Monday, November 21, 2011

November Cafe

We are excited to announce the final Science Cafe for the Fall 2011 series. On Tuesday, November 22, 7pm at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble's Community Room, we will have a talk by Dr. Richard Aslin from the University of Rochester"

"The brain and cognitive science of early child development:
How smart is your baby (and how can you tell)?"

Dr. Richard Aslin
William R. Kenan Professor, Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science
Director, Rochester Center for Brain Imaging
November 22, 7pm
Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble

Richard Aslin received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in child psychology and has been a professor of psychology and then of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester since 1984. His research examines the perceptual and learning abilities of infants and young children using detailed measures of where they look when viewing complex visual stimuli and how their brain responds to both visual and auditory (language) structures. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and by the McDonnell Foundation. In 2006 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2010 was awarded an honorary degree from Uppsala University (Sweden).

We look forward to seeing everyone there! As always, ASL
interpretation will be available and refreshments provided for all of
our guests, thanks to NASA. We'll be off in December, but resume
from January-May, with a whole new series of talks spanning the scientific world.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Cafe this Tuesday

Hi everyone,
This coming Tuesday the Rochester Science Cafe will have a talk and then a book signing:

"About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang"
Dr. Adam Frank
Assistant Prof. of Astrophysics
University of Rochester

The Cafe will be at 7pm, October 25, at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble. Adam Frank is also a popular science blogger, so check out his work at 13.7: Cosmos and Culture, or the website for his previous book, The Constant Fire.

In November, our talk will be on November 22:

"The brain and cognitive science of early child development: How smart is your baby (and how can you tell)?"

Dr. Richard Aslin
William R. Kenan Professor, Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science
Director, Rochester Center for Brain Imaging
University of Rochester

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September Cafe: Mountains and Glaciers

Hello everyone,

The Rochester Science Cafe will be back this coming Tuesday with the first talk of our third year:

"The rise of large mountain belts and the fall in global surface temperatures: why we live in a glacial world"

Dr. Carmala Garzione, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Chair
Dept of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Rochester
Upcoming talks for October and November will be announced on Tuesday. We hope to see everyone there.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June Science Cafe - Mathematics in Nature

Please come join us this coming Tuesday, June 28th, for the final Science Cafe of the Spring/Summer 2011 schedule. We are happy to host Dr. John Adam of Old Dominion University, who will speak about "Mathematics in Nature", and have a book signing immediately after the talk.

John Adam is the Designated University Professor of Mathematics (for excellence in teaching). He was a winner of a 2007 Outstanding Faculty Award for the State of Virginia. The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the Commonwealth of Virginia's highest honor for faculty at the state's public and private colleges and universities. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service.

From the book's website:

Mathematics in Nature

Winner of Association of American Publishers Mathematics and Statistics Professional/Scholarly Award

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2004

From rainbows, river meanders, and shadows to spider webs, honeycombs, and the markings on animal coats, the visible world is full of patterns that can be described mathematically. Examining such readily observable phenomena, this book introduces readers to the beauty of nature as revealed by mathematics and the beauty of mathematics as revealed in nature.

Generously illustrated, written in an informal style, and replete with examples from everyday life, Mathematics in Nature is an excellent and undaunting introduction to the ideas and methods of mathematical modeling. It illustrates how mathematics can be used to formulate and solve puzzles observed in nature and to interpret the solutions. In the process, it teaches such topics as the art of estimation and the effects of scale, particularly what happens as things get bigger. Readers will develop an understanding of the symbiosis that exists between basic scientific principles and their mathematical expressions as well as a deeper appreciation for such natural phenomena as cloud formations, haloes and glories, tree heights and leaf patterns, butterfly and moth wings, and even puddles and mud cracks.

John A. Adam is Professor of Mathematics at Old Dominion University, coeditor of A Survey of Models for Tumor-Immune System Dynamics, and a regular contributor to leading journals in applied mathematics.

From reviews of the book:

John Adam has combined his interest in the great outdoors and applied mathematics to compile one surprising example after another of how mathematics can be used to explain natural phenomena. And what examples! . . . [He] has done a great deal of reading and exposition, indulging his passions to create this compilation of mathematical models of natural phenomena, and the sheer number of examples he manages to cram into this book is testament to his efforts. There are other texts on the market which explore the connection between mathematics and nature . . . but none this wide-ranging. -- Steven Morics, MAA Online

John Adam's quest is a very simple one: that is, to invite one to look around and observe the wonders of nature, both natural and biological; to ponder them; and to try to explain them at various levels with, for the most part, quite elementary mathematical concepts and techniques. -- Brian D. Sleeman, Notices of the American Mathematical Association

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our new website

Our new website is finally ready! Check it out at We'll be updating it this summer with photos, videos, and more!

May Cafe next week; June Talk added

After a one-month hiatus, the Rochester Science Cafe returns next week at our regularly scheduled time for a talk by Dr. Thomas Trabold of RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability and the New York State Pollution Prevention Insititute:

Sustainable Mobility: Path to Energy Security and Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dr. Thomas Trabold,
Research Associate Professor, Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Rochester Institute of Technology

May 24, 7:00pm, Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble

Personal mobility presently accounts for about 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, and represents enormous wealth transfer outside of the State. Despite our century-old dependence on a single fuel feedstock (petroleum) coupled with a single propulsion technology (internal combustion), we are now witnessing the convergence of major societal trends that will permanently change the transportation industry. These trends include executive orders to achieve 80% reduction in 1990 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels by 2050, and implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates use of 36 billion gallons of renewable transportation fuel per year by 2022. Sustainable mobility technologies that are undergoing rapid development on a global scale include bio-fuels, fuel cells and batteries. The implementation of these technologies within New York State is explored in the context of our local energy resources and economic conditions.

On June 28th, we will be having a talk and book signing by Dr. John Adam of Old Dominion University about "Mathematics in nature: Modeling patterns in the natural world".

Monday, February 7, 2011

February Science Cafe: 2/22/2011: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Why Size Matters?

On February 22, 2011, the Rochester Science cafe will be happy to present the February Cafe talk:

"Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Why Size Matters?"

Dr. Todd Krauss
Professor, Department of Chemistry
Institute of Optics
Biophysics, Structural and Computational Biology Program
Director, Materials Science Program
University of Rochester

The talk will be at 7pm at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble. Refreshments will be served, and ASL interpretation will be provided for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January Science Cafe: 1/25/2011: Personalized medicine: Tailoring health care in the information age

The Rochester Science cafe is happy to announce our January Science Cafe, which will lead of our Spring 2011 series:

"Personalized medicine: Tailoring health care in the information age"
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
7pm, Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble

Robert W. West, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Dr. Robert West, Ph.D., a geneticist and molecular biologist, teaches an
innovative course in personalized medicine to medical students at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Personalized medicine is a revolutionary approach to medical care emphasizing a wealth of information about an individual patient to select or optimize that patient's healthcare. Two paradigm-shifting technologies have helped create the opportunity for personalized medicine and, in doing so have altered healthcare forever. The internet has given rise to the empowered patient or “e-Patient”, and the human genome project is revealing genetic factors and providing tests that provide highly-individualized medical care. These technological advances are transforming physician training and are increasing the extent to which consumer patients can and should participate in their own healthcare. Appropriate catchphrases for healthcare in the 21st century are “right medication, right dose, right patient, right time”, and “P4 medicine”, for Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, and Participatory.