Upcoming Colloquia

Wednesday, February 10

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Shanadeen C. Begay

Northeastern University

Diversity and Inclusion STEM education: Negotiating Complex Social and Cultural Experiences

When working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in diverse communities of color, there is a need to encourage Native American students into these fields with cultural sensitivity.  Many efforts over the course of my PhD have focused on building coalitions, growing collaborations, and creating policies that give Native American and Alaska Native students leverage in underrepresented fields. The barriers are well-understood by policy makers and educators that focus on Indigenous issues, however, many social contexts must be bridged with appropriate measures. Some such efforts include mentoring, coaching, leading, implementation of policy, creation of oversight boards, and creation of ethno-sensitive curricula. This talk focuses on the successes, challenges, and efforts of creating a STEM Native American presence in Higher-Ed. 

Dr. Begay's research interests incorporate interdisciplinary approaches in computer science, chemistry, physics, and biology to create new simulation techniques for biologically relevant systems.  One of the broader goals is elucidating the cultural and scientific diversity of Native American scientists by incorporating western and indigenous American scientific inquiry using culturally based measures.  She received B.S. and B.S.C.S degrees from Northern Arizona University in 2006, where she did research with BYU's Prof. Gus Hart, and received a PhD from Boston University in 2015, where her PhD advisor was Prof. Thomas Keyes (Chemistry Department).

Wednesday, February 17

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Florian Solzbacher

University of Utah, Electical & Computer Engr.


Prof. Solzbacher is Director of the newly established Center for Engineering Innovation, Co-Director of the Utah Nanotechnology Institute, President and Executive Chairman of Blackrock Microsystems and of Blackrock Neuromed and holds faculty appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His research focuses on harsh environment microsystems and materials, including implantable, wireless microsystems for biomedical and healthcare applications, and on high temperature and harsh environment compatible micro sensors. Prof. Solzbacher received his M.Sc. EE from the Technical University Berlin in 1997 and his Ph.D. from the Technical University Ilmenau in 2003.

Wednesday, February 24

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

John Colton and Dallin Durfee

Brigham Young University, Physics & Astronomy

The physics of musical scales: theory and experiment

The theory of musical scales involves mathematical ratios, harmonic resonators, beats, and human perception. It is an interesting application of the physics of waves and sound. Our talk will first review the history and physics of musical scales, with an emphasis on four historically important scales: twelve-tone equal temperament, Pythagorean, quarter-comma meantone, and Ptolemaic just intonation. We then will present an easy way for students and teachers to directly experience the qualities of different scales using a MIDI synthesis program written by Dr. Durfee called Temperament Studio.

We welcome anyone who wish to attend, and typically serve refreshments ten minutes before the colloquium begins. Speakers generally keep their presentation accessible to undergraduate physics students.