FAU | FAU Announces 2021 ‘Frontiers in Science’ Public Lecture Series – Florida Atlantic University

Frontiers in Science

Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will host its 2021 “Frontiers in Science” series with eight different virtual lectures on Fridays, beginning Jan. 15 through April 23. All lectures are free and open to the public.

‘Understanding the Big Bang: The Universe Beyond Einstein’ presented by Ivan Agullo, Ph.D.
Friday, Jan. 15 at 4 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yU0JvunOQrCSFRKpKUXH4g 

Our current understanding of the history of the universe rests on Einstein’s theory of general relativity. It traces the origin to the Big Bang, where space-time ends, and physics comes to a halt. But Einstein himself recognized that the Big Bang is an artifact of applying general relativity outside its domain of validity. Learn about exciting research on how to combine general relativity with quantum mechanics to probe what really happened in the early universe, and ways to test this fascinating new paradigm using the cosmic microwave background.

‘Human Health Assessment and Rehabilitation: What Does the Future Hold?’ presented by Christopher Rhea, Ph.D.
Friday, Jan. 22 at 4 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zkRgzo1-RY-sF8k4TvwmmQ  

Smartphones and virtual reality are becoming popular tools to track human health and could potentially be used as intervention/rehabilitation modalities. This talk will cover some recent advancements in this area relative to monitoring human movement patterns, physical activity, and nutrition literacy.

‘Homo naledi and the Rising Star Cave’ presented by Marina Elliot, Ph.D. 
Friday, Jan. 29 at 4 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GcLLG840R5-lDiKhFxtnCg   

Discovered in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa in 2013, Homo naledi is one of the newest members of the human family. In just seven years, it has become one of the largest assemblages of fossil hominins in the world and is notable for the unprecedented quality and completeness of the remains. In addition, the nature of the deposit suggests that Homo naledi may have been engaging in complex behaviors previously assumed to have been practiced only by modern humans. Elliott was one of six “Underground Astronauts” who excavated this remarkable find. Since then, she has continued to excavate the site and conduct research on Homo naledi. In this lecture, Elliott will share her experience of the original Rising Star Expedition and describe what the research to date has learned about the biology and behavior of this fascinating new species.

‘Inequities in Infancy: Race and Infant Health and Development’ presented by Brenda Harden, Ph.D.
Friday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kcApsshLThycUefNKSPdiA  

This presentation will examine racial differences in the health and development of American infants, with a particular focus on inequities experienced by very young African American children. The contribution of maternal characteristics such as perinatal processes, history of trauma, experiences of stress, mental health challenges, and socioeconomic vulnerability will be addressed. The presentation also will consider the roles of structural racism and perception of discrimination in these racial inequities. Potential strategies for promoting more positive health and developmental outcomes for this group of infants will be discussed.

Why is the planet the way it is? How did we get here? Does everything happen for a reason or are some things left to chance? Philosophers and theologians have pondered these questions for millennia, but over the past half-century, startling scientific discoveries have revealed that we live in a world driven by chance. In this talk, Carroll will tell the stories of the mother of all accidents, the accident of all mothers, and much more in an entertaining and awe-inspiring tale of the fortunate events that have put us all here.

‘COVID, Cities, and Climate: How the Next Technologies are Happening Faster’ presented by Peter Newman, Ph.D., professor of sustainability at Curtin University (Perth Australia), and coordinating lead author with IPCC 
Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_naZ-JmGSSeu4JUO4vXQCGw 

This talk discusses how the economic collapse from COVID is creating the future faster as innovations can now be more easily financed while mature assets of the old fossil fuel technologies become stranded. The future is solar-batteries-EVs-smart technologies integrated as a cluster for our cities, and Hydrogen-based clean industry in regions. Leaders are now appearing from cities that can show how these innovations can be delivered and mainstreamed.

‘Mathematical Puzzles’ presented by Peter Winkler, Ph.D., William Morrill professor of mathematics and computer science at Dartmouth College
Friday, April 2 at 4 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-UAtJxI2QK-qjWXF2rgvoQ 

Mathematical puzzles can entertain us, challenge us, confound us and embarrass us.  But a great puzzle can do much more: it can open our eyes to something we had never seen before (but maybe should have). This discussion will look at some gems and see what can be learned from them.

‘A New Horizon in Precision Oncology – Proteogenomics’ presented by Henry Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Friday, April 23 at 4 p.m.
RSVP here: https://fau-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Hh12Itn2TlyMVF8urOK0ww  

Massive analysis of cancer genomics data from thousands of tumors from all major cancer types has facilitated the molecular classification of cancer in modern medicine, guiding a precision oncology approach for patients. However, the advances in precision oncology have drawbacks and limitations as the needs of many cancer patients remain unaddressed. Integration of proteomics data with genomics data (proteogenomics) facilitates to advance our understanding of the causes of cancer and narrow target selection for potential therapeutic intervention by providing increased granularity regarding cancer-relevant pathways. As such, proteogenomics provides an opportunity to generate new insights by melding the complexity of cancer genomics with cancer proteomics to more completely understand how somatic genomes activate aberrant signal transduction events that drive cancer pathogenesis, with the potential to fast become an essential part of laboratory medicine. This seminar will discuss how genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics are being combined in the quest to understand the etiology of cancer – in basic clinical sample studies and translational research (clinical trials).


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