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Provost's Lecture Series

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October 24, 2023: Philipp Mitteroecker

The (Mis)Measure of Human Evolution
Charles B. Wang Center, Lecture Hall 2
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
4:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Philipp MitteroeckerThe measure – and occasional mismeasure – of human morphology is central to biological anthropology and the study of human evolution, as well as many areas of the biological and medical sciences. However, for historical reasons, both evolutionary explanations and the measure of human nature have also been contentious, and they are increasingly criticized by social scientists. Theoretical and evolutionary biologist Philipp Mitteroecker has spent his academic career not only advancing morphometric and statistical methods for evolutionary research, but also identifying their inherent limits and biological meaning.

In this talk, Mitteroecker, Professor of Biostatistics and Biometrics in the department of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Vienna, will give an overview of his research in human evolution and morphometric methods. He will focus on the evolution of human childbirth, which is a fascinating evolutionary puzzle. It seems paradoxical that such a painful and sometimes dangerous process has evolved. Mitteroecker will present a model of the underlying evolutionary dynamics and discuss the involved biological, medical and sociocultural factors. He will also touch upon the ethical and political implications of this work.

If you would like to attend the lecture, please register through this form.
Free and Open to the Public. Co-sponsored by the Rohlf Medal Fund of the Stony Brook Foundation

May 5, 2023: John Hartwig

Catalyzing Organic Synthesis
Charles B. Wang Center, Lecture Hall 2
Friday, May 5, 2023
4:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

John HartwigFrom Prozac to perfume and from sustainable plastics to solar energy catalysis enables our current standard of living and controls our potential to progress sustainably. The reduced emissions of modern cars, the beginnings of green energy and the new pharmaceuticals we use to treat disease are all made possible by chemical reactions controlled by catalysts.

John Hartwig is Henry Rapoport Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, and recipient of the Ojima Distinguished Lectureship Award in Chemistry. His research focuses on the discovery and understanding of new reactions for organic synthesis catalyzed by transition metal complexes.

This lecture will introduce the importance of catalysis overall, some major challenges in the field and ways that Hartwig’s research group is seeking to address these challenges. Hartwig will also present examples of important catalysts used today and strategies to discover and develop new classes of catalysts for future applications.

If you would like to attend the lecture, please register through this form.
Free and Open to the Public. Sponsored by the Department of Chemistry

April 25, 2023: John Budin, MD

A Psychiatrist with Bipolar Disorder: A Long Day's Journey into Light
Charles B. Wang Center Theater
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
4:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

John BudinClinicians, physicians and medical trainees have worrisome rates of mood disorders, yet often do not receive the psychiatric care they need. The rate of suicide among doctors is disturbingly high and attests to the heavy price paid in both morbidity and mortality. The reluctance of trainees with untreated psychiatric disorders to voluntarily acknowledge their mental health conditions is understandable: clinicians feel pressure to navigate through barriers of internal shame and negative professional repercussions. These challenges too often make it difficult for care givers to become care receivers. In this presentation, John Budin, a psychiatrist living with Bipolar Disorder, will share his personal and professional story of practicing while working through his own mood disorder. He’ll impart vital lessons learned along the way, and describe how he ultimately arrived at a place of peace and acceptance.

If you would like to attend the lecture, please register through this form.
Free and Open to the Public. Co-sponsored by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Renaissance School of Medicine

October 12, 2022: Rob Basso

Apply the Triple Threat of Ambition, Confidence and Conviction for Success On Your Own Terms
Charles B. Wang Center Theater
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
7:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Rob BassoRob Basso is a seasoned entrepreneur and author of the business book The Every Day Entrepreneur — Apply the Triple Threat of Ambition, Confidence and Conviction. Working his way up from sales-man to successful CEO, Basso has built and sold several payroll and HR businesses to public companies and has been involved in a number of multimillion-dollar deals. He has appeared more than 100 times on national cable news networks including Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC and CNBC.

During his talk, Basso will share his personal story, highlight effective approaches for taking calculated risks and discuss how to become an effective leader and communicator. He will also explain how to identify and take advantage of business opportunities. Students will learn about the mindset, skills and creativity they need to become successful entrepreneurs and lead their own businesses. Basso will interact with students, share business scenarios and ask and answer questions.

Free and Open to the Public. Student Entrepreneur Showcase and Networking begin at 5:30pm in the Theatre and Zodiac Lobbies.
Co-sponsored by the College of Business, Center of Entrepreneurial Finance, Innovation Center and the Office of Alumni Relations.

May 4, 2022: David Wald

Challenges in Real-time Earthquake Shaking and Impact Estimation
Charles B. Wang Center Theater
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
2:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

David WaldEstimating impacts due to earthquakes requires the direct interface of seismological and civil engineering expertise and tools. Both endeavors require considering uncertain models and data, as the main components of loss estimation involve inherent uncertainties. Fortunately, advancements in remote sensing, rapid in situ monitoring and impact reporting, and machine learning allow for innovative data-fusion strategies that should help significantly improve the accuracy and spatial resolution of rapid shaking and loss estimates.

In this lecture, seismologist David Wald from the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center will present a seismological and earthquake engineering view of future earthquake response and recovery in which initial impact estimates — as well as secondary hazards — are rapidly supplemented with crowdsourced and remotely sensed observations that are integrated holistically.

Free and Open to the Public.
David Wald is the 2022 recipient of the EERI/SSA William B. Joyner Lecture Award.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Geosciences.

April 29, 2022: Makoto Fujita

Coordination Self-Assembly: From Origins to the Latest Advances
Charles B. Wang Center Theater
Friday, April 29, 2022
4:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Makoto FujitaMakoto Fujita introduced the concept of "metaldirected self-assembly" to supramolecular chemistry, creating building blocks from transition metal groups and organic molecules that self-assemble into large, stable cyclic and three-dimensional structures. He is a University Distinguished Professor at the School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, and has received numerous awards and honors for his innovative research, including the 2018 Wolf Prize in Chemistry and the 2019 Imperial Prize. He was named a Clarivate Citation Laureate in 2020.

Molecular self-assembly based on coordination chemistry has made an explosive impact in recent years. It has been shown that the simple combination of transition-metal’s square planer geometry with pyridine-based bridging ligands gives rise to the quantitative self-assembly of nano-sized, discrete organic frameworks. This lecture will explore this compelling field and highlight Fujita’s current research, including molecular confinement effects in coordination cages, solution chemistry in crystalline porous complexes and giant self-assemblies.

Free and Open to the Public.
Prof. Fujita is the inaugural recipient of The Ojima Distinguished Lectureship Award in Chemistry.
Co-sponsored by Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery (ICB&DD).

October 25, 2021: Joan T. Richtsmeier

Morphology as Mechanism
Charles B. Wang Center, Lecture Hall 2
Monday, October 25, 2021
4:00 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Joan T. RichtsmeierJoan T. Richtsmeier is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Pennsylvania State University. She trained first as an archaeologist at Northwestern University but became fascinated with the human skull and focused her PhD research on understanding skull growth and evolution.

Richtsmeier’s current work joins developmental and evolutionary biology, integrating the study of mouse models carrying known genetic variants with understanding disease process and the biological basis of patterns of evolutionary change. Her work combines advances in 3D imaging, developmental biology, and morphometrics to further the understanding of a group of craniofacial disorders known collectively as craniosynostosis. She will talk about our shifting understanding of craniofacial evolution and development in the context of studying disease process, the people who have influenced her work, and how morphometric methods can be used to identify cellular or tissue level contributions to changes in morphology.

Free and Open to the Public.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Ecology and Evolution


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