built hardware for all the NASA Mars landers. He currently does research on the physical properties and mineralogy of asteroids, comets, and Mars under several NASA grants. Honors include 5 NASA Achievement Awards, election as a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, and an asteroid named after him: 4395 DanBritt. He was recently elected President of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. Slides of the presentation are available. MSFT PPT / ODP / PDF [...]



Cleaning Up the Mess

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 02:53:14 +0000

Full Title:  Cleaning Up the Mess: Using Chemistry to Degrade Persistent Pollutants in the Environment Presenter:  Geiger, Cherie When:  2 Mar 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States The chemical industry’s discovery and production of new compounds have led to great improvements in many areas of our lives. However, the effects of these substances on the environment were poorly understood, and they were often assumed to be harmless. Time and much research have shown that not only do some of these chemicals persist in nature but they can also be toxic to many forms of life. Dr Geiger’s presentation will describe the extent of contamination by some of these chemicals and the processes that a team of researchers have used to develop ‘green’ technologies for environmental clean-up. Dr. Cherie Geiger is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at UCF, and past president of the Florida Academy of Sciences. Among her areas of current research are new catalyst systems for removing and destroying PCBs from painted surfaces, soils, and sediments; catalysts for removing heavy metals from fresh-water and marine soils and sediments; and synthesis of new screening aerosols that don’t harm the environment. She has won several awards in the past two years including: The Federal laboratory Consortium Commercialization Award, NASA Invention of the Year Award, Government Commercialization of the Year Award, Induction into the Space Act Hall of Fame, and Induction as one of the 2007 Intel Environmental Laureates in the Tech Museum of Innovation. Dr Geiger spoke at Café Scientifique in late 2008. Slides from talk, opendoc, pdf, powerpoint formats [...]



synthesis talk: Physics, Climate and You

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 20:19:58 +0000

Presenter: 
Dunkelberg, Pete
When: 
6 Apr 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

This talk is one of a new style of talks we will have at Café Scientifique, that we’re calling “synthesis”. Instead of a sharp, deep focus in some scientific field on the bleeding-edge of research, we’ll show a broader topic and link it to several scientific and social areas, in a way a researcher in a specific field might find hard to do.

This month, our own Pete Dunkelberg gives us a wider perspective on the specific concentrated disciplines of math and physics and climatology to help give context and explain some of the principles and data of climate change. He’ll touch on the importance of understanding it and the prospects for humanity in the near term, and what we could do about it.

Pete Dunkelberg is an advocate of good science education, and as a member of Florida Citizens for Science, helped defend Florida’s new educational standards from being polluted with nonscientific ideas. He’s active in the Florida Native Plant Society, 1Sky, and has written articles like “Irreducible Complexity Demystified” and “Mystery in the Air”.




Islam and the Rise of Modern Science

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 16:55:58 +0000

Full Title: 
The Forgotten Scientists: Islam and the Rise of Modern Science
Presenter: 
Demeter, Derek
When: 
4 May 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

More than four centuries have passed since the beginning of the “Scientific Revolution”, and names like Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton have rooted themselves into history as the fathers of contemporary science. Although their contributions to our understanding of the universe are undeniable, it was a group of Islamic scientists nearly 500 years prior that set the stage for a reexamination of the physical world.

Derek Demeter, director of the Seminole State College Planetarium, presents a history of science that showcases the progressive and dynamic nature of these Islamic scholars and the ideas they espoused: heliocentrism, optics, and natural selection to name but a few. Although they may today be “the forgotten scientists”, it is their research that serves as the foundation for our understanding of science today.




Common Misconceptions of Evolution

Thu, 19 May 2011 16:14:25 +0000

Presenter: 
Smith, Jonathan
When: 
1 Jun 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Jonathan Smith is passionate about science education, and few topics in the sciences are as misunderstood as biological evolution. He will discuss the myriad ways evolution isn’t accepted, and how a science-literate public can dispel myths and educate others.

Dr Smith has his PhD in Science Education, is a founding member and Vice President of the Florida Citizens for Science, is a lifetime member of the National Center of Science Education. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was one of the framers of the new Florida State Science Standards, and consults on science education.




Meteorite Stories

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 08:50:47 +0000

Presenter:  Britt, Dan When:  6 Jul 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Meteorites are pieces of the cosmos that literally fall out of the sky into our lives. They are scientifically invaluable as samples of asteroids, our Moon, and the planet Mars. How they are recovered is the subject of some very human stories of luck, random chance, and lively entrepreneurial spirit. Dr Britt will relate some of the more interesting (or larcenous) meteorite recoveries and teach the audience to keep their eyes open for random rocks from the sky. Dr. Daniel Britt is a Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Department of Physics, University of Central Florida. He was educated at the University of Washington and Brown University, receiving a Ph.D. from Brown in 1991. He has had a varied career including service in the US Air Force as an ICBM missile launch officer and an economist for Boeing before going into planetary sciences. He has served on the science teams of two NASA missions, Mars Pathfinder and Deep Space 1. He was the project manager for the camera on Mars Pathfinder and has built hardware for all the NASA Mars landers. He currently does research on the physical properties and mineralogy of asteroids, comets, the Moon, and Mars under several NASA grants. Honors include 5 NASA Achievement Awards, election as a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, and an asteroid named after him; 4395 DanBritt. He was recently elected President of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. He lives in Orlando with his wife Judith. They have two sons, ages 15 and 20. [...]



The Cambrian Explosion

Thu, 19 May 2011 16:40:46 +0000

Presenter:  Werner, John When:  3 Aug 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States The Cambrian “Explosion” is a colorful name sometimes given to the adaptive radiation of animals with bilateral symmetry, seen in the early Cambrian period, approximately 540 to 510 million years ago. This critical span in life’s history has been a topic of keen interest for not only scientists but also many nonscientists ever since the publication of Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould (1989). In that provocative work, Gould emphasized the bizarre morphology and problematic taxonomy of some of the invertebrate fossils of the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. In the twenty-plus years that have followed, new discoveries from the fossil record and the living world have been producing a better picture of early animal evolution, shedding light on the origins of some of the major branches on the animal tree of life (including arthropods, mollusks, and vertebrates). Furthermore, the explosiveness of this adaptive radiation has been defused by improvements in the record of Early Cambrian and Neoproterozoic (pre-Cambrian) fossils. Proposed causes of the Cambrian radiation are numerous and varied; in this talk we will explore the merits of the most prominent ideas. John Werner has been a professor of Earth Sciences in the Physical Sciences Department at Seminole State College since 2003. He obtained a B.S. in geology from the California Institute of Technology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in geology (concentration in invertebrate paleontology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at UIUC, he earned that school’s highest award for undergraduate teaching. At Seminole State, he has originated three courses in geology, including Fossils and the History of Life. [...]



Therapeutic Hypothermia

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 21:17:56 +0000

Presenter: 
Hunley, Charles
When: 
7 Sep 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

When blood can’t flow to one’s heart or brain, those organs take little time to suffer damage. Anecdotes of “freezing” injured people to help them get better have been told since ancient Greece. Contemporary medicine has only recently found good enough technology, understanding of cellular biology, and a niche in the probabilities of outcomes to use such a paradoxical technique in practice. Some advanced physicians now lower patients’ internal temperature in extreme circumstances, to slow or stop damage, and buy time to treat injuries.

Dr Charles F. Hunley is a critical care fellow at Orlando Regional Medical Center with a masters’ in exercise physiology. He finished his masters’ at UCF in 2000, and graduated from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine in 2007. He completed his internal-medicine residency at ORMC in 2010. For the last four years he has done research at ORMC’s Ttranslational Research Lab in critical care, emphasizing sepsis and acute respiratory distress.




Cryptography

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 15:18:37 +0000

Presenter: 
Wang, Qian; Guha, Arup
When: 
5 Oct 2011 - 19:00 - 20:45
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Cryptography is often considered one of the crown jewels in a young discipline, computer science, but it’s really an ancient subject that helped bring into existence the computer age. Our speakers will explore the ways cryptography is used (and abused) to run our world, as well as introduce some of the mathematics that modern cryptography is built on.

Arup Guha grew up in Winter Park and got undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science at MIT in 1997. After getting his Masters in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Arup returned to Orlando in 1999 to teach at UCF in the Computer Science department, where he teaches a cryptography course each fall semester.

Qian Wang got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science at MIT in 2001. He works with encryption algorithms and thinks about security problems daily as part of his job at QFX Software, a local company he founded.




The Periodic Table of the Elements

Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:38:41 +0000

Presenter: 
Blair, Richard
When: 
2 Nov 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

The periodic table is an amazing tool that provides the ability to predict chemical properties. Scientists often take it for granted. We will undertake a guided tour of the periodic table from its humble beginnings with just a little over 60 elements to today’s table with 118 elements and counting. The layout we are familiar with is much different from the original and even today alternative depictions are being developed.

Dr. Richard Blair earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Hope College in Holland, MI. He has an MS in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from UCLA. He worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the next generation of thermoelectric power modules for spacecraft.

In 2007, he accepted a position as assistant professor of Chemistry and Forensic Science at UCF. His work at UCF has expanded on a synthetic technique utilized at JPL where mechanical force is used to induce a chemical reaction—mechanochemistry. His current research is focused on biofuels, greener syntheses, and forensic identifications of illicit substances.




Practical Starship Engineering

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 19:18:16 +0000

Presenter:  Handberg, Roger When:  7 Dec 2011 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Traveling to the next starsystem is an enormous undertaking. The social and engineering problems that are still unsolved stretch credulity and imagination. DARPA seeded a study, “100 Year Starship”, of how to make long-distance space travel feasible. A serious attempt at having thinkers solve an actual journey’s problems will have unimaginable benefits as side-effects. More interestingly, an analysis of the effort could help discover how organizations can adapt to change and still maintain focus and momentum for many generations, which both is useful in-flight, and in solving big problems on politically-fickle Earth. Our speaker, Dr. Handberg, a speaker and attendee of the October 2011, “100 Year Starship” conference will summarize the event and give his estimation of the problems he finds interesting. Dr. Roger Handberg, professor and chair of the Political Science Department, specializes in space policy, national security policy, and judicial politics. He also teaches courses dealing with government policies in science and technology, economic and business policy, and American security policy, particularly military space policy and ballistic missile defense. Handberg has worked at UCF since 1972. He has published nine books and more than 156 articles and book chapters plus presented over 125 papers. His recent books include “Chinese Space Policy: A Study in Domestic and International Politics”, “International Space Commerce: Building from Scratch” and “Reinventing NASA and the Quest for Outer Space.” [...]



Bioarcheology

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 02:26:25 +0000

Full Title: 
Learning About Ancient Health and Diseases from Bioarcheology
Presenter: 
Wentz, Rachel
When: 
4 Jan 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

While we usually think of archeology in terms of what it can tell us about the culture and practices of ancient peoples, our speaker will talk about examining ancient human remains to learn about their wellness and illnesses.

Dr. Rachel K. Wentz graduated from Florida State University with a PhD in Anthropology and specializes in the analysis of human remains with foci on ancient disease and population health. Her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation analyzed bone-fracture frequencies among bones at a 7,000-year-old site in Titusville. She is East Central Region Director of Florida Public Archaeology Network, and she serves on the Brevard County Historical Commission.




Computer Mediated Dialogues

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 21:08:21 +0000

Full Title:  Computer Mediated Dialogues: Puppets, People and Props Presenter:  Hughes, Charles When:  1 Feb 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Charles E. Hughes, Ph.D. is a Pegasus Professor (the highest honor that UCF can bestow on a professor) and a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, of Digital Media in the School of Visual Arts and Design, and Director of the Synthetic Reality Laboratory. He received his graduate degrees from Penn State University. He currently has 14 active grants totally more than $5.4 million that involve mixed and virtual reality, human-computer interaction and computer graphics. These include: the Gates-Foundation-funded student-teacher education project with reactive avatars, an NSF project on whole body engagement to learn physics concepts, an NSF-sponsored grant using digital puppetry to reduce alcohol use among students, and a National Institutes of Health grant using mixed reality to help Latina middle schoolers develop skills to resist peer influences. He is a prolific writer with 44 journal articles, 112 proceedings, 6 books, and 16 chapters authored or co-authored from 2005 to mid-2011. He has received many honors from professional organizations and recognition in public media. [...]



Parasites

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:58:47 +0000

Presenter: 
Busowski, Mary
When: 
7 Mar 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

This topic was superseded due to illness, and may be presented in the future.


Parasites are one of the weirder phenomena in biology. For example, there are fungal parasites that take over the behavior of ants to manipulate them into promoting the fungus’ life cycle. Some parasites even affect humans so they are more likely to keep cats, and therefore help the parasite live in the cats and nearby mice.

Our speaker, Dr. Mary T Busowski MD, practices infectious disease medicine, hospice care, and palliative medicine and internal medicine in Orlando.




The Skeleton as Evidence

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 15:15:22 +0000

Full Title:  The Skeleton as Evidence: Forensic Anthropology in Action Presenter:  Schultz, John When:  4 Apr 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Forensic Anthropologists assist medical examiners and law enforcement agencies with their expertise with skeletons and archaeological field-methods. Dr. Schultz will discuss different types of information revealed through the analysis of human skeletal remains, and the contributions to criminal investigations of forensic anthropology. Dr. John Schultz, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCF, specializes in the application of ground-penetrating radar methods in forensic and archaeological contexts, taphonomy of commercial cremations and of skeletal remains from historic contexts. Dr. Schultz also works with local law enforcement agencies on the search, recovery, and identification of human skeletal remains. He has worked on a number of high-profile cases including the Casey Anthony case as an expert witness. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2003. He has published many articles, book chapters and books including Forensic Recovery of Human Remains: Archaeological Approaches (CRC Press, 2005; 2011). Dr. Schultz has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s series, “Mummy Autopsy.” He teaches Human Biological Diversity, Forensic Anthropology, Human Osteology, Advanced Forensic Anthropology, and Archaeological Sciences. He has received awards for both teaching and research and funding from the National Institute of Justice among other agencies. [...]



Why Are We Fat?

Sat, 28 Apr 2012 13:54:49 +0000

Full Title:  Why Are We Fat? The Visibility of Food and the Invisibility of Calories Presenter:  Leiberman, Leslie When:  2 May 2012 - 19:00 - 21:00 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States More than any other time in our evolutionary history, much of the world’s population is living in environments of food abundance in which it is impossible to perceive or impute the caloric density of the foods we eat. Visual food cues are everywhere in obesogenic environments and these catalyze reflexive cognitive, physiological and behavioral responses leading to a desire to eat and food intake. Over the last 2 decades, there has been an increasing norm for larger portion sizes which are not detected by visceral feedback and size alone is a poor measure of the caloric density of foods. Many modernizing trends distance people from food production, preservation, packaging and preparation so that traditional cues involving these activities by which energy density, or some proxy, might be inferred are no longer experienced. Furthermore, food technology and marketing have led to a wide range of deceptions regarding the caloric density of food by reducing fiber and water content and adding excessive amounts of fat and sugar. We cannot trust either vision or taste to detect caloric content. For example, diet beverages use non-caloric sweeteners and fat-free pastries may have nearly the same mouth-feel and caloric content as the standard preparation. Increasing the visibility of calories is one approach to potentially decreasing food intake and curbing the obesity pandemic. One suggestion is to use the universal traffic color code with red for high, yellow for medium and green for low caloric densities. Examples of this approach in the UK and Australia will be discussed and a new symbol “Cal” will be introduced. Leslie Sue Lieberman, Ph.D., is a biomedical anthropologist and the founding Director of the Women’s Research Center, Emerita Professor of Anthropology (June 2011) and Courtesy Professor of Medical Education at the University of Central Florida. She currently holds a position as a European Union Visiting Scholar. She is a founding member of the Orlando Cafe Scientifique. Most of her research is centered on obesity and diabetes among US minority populations. She is the former President of the Society for the Anthropo[...]



Mastodons in Daytona

Fri, 25 May 2012 15:18:05 +0000

Full Title: 
Mastodons in Daytona
Presenter: 
Zacharias, Zach
When: 
6 Jun 2012 - 19:00 - 20:20
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

About 6 months ago, amateur paleontologists were sifting through dirt and rubble at a Daytona construction site, and discovered bones and teeth from a Mastodon, an enormous tusked mammal that died more than 13 thousand years ago and weighed several tons.

Zach Zacharias is Senior Curator of both Education and History at Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences. He will talk about these and other mastodons, which lived during the Oligocene through Pleistocene periods.




Digital Ethnography

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 00:23:51 +0000

Full Title:  The Art and Science of Digital Ethnography Presenter:  Underberg, Natalie When:  1 Aug 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Digital ethnography can be understood as a method for representing real-life cultures through storytelling in digital media. This kind of computer-based storytelling lets audiences to go beyond absorbing facts and allows for immersion in the experience of another culture. This talk explores the extraordinary potential for enrichment offered by technological resources, and reminds us that the study of culture is as much about affective traits of feeling and sensing as it is about cognition—an approach facilitated (not hindered) by the digital age. Dr. Natalie Underberg is an Associate Professor of Digital Media and Folklore in the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design. She has established a reputation as a leader in the application of digital media to ethnographic studies, focusing on the digital adaptation of cultural materials and the social impact of new technologies, with the goal of responsibly integrating technology into cultural representations. In 2007, she founded and became Director of the Digital Ethnography Lab Currently, she is working with colleagues to develop a model for Collaborative Interactive Media Design based on the principles of Digital Ethnography, Visual Language, and Human-Computer Interaction. Her ethnographic focus is on Peruvian, Puerto Rican and African-American folklore and cultural heritage in Florida and Latin America. Dr. Underberg has published in a wide range of journals including: American Folklore, Visual Anthropology Review and International Digital Media Arts Journal.  Forthcoming in 2013 is a book on Digital Ethnography. Her research has been funded by many organizations: Florida Humanities Council, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the past-President of the Florida Folklore Society and active in many professional organizations. At the national level, she served as a Library of Congress Veterans History Project workshop facilitator. She is a sought after speaker and teacher in the US and internationally. [...]



A Theory of Everything

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 00:29:28 +0000

Full Title:  The Quest for a Theory of Everything Presenter:  Efthimiou, Costas When:  5 Sep 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Dr Costas Efthimiou will explain the basic ideas that have led to our desire and hope that a unique theory describing everything in our universe can be found. He’ll will review the current state of affairs (including the latest discovery announced by CERN on July 4, 2012) and present a proposed theory for which the majority of the experts consider so far as the only viable candidate for being the Theory of Everything. Costas Efthimiou obtained his BSc from the University of Athens and his PhD from Cornell University. After this, he spent an additional year at Cornell as a Lecturer teaching physics courses. He then accepted a research associate position at Tel Aviv University where he stayed for two years. He returned to US as a Visiting Scientist at the Math Department of Harvard University. He continued with a Visiting Scientist appointment at Cornell and Columbia Universities. In August 2000, he joined the Physics Department of UCF. Costas Efthimiou’s background is mathematical physics and theoretical high energy physics but he has also been involved in physics education and the promotion of science literacy and quantitative fluency. [...]



Marine Ecosystems In Peril

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 16:48:16 +0000

Full Title:  What’s Wrong with our Oceans and Estuaries? A Discussion of How Humans are Imperiling These Amazing Ecosystems Presenter:  Walters, Linda When:  3 Oct 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Linda Walters, PhD, will provide vignettes of some of the ways humans have altered marine systems, including ocean acidification, coral bleaching, fisheries, invasive species, and habitat destruction. She will also discuss community-based education and outreach campaigns that her lab at UCF has successfully started. Dr. Walters’ is currently a Pegasus Professor in the UCF Biology Department, Director of UCF’s Fellers House Field Research Station in Canaveral National Seashore, and Interim Director of the UCF Women’s Research Center. She has been a faculty member at UCF for 15 years with a Ph.D. from Univeristy of South Carolina and post-doctoral research experience in Hawaii, Quebec and Cochin, India. Her research program focuses on many of the diverse ways humans impact the marine environment. She is interested in both pure ecology questions and goal-based conservation issues for a wide range of marine and estuarine habitats in the Caribbean and the southeastern US, especially the Indian River Lagoon system and the Florida Keys. [...]



Seeing cancer before it's too late

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 16:53:10 +0000

Presenter: 
Belfield, Kevin
When: 
7 Nov 2012 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Dr. Belfield’s research interests are in multiphoton absorbing materials, supramolecular materials, two-photon photochemistry, two-photon 3D optical data storage, multiphoton fluorescent probes and multiphoton bioimaging for early tumor detection and image guided surgery, photodynamic therapy agents, nanostructured functional organic and polymeric materials, and photochromic materials.




Poor and Homeless in Florida

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 16:51:43 +0000

Presenter: 
Wright, Jim
When: 
5 Dec 2012 - 19:00 - 20:00
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

A place like Orlando, Florida is not transformed from swampland to sprawling metropolis through Peter Pan-like flights of fancy, but through theme park expansions requiring developmental schemes that are tough minded and often worsen relationships between the wealthy and the poor. Dr. Wright will be summarizing the main themes and points of his new book, Poor and Homeless in the Sunshine State: Down and Out in Theme Park Nation. The homeless arrive with their own hopes and illusions, which are soon shattered. James D. Wright is an author, educator, and the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at UCF.




Asteroids, Water, and Life on Earth

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 16:58:50 +0000

Presenter:  Campins, Humberto When:  9 Jan 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Note, this is one week later than usual, so as to avoid the day after New Years’. The recent discoveries of water ice and organic molecules on two asteroids, 24 Themis and 65 Cybele, are transforming current views of the delivery of water and organic molecules to Earth by asteroids, and the origin and evolution of life on Earth. These discoveries also have important implications for the three current asteroid sample return missions: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, the European Space Agency’s Marco Polo-R mission and the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa-2 mission. In August 2002, Dr. Campins joined the UCF faculty as Provost Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and head of the Planetary and Space Science Group. Dr. Campins’ research area is astronomy. He studies comets, asteroids and other small bodies in the solar system using a variety of ground based, airborne and space based telescopes. This research is funded by NASA and by the National Science Foundation. [...]



Teamwork

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:01:40 +0000

Full Title:  The Science of Teamwork: What Effective Teams Do, Think, and Feel Presenter:  Salas, Eduardo When:  6 Feb 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Teamwork has become a way of life in many industries, agencies, and organizations. But, what do we know about teamwork, team leaders, and team effectiveness after decades of research? Professor Salas will highlight what we know about the science and practice of teamwork and team leadership. The talk will provide HR executives, managers and practitioners with valuable practical insights about what contributes to team effectiveness in organizations. Eduardo Salas is University Trustee Chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He also holds an appointment as Program Director for Human Systems Integration Research Department at UCF’s Institute for Simulation & Training. Previously, he was a Senior Research Psychologist and Head of the Training Technology Development Branch of NAVAIR-Orlando for 15 years. [...]



New National Wildlife Refuge

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 17:00:29 +0000

Presenter: 
Ehrhart, Llewellyn
When: 
6 Mar 2013 - 19:00 - 21:00
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

The UCF Marine Turtle Research Group’s Role in the Creation of a New National Wildlife Refuge on Florida’s East Coast

Emeritus Professor Ehrhart is a vertebrate zoologist whose research program is focused on reproduction, population biology, ecologic geography, and conservation biology of marine turtles. His most recent research interest involves characterization of juvenile and subadult populations in coastal lagoons and over near-shore reefs, as well as long-term studies of nesting beach productivity




Nanotechnology Is Already Here

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:04:27 +0000

Presenter: 
Rahman, Talat
When: 
3 Apr 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Only a few years ago, the science and engineering of manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level seemed to be a promise of enormous changes to come in a few decades. Instead, the results of nanoscience quietly sneaked into our everyday lives yesterday. Prof Rahman will talk about nanoscience, its brief history, and its current state.

Dr. Talat Rahman is the UCF Physics Chair and a UCF Provost Distinguished Research Professor. Her research interests are first principles calculations of nanoscale phenomena (chemical reactions, molecular diffusion, vibrational dynamics and thermodynamics of nanomaterials); multiscale-modeling offunctional material; structural stability and characteristics of nanoalloys; atomistic studies of diffusion at solid surfaces; thin film growth processes and surface morphological evolution of nanostructures.




After the Maya Apocalypse

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:06:14 +0000

Full Title:  After the Maya Apocalypse: Caracol, Archaeology, and Time Presenter:  Chase, Arlen; Chase, Diane When:  1 May 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States When Arlen and Diane Chase first traveled to Caracol in 1983, the city was completely covered by Belizean jungle. In more than 25 years of research, the Chases, husband-and-wife anthropologists at the University of Central Florida, have pieced together what Diane describes as “a much more complete story about Caracol,” one of the largest Maya cities. Through stable isotope analysis they can tell you what Caracol’s residents ate — which residents had a high-maize, high-protein diet, and which didn’t — and they can also tell you how the relatively uniform distribution of pottery suggests a strong sense of shared identity across social classes. [...]



Skulls of Our Ancestors

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 15:14:55 +0000

Presenter:  Lieberman, Leslie Sue When:  14 May 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States This lecture and hands-on laboratory will follow the anatomical trends in the skulls of our earliest ancestors, who walked on two legs 4500 thousand years ago, to the evolution of modern humans 200 thousand years ago. We will use slides and casts of these paleontological species to answer questions such as “When and why did humans develop such big brains compared to other animals?”  ”Why do we have such a problem with tooth-crowding, requiring extractions and braces?” “When and why did we lose our big brow ridges and expand our foreheads?” Leslie Sue Lieberman, Ph.D., is a biomedical anthropologist and the founding Director of the Women’s Research Center, Emerita Professor of Anthropology (June 2011) and Courtesy Professor of Medical Education at the University of Central Florida. She currently holds a position as a European Union Visiting Scholar. She is a founding member of the Orlando Cafe Scientifique. Most of her research is centered on obesity and diabetes among US minority populations. She is the former President of the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition and the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association, both the UCF and UF Chapters of Sigma Xi, the Florida Academy of Sciences and of the National Association of Academies of Science/AAAS. Her research and scientific activities have been supported by NIH, NSF, HRSA, NIMH and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Diabetes Research and Education Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Florida Humanities Council, and private industry. She has co-authored or edited 11 books and published over 75 journal articles and book chapters and more than 200 other works: reports, reviews, and editorials. [...]



Space-Faring Civilization

Wed, 05 Sep 2012 20:20:02 +0000

Full Title:  The Urgent Need to Become a Space-Faring Civilization Presenter:  Metzger, Philip T. When:  5 Jun 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Kardeshev classified civilizations in terms of energy: a Type-I civilization is one that uses all the energy of a single planet, a Type-II uses all the energy of a single solar system, and a Type-III uses all the energy of a single galaxy. These energy levels represent barriers in the sense that we cannot grow a civilization beyond those levels unless we make radical changes in the very nature of the civilization. For example, at the limit of a Type-I civilization, we suddenly discover that we must bring the rest of the solar system into our economic sphere. Unfortunately, the distances between the space resources and the Earth are vast, the transportation costs are high, the environment is harsh for human bodies, and the technologies that are needed to accomplish this have not been developed for any prior economic purpose. Compared to expanding across the globe, even across the oceans, it is much more difficult to expand across interplanetary space. Thus, the Kardeshev classification represents natural barriers that we will hit, waypoints in civilization that require unusual sacrifices, new investments, and extraordinary political will. Business-as-usual driven by the familiar forces of economics will not work — by definition — when we reach one of these barriers. This puts humanity’s global challenges into the correct historic perspective as well as suggesting how they must be addressed. We are presently concerned about global warming, peak oil, resource depletion in general, overpopulation, resource wars, and so on. Rather than thinking of these as separate problems, we should recognize them as elements of the first Kardeshev barrier. If we want to address any of these global challenges effectively, we need to recognize them for what they are and address the basic problem behind them.[...]



Science Experiments in Microgravity

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:00:14 +0000

Full Title:  Experiencing Microgravity and Microgravity Science Experiments Presenter:  Roberson, Luke When:  11 Jun 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States What’s unusual about doing science while zipping around the earth in a space station at 17 thousand miles per hour? Dr Luke Roberson will tell you what it takes to design a good experiment to be run in microgravity, and will show the effects of zero gravity and low gravity on you and the things around you. Luke B. Roberson, Ph.D. is a systems engineer for science payload development at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He is responsible for designing, building, verifying, and validating science experiments for deployment to the International Space Station. His current projects focus on plant growth chambers, integrating requirements of science and engineering to create a high-fidelity platform for research aboard ISS. Previously Dr. Roberson served as a research scientist at KSC inventing and developing new technologies for the space industry. In addition, Dr. Roberson is the President of Vaulted Technologies, and has 3 issued patents, 10 pending patents, over 20 published scientific articles, and has co-authored a book. [...]



Organ Transplantation

Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:54:02 +0000

Presenter: 
Vedula, Giridhar
When: 
3 Jul 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: 
Taste
Where: 
Taste
Street:
717 W. Smith Street
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

We’ll explore the different facets of solid-organ transplant and identify scientific breakthroughs that have helped us improve the quality of life among patients, and we’ll shed light onto the potential future of the field. Additionally, we will examine the fundamental principles of transplant and how they have resulted in medical and surgical innovation.

Giridhar Vedula MD is a multi-organ transplant surgeon at Florida Hospital, and focuses his practice primarily on liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. He trained at Columbia University in transplant surgery.




The Light on Other Planets

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 17:14:46 +0000

Presenter:  Dove, Addie; Becker, Tracy When:  9 Jul 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States Why do we see colors? Why don’t our eyes detect all wavelengths of light? Why is the sky blue and why are sunsets so colorful? Together with planetary scientists Dr. Addie Dove and Tracy Becker, we will address these questions, talk about the electromagnetic spectrum, and look at examples of how to change the way we see objects everyday. We will also learn how astronomers use telescopes that observe at different wavelengths of light to better understand our universe. Tracy Becker is a graduate student in the physics department at the University of Central Florida on the Planetary Sciences track. She studies Saturn’s rings using data from the Cassini spacecraft, which is currently in orbit around Saturn. By looking at the way the tiny particles in the rings diffract starlight, she measures the sizes of some of the smallest dust particles in the rings. She runs the public outreach program at the Robinson Observatory at UCF and helped host the 2013 Southeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. Addie Dove, Ph.D., is a planetary scientist who currently holds a position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Central Florida, and as the Laboratory Manager for the Center for Microgravity Research and Education (CMRE) there. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in May, 2012. Her thesis work was focused on the lunar plasma and dust environment, and her research expertise also includes lunar dust adhesion. At the CMRE, she leads laboratory-based studies of the behavior of planetary regolith in reduced gravity and normal gravity environments making use of parabolic airplane flights, suborbital rockets, the International Space Station, and a 0.8-second drop tower. She is a Co-Investigator of an experiment that will fly on the International Space Station to study low-velocity collisi[...]



More on Nanotechnology

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 17:07:06 +0000

Presenter:  Rahman, Talat When:  7 Aug 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States This is a continuation of the April talk, which served as an introduction to nanotechnology. This extra time will let Prof Rahman talk about her favorite parts of the subject. Only a few years ago, the science and engineering of manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level seemed to be a promise of enormous changes to come in a few decades. Instead, the results of nanoscience quietly sneaked into our everyday lives yesterday. Prof Rahman will talk about nanoscience, its brief history, and its current state. Dr. Talat Rahman is the UCF Physics Chair and a UCF Provost Distinguished Research Professor. Her research interests are first principles calculations of nanoscale phenomena (chemical reactions, molecular diffusion, vibrational dynamics and thermodynamics of nanomaterials); multiscale-modeling offunctional material; structural stability and characteristics of nanoalloys; atomistic studies of diffusion at solid surfaces; thin film growth processes and surface morphological evolution of nanostructures. [...]



Underwater Caves

Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:54:02 +0000

Presenter: 
Giannotti, Amy
When: 
13 Aug 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32804
Country:
United States

Amy Giannotti, from the Cambrian Foundation, will share her work exploring, mapping, and studying the underwater cave systems in Florida, Mexico, and Bermuda.

The Cambrian Foundation is a 501(c3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1994. Based in Orlando, Florida, the Foundation is dedicated to research, education, preservation, and exploration of the aquatic realm. The spirit of our organization recalls the ancient Cambrian Age, which occurred about 500 million years ago and lasted for about 80 million years, during which all life on earth was confined to water.




Math in Modern Medicine

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:35:37 +0000

Presenter:  Kirschner, Denise When:  4 Sep 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Medicine has advanced far past the practical knowledge of how to set bones and when to administer vaccines. The sheer volume of scientific data and immense complexity of biomedical research means that math is an essential tool driving medical science forward. Dr Denise Kirschner loves math, and is currently working on host-pathogen interactions in infectious diseases and will use tuberculosis as an example in this talk. She is a full Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. She has instructed advanced mathematical courses and biomedical research courses. She is also Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Theoretical Biology and director for the Center of Systems Biology at the University of Michigan. She has authored over 100 research papers and manages her research lab at UofM. [...]



Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:07:45 +0000

Presenter: 
Demeter, Derek
When: 
10 Sep 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32801
Country:
United States

Derek Demeter, Director of the Seminole State College Planetarium, and first speaker at Cafe Sci in 2008, returns to discuss what “Extra-Terrestial life” could mean, how we can and do look for ET, and significant milestones in the past.




Brain on a Chip

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:13:40 +0000

Full Title:  The Brain on a Chip: The Future of Neural Experimentation Presenter:  Jackson, Max When:  2 Oct 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States Advances in cell culture technology have enabled researchers to grow neural material outside of the brain. This neural material can be shaped into neural networks through chemical patterning techniques, networks which can be grown on electrode grids called Micro Electrode Arrays. These networks can then be used as drug testing beds and as research tools to explore plasticity with a high degree of finesse and granularity. The techniques provide important opportunities to move away from the practical and moral challenges associated with human and animal models in neuroscience research. Max Jackson is a masters student in BioTechnology at the University of Central Florida where he focuses his research on neural-machine interfacing. He is President of the UCF Synthetic Biology Club, and the Graduate President of the Central Florida Society for Neuroscience. Prior to graduate school, Max worked for a mobile-learning application development company. He enjoys reading the classics and philosophy literature in his free time. [...]



3D Printing

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:44:03 +0000

Presenter: 
Vengersammy, Ormilla
When: 
8 Oct 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32801
Country:
United States

If you didn’t know already, Orange County Library System is awesome.  In early spring next year, a new technology center will open with music, film and photography studios, editing bays, and driving and flight simulators.

Tomorrow night, get a firsthand look at another feature of the new center, 3D printers.  Ormilla Vengersammy will demonstrate this new fabrication system where anyone with an idea can transform it into a physical device.




Medical Geography

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:19:23 +0000

Presenter:  Butler, Russ When:  6 Nov 2013 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Taste Where:  Taste Street: 717 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States In the early 1860’s the citizens of London, England were frightened. People were dying from toxic “vapors.” Many thought these vapors emanated from the cemetery. Dr. John Snow decided to look at this problem differently: He took a map of London and placed a mark on it where people had died; there was a cluster around a particular public well. He had the handle removed from the pump at this well and deaths from these “vapors” ended, almost overnight. He had stopped the source of Cholera. This event marks the beginning of modern Medical Geography. Medical Geography is the science of understanding the spatial distribution of health and disease. Dr. Russ Butler is a full professor, director of research, and runs the Multi-scale Health Sciences Research Lab at the Adventist University of Health Sciences off of Orange Ave, in Orlando, Florida. Research in this lab focuses on understanding spatial patterns of phenomena related to human-health and well-being. Current research is analyzing distributions of contaminants and substances in drinking water in a central Florida community as well as elucidating environmental factors influencing obesity. He has instructed multiple biology courses from general biology, biochemistry, and genetics to technical and computer applications in environmental sciences. Additionally, he researches educational methods for science teaching in higher education and has scholarly interest in the discussion between science and religion. He has multiple single-author publications and has given dozens of professional presentations. [...]



Weather

Mon, 04 Nov 2013 19:50:00 +0000

Presenter:  Ulrich, William When:  12 Nov 2013 - 18:00 - 19:30 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States William Ulrich is an expert on weather. Meteorologists everywhere try to understand and predict what the near future of weather, but not so many of them work for the National Weather Service and live and work in Florida, where hurricanes pummel coasts and lightning strikes each square kilometer about four times a year. Join William Ulrich of the NWS in Melbourne as he explores different weather phenomena including, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires, that have helped shape Florida through the years. [...]



Global Elemental Cycles

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:06:40 +0000

Full Title:  Human Transformation of Global Elemental Cycles Presenter:  Bohlen, Patrick J. When:  4 Dec 2013 - 19:00 - 21:30 Venue:  Downtown Credo Where:  Downtown Credo Street: 706 W. Smith Street City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32804 Country: United States NOW at Downtown Credo, across the street from Taste. The rapacious human appetite for energy and food, accelerated by the industrial revolution, has transformed global elemental cycles. This transformation is altering our land, air and sea, with serious consequences for the entire global ecosystem. The Earth has moved into a new era, The Age of Humans, which some scientists have termed the “Anthropocene.” Human alteration of the earth can be viewed through many lenses, but nothing captures our predicament better than our transformation of global elemental cycles. Our impact on these cycles not only reflects human domination of the earth, but also exemplifies the challenges we face in meeting energy and food needs of a burgeoning human population sustainably. In this science café, I will take you on a crash course through global biogeochemistry, showing how humans have altered global cycles of the major life elements: carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Along the way, you will discover linkages between your local life and the global ecosystem. From global warming, to nutrient pollution of our coastal estuaries and springs, to the challenges of feeding the world, you will walk away with a better appreciation for how we are transforming the earth, and what we need to do to create a more sustainable future. Patrick J. Bohlen is Professor of Biology and Director of Landscape and Natural Resources and Arboretum at the University of Central Florida. He oversees landsca[...]



Frankenfood

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:10:04 +0000

Full Title:  From Frankenfood to Frankenpeople? Presenter:  Unruh, Lynn When:  10 Dec 2013 - 18:30 - 19:20 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States Through film and a slide presentation, Lynn Unruh, PhD, RN will discuss the extent of genetically modified food in the American diet, and its risk to human health and future food production. She will discuss policies to curb the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our food, such as legislating mandatory labeling of GMO in the state of Florida. Lynn Unruh is Professor of Health Services Administration in the Department of Health Management and Informatics at the University of Central Florida. A nurse and health economist, Dr. Unruh’s research focuses on healthcare workforce and quality issues and the impact of corporatization and globalization on health. [...]



Bees

Mon, 30 Dec 2013 17:35:50 +0000

Presenter: 
Perkins, Hannah
When: 
14 Jan 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32801
Country:
United States

Touch real live insects and look at them up close under microscopes! Learn what insects really are and how to tell them apart from other arthropods such as spider. The discussion will focus on bees and their importance. University of Central Florida graduate student Hannah Perkins and undergraduate students Alex Griffel, Suri Hernandez, Olivia Keene, Susannah Austin, and Henry Henderson will engage participants.




Marine Mammals

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:14:36 +0000

Presenter: 
Worthy, Graham A.J.
When: 
11 Feb 2014 - 18:30 - 19:30
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32801
Country:
United States

Graham A.J. Worthy, Ph.D will discuss recent marine mammal mortalities in the Indian River Lagoon and how they relate to algal blooms. Dr. Worthy is Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor of Biology, Hubbs-Sea World Endowed Professor of Marine Mammalogy, and the Director of the Physiological Ecology and Bioenergetics Lab at the University of Central Florida.




Food Preservation

Sun, 02 Mar 2014 20:38:31 +0000

Full Title:  Things that go rot in the night: use and role of preservatives Presenter:  Geis, Phil When:  5 Mar 2014 - 19:00 - 20:30 Venue:  Eden Bar at Enzian Where:  Eden Bar Street: 1300 South Orlando Avenue City: Maitland, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32751 Country: United States Dr. Phil Geis, a veteran industrial microbiologist, will discuss temporal, physical, and chemical means of preservation in consumer, institutional and industrial applications — their purpose, effectiveness, and relative risk. Dr Geis welcomes questions at philageis%aol.com . You know what to do with the percent symbol. [...]



Fire Ants

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 16:47:09 +0000

Presenter:  King, Joshua When:  11 Mar 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States We are being invaded! Learn about the natural history of ants, how they assemble communities, and ant invasions in natural and human-altered landscapes. Better understand the ecology of one of the most abundant groups of organisms on Earth, insects. Our discussion leader will be Dr. Joshua King, an assistant professor and insect ecology researcher in the Biology department at the University of Central Florida. [...]



Nanoscience

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 19:03:07 +0000

Presenter: 
Kumar, Amit
When: 
8 Apr 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32801
Country:
United States

Join Dr. Amit Kumar and graduate students from the NanoScience Technology Center at the University of Central Florida to learn about NanoScience and Nanotechnology, how it is already impacting your life and how it could be used in the future.




Cloud Computing

Mon, 30 Dec 2013 17:38:19 +0000

When: 
13 May 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: 
downtown library
Where: 
Orlando Public Library
Street:
101 E Central Blvd
City:
Orlando
,
Province:
Florida
Postal Code:
32801
Country:
United States

Join post-graduate researcher Amit Kumar for an exciting discussion on cloud computing and supercomputing based on his research experience. Dr. Kumar is currently a Research Associate in Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center, Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Central Florida.




Robotics

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:15:03 +0000

Presenter:  Martin, Fay When:  6 Jun 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States Join Fay Martin, owner of Florida Robotics, and “Tagi” Robot, the star of the children’s book “Jesse and the Robot Who Loved TV.” Tagi will be the star of this month’s Science Cafe presentation! With over twenty-five years experience in the robotics and entertainment industries, Florida Robotics has achieved a unique level of imagination and technical expertise. Their robots have been seen in action at Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center and more. [...]



Solar System

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:18:43 +0000

Full Title:  Tour the Solar System Presenter:  Demeter, Derek When:  7 Jul 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 31801 Country: United States Come along for an interactive guided tour of the inhabitants of the solar system, featuring the sun, eight major planets, asteroid belt and dwarf planets (like Pluto), as well as the innumerable objects that orbit around the sun from billions of miles away. Your journey is guaranteed to be the most exhilarating 5-billion-mile trip you’ll ever take! Presented by Derek Demeter, Director, Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College. [...]



Marine Ecosystems

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:21:22 +0000

Full Title:  Marine Animals and Ecosystems Presenter:  Harper, Fiona When:  8 Aug 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States Have you ever wondered what sea creatures you can find in Florida? Can you pick up a jellyfish on a beach? Did you know that a coral is an animal? Join Dr. Fiona Harper, marine biologist at Rollins College, for a lively and colorful presentation on Florida’s marine invertebrates. [...]



Good Bacteria

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:23:56 +0000

Presenter:  Gregory, Eileen When:  9 Sep 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States We usually associate bacteria with disease and sickness, but bacteria are essential to life. Join Dr. Eileen Gregory, microbiologist and immunologist at Rollins College, to explore the role of bacteria in the environment, food production and good health. [...]



Race to the Moon

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:26:27 +0000

Presenter:  Nunez, Ruben When:  18 Nov 2014 - 18:30 - 20:00 Venue:  downtown library Where:  Orlando Public Library Street: 101 E Central Blvd City: Orlando, Province: Florida Postal Code: 32801 Country: United States The Google Lunar XPRIZE is a race to the moon of epic proportions inspiring pioneers to develop robotic space transport on a budget and usher in a new era of space frontiers! Ruben Nunez, President & COO of the Earthrise Space Foundation and Team Leader of the Omega Envoy, will share his team’s progress in the competition and present a showing of the Google Lunar XPRIZE Documentary Back to the Moon For Good: An Immersive Space Adventure, narrated by Tim Allen. [...]