Dean's List. â¢ Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Bachelor of Science â Communication. Dean's List. â¢ Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass ...
Dimitri Mawet, Associate Professor of Astronomy
David Prober, Assistant Professor of Biology People can reject food, abstain from sex, and control their thirst, but they cannot keep from falling asleep. And yet, despite this irresistible drive, the fact that we spend a third of our lives asleep, and the prevalence of sleep disorders, we know remarkably little about why we sleep or how sleep is regulated. Prober will discuss his lab’s efforts to find new approaches to answer these questions and the discoveries they’ve made using the zebrafish as a simple animal model—discoveries that may have implications for our understanding of sleep in humans as well.
HOW CLEAN IS THE CLOUD? Adam Wierman, Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Director, Information Science and Technology Computing “in the cloud” may seem like something ephemeral, but the cloud actually has a physical presence in the form of data centers filled with thousands of servers. The power infrastructure needed to run these servers is enormous. In fact, at this point in time, data centers lead to more carbon emissions than the airline industry, but it need not be this way, says Adam Wierman. Wierman will describe ongoing research at Caltech aimed at building a sustainable computing infrastructure—one where data centers are powered by renewable energy and even serve as virtual energy-storage facilities for more broadly integrating renewable energy into the electrical grid. Planet Nine orbit (above): Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC) [Diagram created using WorldWide Telescope]; fluorescence microscopy image of cooperating bacteria and archaea from deep-sea sediment (cover): Shawn McGlynn
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TIME & LOCATION All lectures are held on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium, which is located near Michigan Avenue, south of Del Mar Boulevard. ADMISSION & SEATING A minimum of 700 seats are available on a free, no-ticket-required, first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each lecture evening.
MAY 10, 2017 / 8 PM APRIL 19, 2017 / 8 PM
is named for its founder, the late Earnest C. Watson, who was a professor of physics at Caltech from 1919 until his retirement in 1959. Spotlighting a small selection of the pioneering research our faculty is currently conducting, the Watson Lectures are geared toward a general audience, part of the Institute’s ongoing commitment to benefiting the local community through education and outreach. Through a gift from the estate of Richard C. Biedebach, the Watson Lecture Series has expanded to nine lectures annually.
WHAT COLUMBUS DISCOVERED Nicolas Wey-Gomez, Professor of History For five centuries, the voyages of Christopher Columbus have inspired heated debate over the true nature of his Indies enterprise. Did Columbus believe he had reached Asia or a continent unknown to his European contemporaries? And what did he intend to accomplish once he crossed the Atlantic? In this talk, Wey-Gomez will explore some of the facts and fiction surrounding Columbus’s geographical surveys of the Bahamas and Caribbean Basin. He will show how the navigator’s discoveries revolutionized old ideas about the globe, and how science, faith, and politics shaped the momentous encounter between Europe and the Americas.
PARKING There are lots south of Del Mar Boulevard between Wilson and Michigan Avenues as well as parking structures at 341 and 405 South Wilson Ave., and 370 South Holliston Ave. Parking is free, with no permit required, after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. OUR COMMITMENT TO PATRONS WITH DISABILITIES For information about our services, which include wheelchair seating and large-print programs, please call us at 626-395-4652 or email [email protected] FRIENDS OF BECKMAN AUDITORIUM We invite you to join the Friends of Beckman Auditorium, a group that helps support Campus Programs’ educational outreach programs. One of the benefits of membership is priority seating for the Watson Lecture Series. For information, call the Friends Service Desk at 626-395-6400 or visit events.caltech.edu and click on Support Us. CALTECH TICKET OFFICE (101-51) 101 Winnett Center, Pasadena, CA 91125-9200 626-395-4652
California Institute of Technology Campus Programs 1200 E. California Blvd. (15-6) Pasadena, CA 91125-9200
USING FISH TO UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY WE SLEEP
THE EARNEST C. WATSON LECTURE SERIES
The discovery of thousands of exoplanets over the past 20 years has taught us that our solar system is just one example among a mind-boggling variety of world architectures. Most of these planetary systems were detected by indirect techniques, which have ushered in the field of exoplanetology. Mawet will consider the findings made possible by direct, high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy. Beyond providing us with striking pictures of other worlds, this technique has yielded the most detailed measurements made to date by remote sensing of exoplanet atmospheres.
Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series
FEBRUARY 22, 2017 / 8 PM
IMAGING AND REMOTE SENSING OF OTHER WORLDS
U.S. Postage PAID
APRIL 5, 2017 / 8 PM
2016 – 2017
DECEMBER 7, 2016 / 8 PM
PLANET NINE FROM OUTER SPACE Konstantin Batygin, Assistant Professor of Planetary Science - Biedebach Memorial Lecture -
SINCE 1922, THE EARNEST C. WATSON LECTURE SERIES HAS BROUGHT CALTECH’S MOST INNOVATIVE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TO THE PUBLIC.
NOVEMBER 9, 2016 / 8 PM
CERES: AN ANCIENT OCEAN WORLD FROM THE DAWN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM Carol Raymond, JPL Principal Scientist and Deputy Principal Investigator of the Dawn Mission The main asteroid belt contains millions of objects but only a few date from the earliest stages of planet formation. The Dawn mission explored two such fossils: protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, the latter of which the spacecraft began to explore in March 2015. Since then, the mission has gathered evidence of geologic activity and clues confirming that Ceres had an ancient subsurface ocean, placing Ceres in the important class of objects with astrobiological potential. Raymond will discuss the mission’s results in the context of conditions and physical processes at the dawn of our solar system.
OCTOBER 14, 2015 OCTOBER 26, 2016 / 8 PM
DIAGNOSTICS FOR GLOBAL HEALTH AND ANTIMICROBIAL STEWARDSHIP Rustem Ismagilov, Ethel Wilson Bowles & Robert Bowles Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Diagnostic devices capable of ultrasensitive biomarker measurements are poised to revolutionize medicine—from providing critical point-of-care diagnoses to enabling realtime clinical monitoring and improving development of therapeutics. In his talk, Ismagilov will discuss his group’s innovative approach to diagnostics, including their progress developing a rapid test of antimicrobial susceptibility. Map projected view of Ceres (above): NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
At the outskirts of the solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune, lies an expansive field of icy debris known as the Kuiper belt. The orbits of the individual asteroid-like bodies within the Kuiper belt trace out highly elongated elliptical paths and require hundreds to thousands of years to complete a single revolution around the sun. In this talk, Batygin will argue that the observed clustering of Kuiper belt orbits can be maintained by a distant, eccentric, Neptune-like planet, whose orbit lies in approximately the same plane as those of the distant Kuiper belt objects.
FEBRUARY 1, 2017 / 8 PM
JANUARY 18, 2017 / 8 PM
MICROBIAL LIFE SUPPORT: THE INVISIBLE LIVING NETWORKS THAT SHAPE OUR OCEANS Victoria Orphan, James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology While invisible to the naked eye, microorganisms and their interactions with each other and their environment play fundamental roles in the cycling of elements critical to life on our planet. In deep seafloor sediments, billions of microorganisms compete and cooperate via a complex network of metabolic interactions that are still poorly understood but are important in the cycling of methane and sequestration of carbon. Orphan will talk about the activities of marine microorganisms from the ocean surface to deep in the earth’s crust and consider the globally important geochemical processes they orchestrate through metabolic collaboration.
WHAT ARE GLASSES?: ATOMIC ORGANIZATION AND THE PRICE OF NONCONFORMITY William Johnson, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science As a simple liquid like molten gold is cooled below its melting point, its atoms undergo an abrupt crystallization transition, freezing into a regular pattern so that the atoms are grouped in identical local neighborhoods. If there are nonconforming atoms in the liquid—for example, silicon atoms dissolved in the gold—they may prefer a different type of “neighborhood.” Too many nonconformists, and crystallization will become impeded. The liquid still solidifies on cooling, but instead of crystallizing, it vitrifies— transforms into a glass. Such glasses differ from crystals in profound and often surprising ways, and Johnson will describe these scientific and practical consequences based on his experience studying metallic glasses.