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Frontiers of Science

Frontiers of Science


The Frontiers of Science lecture series was established in 1967 by University of Utah alumnus and Physics Professor Peter Gibbs. By 1970, the University had hosted 10 Nobel laureates for public Frontiers lectures. By 1993, when Gibbs retired, the Frontiers organizers had hosted another 20 laureates. Today, Frontiers of Science is the longest continuously-running lecture series at the University of Utah.

A schedule for 2021-2022 lectures will be available soon. 

Previous Lectures


Thursday, October 22, 2020
Nature is the Future of Chemistry.

Shelley Minteer - Associate Chair of Chemistry Dept, University of Utah
Henry White - Distinguished Professor, Chemistry Dept, University of Utah
Scott Anderson - Distinguished Professor, Chemistry Dept, University of Utah

>> Watch the video <<

The Center for Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry (CSOE) was recently awarded $20 million to advance its work to make synthetic organic electrochemistry mainstream. Join Peter Trapa, Dean of the College of Science, as he speaks with Dr. Shelley Minteer and her team on demystifying this process, and how its use will enable new green, safe, and economically beneficial new discoveries.

Dr. Shelley Minteer, professor of Analytical, biological & materials chemistry at the University of Utah, uses nature as an inspiration and solution to chemistry problems. Her group focuses on improving the abiotic-biotic interface between biocatalysts and electrode surfaces for enhanced bioelectrocatalysis and designs electrode structures for enhanced flux at electrode surfaces for biosensor and biofuel cell applications. In addition to holding the Dale and Susan Poulter Chair in Biological Chemistry, Dr. Minteer is the Director of the U’s Center for Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry which was just awarded a $20 Million NSF grant for the center’s Phase II development.

Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Future of Western Forests in a Changing Climate.

Bill Anderegg - Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences

>> Watch the video <<

Climate change may dramatically reshape western landscapes and forests through heat, drought, fires, and beetles. What can science tell us about what the future looks like for western US forests and what we can do about it?

Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the U, Dr. William “Bill” Anderegg’s research centers on the intersection of ecosystems and climate change. In particular, he strives to understand the future of the Earth’s forests in a changing climate. Massive mortality events of many tree species in the last decade prompt concerns that drought, insects, and wildfire may devastate forests in the coming decades. Widely published, most recently in Science and PNAS, Anderegg studies how drought and climate change affect forest ecosystems, including tree physiology, species interactions, carbon cycling, and biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. His work spans a broad array of spatial scales from xylem cells to ecosystems and seeks to gain a better mechanistic understanding of how climate change will affect forests around the world. Dr. Anderegg received his bachelor's and Ph.D. from Stanford University and did an NOAA Climate & Global change post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton.

Thursday, February 18, 12-1 pm
On Thinning Ice - Modeling sea ice in a warming climate.

Ken Golden - Department of Mathematics

>> Watch the video <<

Precipitous declines of sea ice are writing a new narrative for the polar marine environment. Earth’s sea ice covers can tell us a lot about climate change—they are canaries in the coal mine. Predicting what may happen to sea ice and the ecosystems it supports over the next ten, fifty, or one hundred years requires extensive mathematical modeling of key physical and biological processes, and the role that sea ice plays in global climate. Ken Golden, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, will discuss his research, his Arctic and Antarctic adventures, and how mathematics is currently playing an important role in addressing these fundamental issues and will likely play an even greater role in the future.

Ken Golden is a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah. His research is focused on developing mathematical models of sea ice which are inspired by theories of composite materials and statistical physics. He has traveled 18 times to the Arctic and Antarctic, and his work has been published in a wide range of scientific journals. Golden is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, an Inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club, whose members have included Neil Armstrong, Sir Edmund Hillary, Robert Peary, and Jane Goodall.

Thursday, March 18, 12-1 pm
Not too big, Not too small: The hunt for intermediate-mass black holes

Anil Seth - Department of Physics & Astronomy

>>Watch the video<<

Astronomers have found lots of black holes with masses a few times that of the sun and hundreds of supermassive black holes with masses more than a million times the mass of the sun. But where are the ones in the middle—the intermediate mass black holes? Dr. Seth will talk about different ways we are hunting for intermediate mass black holes and why so many of us are interested in finding them.

Dr. Anil Seth, associate professor of Physics & Astronomy at the U, studies the formation and evolution of nearby galaxies by detecting individual stars and clusters of stars whose ages, composition, and motions can be measured. His research focuses on understanding the centers of galaxies and the black holes and massive star clusters found there. He also studies the large surveys of our nearest spiral neighbors, Andromeda and Triangulum, and is involved with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s APOGEE project. He was named a Presidential Scholar by the U and has been awarded several National Science Foundation grants.

All lectures are subject to change. Contact events@science.utah.edu for questions or more information.

VIDEO ARCHIVE


History


A Lecture Series Spanning Five Decades

The Frontiers of Science lecture series was established in 1967 by University of Utah alumnus and Physics Professor Peter Gibbs. Gibbs and his fellow physics faculty at the U sought to bring notable researchers from around the country to the University to discuss the current “frontiers” in physics research. The larger goal was to present public lectures that would attract attention to important developments in scientific research.

By 1970, the University had hosted 10 Nobel laureates for public Frontiers lectures. By 1993, when Gibbs retired, the Frontiers organizers had hosted another 20 laureates. Today, Frontiers of Science is the longest continuously-running lecture series at the University of Utah.

The first Frontiers event was presented by Peter Gibbs himself, who discussed “Einstein the Sociologist,” on April 1, 1967. Physics Professors David C. Evans, Grant R. Fowles and Jack W. Keuffel presented the remaining three lectures that year. In the meantime, the group worked on scheduling outstanding speakers for the following year.

Gibbs and colleagues made good on their promise to bring exceptional scientists to campus. During the 1968-69 academic year, eight lectures were held, including ones by C.N. Yang from the University of New York at Stony Brook (“Symmetry Principles in Physics”) and Murray Gell-Mann from the California Institute of Technology (“Elementary Particles”). Nobel laureates gave three of the eight presentations that academic year, and during 1969 as a whole, six of thirteen lectures were given by Nobel laureates. Topics included astronomy, mathematics, anthropology, politics and social issues.

Gibbs and the early FOS organizers were extremely adept at recruiting famous and soon-to-be-famous scientists. They also were keenly aware of the state of scientific research and the social climate of the time. President Nixon was in office, the Vietnam War was escalating and student protests were common on university campuses including the U of U. The United States had just put a man on the moon. Personal computers did not exist.

Through the 1970s as many as ten lectures were presented each academic year, but by 1980 the pace had slowed to a more manageable five or six per year. The FOS series had become immensely popular and the topics were broadened to include biology, chemistry, mathematics and the earth sciences.

In the early 1980s, FOS audiences were treated to firsthand accounts of the discovery of the structure of DNA by James D. Watson (“The Double Helix and Destiny,” 1981) and Francis H.C. Crick (“The Two DNA Revolutions,” 1984), the achievement for which they had received a Nobel Prize in 1962.

Many FOS speakers were not so famous or honored when they spoke here, but became so later in their career. For example, F. Sherwood Rowland spoke on “Man’s Threat to Stratospheric Ozone” in the 1978 academic year, and was a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering studies on the destruction of ozone by chlorofluro- carbons which was his topic in 1978!

From 1994 to 1997, the Frontiers of Science series was complemented by the Davern/Gardner Laureateship. Dean T. Benny Rushing, Biology Professor K. Gordon Lark, and Emeritus Professor Boyer Jarvis wished to honor the memory of two former College of Science faculty members who made extraordinary administrative contributions to the University of Utah: Cedric “Ric” Davern and Pete D. Gardner.

Rushing, Lark and Jarvis secured a generous grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation to fund the Davern/Gardner Laureateship. The Laureateship allowed the College to bring a notable scientist to campus to deliver a public lecture and to interact with research teams and faculty that shared the invitee’s scientific interests. Dr. John Cairns gave the first lecture in November 1994. A total of six Davern/Gardner Laureateship lectures were presented until the grant was exhausted.

The history of venues for Frontiers of Science presentations is quite colorful. From 1967 to 1970, various rooms were used, including 103 North Physics, 200 Music Hall and Mark Greene Hall in the College of Business. By 1974, FOS events were often held in the Waldemer P. Read auditorium in Orson Spencer Hall. The Read auditorium featured stadium seating for about 400 people and was primarily used through the 1980s.

By 1990, the Fine Arts auditorium became the venue of choice because it was newer, larger, and had a better sound system. However, the lighting and sound controls were problematic and scheduling conflicts forced organizers to utilize the nearby Social Work auditorium on occasion.

In the meantime, the College of Science was constructing the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Research Building (ASB) that included a beautiful 325-seat lecture auditorium and an adjoining 125-seat room complete with modern sound systems, digital video projectors and lighting. When ASB opened in 1997, the Frontiers series finally had a home within the College.

In 2003, the College of Mines and Earth Sciences joined with the College of Science to co-host FOS and increase the number of lectures devoted to aspects of geology, geophysics and meteorology. The effort was successful and a total of five presentations were scheduled, including Paul F. Hoffman, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Harvard University (“Snowball Earth: Testing the Limits of Global Climate Change,” 2003) and Peter B. deMenocal, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University (“Climate Shifts and the Collapse of Ancient Cultures,” 2004).

In March 2007, Professor Kerry A. Emanuel of MIT discussed the history and science of hurricanes, including how climate change may be influencing storm cycles around the world. He used stunning photos and graphics to explain how hurricanes work, what determines their energy and destructiveness, and the economic and social implications of our policies for dealing with the risks they pose.

In 2008, The 14th Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, Sir Arnold Wolfendale, graced Utah audiences with a superb presentation on “Time: From Harrison’s Clocks to the Possibility of New Physics.” Other international guests were Dr. Jennifer Graves, Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University, Australia, and Dr. Stefan Hell, Nobel laureate and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.

Peter Gibbs: The Father of “Frontiers”

Physics Professor Pete Gibbs and his colleagues established the Frontiers of Science lecture series as a method to bring notable researchers from around the world to Utah to discuss the current “frontiers” in scientific research. The first Frontiers event was presented by Pete Gibbs himself, on April 1, 1967. During the following two years, nine of the twenty-one FoS lectures were given by current or future Nobel laureates.

The early success of Frontiers was largely due to Pete’s personal invitations, and also his family’s skill at hosting prominent scientists in their home near the University campus. The Gibbs family offered lodging, food, and world-class skiing, to sweeten the deal.

Pete Gibbs passed away on July 13, 2019 surrounded by family and friends. He was 94.

Frontiers of Science, now in its 52nd year, continues to be sponsored by the College of Science and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences. The list of speakers now includes some 280 distinguished scientists.

  


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Be the Light

Be the light in your community


On July 14-16, 2021, students of the American Indian Services (AIS) Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (AIS PREP) came to the University of Utah to celebrate the completion of their 2021 AIS PREP, co-hosted by the College of Science. AIS PREP is a free program for Native American students to take advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses for six weeks for three consecutive summers. At the end of the program, the students earn scholarships to any higher education institution that they choose and continue to receive financial assistance. The 2021 AIS PREP group included 113 students from different Native American tribes: Navajo (Diné), Hopi, Oglala Sioux (Lakota), Shoshone/Bannock, Zuni, Crow, Paiute, and Cheyenne. AIS PREP is focused on making the curriculum culturally sensitive to the Native American students they serve. They bring a unique opportunity to keep the students close to their homes.

“We’re the only non-profit that has taken on such a big program like this. Some of these tribal communities are in rural areas—resources are scarce,” said Meredith Little Lam, project and program manager at AIS and AIS scholarship alumnus. “The whole point of AIS PREP is that we want to make sure we give our Native American students STEM resources that will allow them to succeed in high school.”

The students traveled to the U on July 14 to stay in campus dorms, meet PREP students from other AIS PREP sites, and hear presentations from U staff and College of Science faculty to celebrate the completion of the program. The week ended with a keynote address from the architect, inventor and entrepreneur Alice Min Soo Chun, during which she shared her inspiring story of changing the world by inventing a durable, portable, collapsible solar light.

“These students come from some of the poorest reservations in the United States. This really is a trip of a lifetime for them,” said Little Lam, “Some come from areas where there’s no running water, no electricity. We live in the United States and it’s just appalling that we can’t figure out ways to help these communities. And so, I think that this is a proactive way of getting these students involved in STEM to let them know, ‘You can change your tribal communities. You have it within yourself to be that leader.’”

“The College of Science is honored to have taken part in celebrating this incredible accomplishment of completing AIS PREP,” said Cassie Slattery, director of special projects of the college. “We would be lucky to have any one of these exceptional students pursue science here at the U.”

Anyone can be a scientist


On Thursday, the students learned about a diverse array of topics from speakers, including Donna Eldridge (Navajo/Diné), program manager of Tribal outreach for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Amy Sibul of the School of Biological Sciences, Paul Ricketts of the South Physics Observatory, Julie Callahan (Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa) of ASPIRE, and Kyle Ethelbah (Western Apache), director of the U’s TRIO programs. One of the day’s highlights was an explosive presentation from chemist Ryan Stolley. He threw balls of fire, inhaled sulfur hexafluoride to give himself a funny low voice, and had the students freeze flowers with liquid nitrogen and smash them to bits. In between the chemistry magic, Stolley shared his personal story.

“I was a Native American student, of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. When I was young, school was not my focus—I was just getting into trouble. But I got a lucky break and met some chemists who really changed my life,” said Stolley. “Native students are severely underrepresented in STEM disciplines. I love any opportunity to show them that it’s possible to pursue science. I mean, I’m covered in tattoos. Anybody can be a scientist. You just have to be curious.”

Stolley spoke to the students about attending Fort Lewis College, a university in Colorado that offers free tuition to Native American students. He received a doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the U and was a postdoctoral research assistant at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He returned to Salt Lake City as a research assistant professor first in the Department of Chemistry and now in the College of Science, as well as part owner of a local chemical company.

“Part of what my company does is to make products that help clean contaminants out of water across the Colorado Plateau, especially on Tribal lands,” Stolley said, “I want to get these students thinking about how we can take our science and turn it around to help our Native communities.”

Creating positive memories on campus is part of how AIS PREP helps plant the seed to pursue higher education.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the U and having the ability to connect these students with faculty and current student volunteers who are Native American so that they can instill in their minds that it’s not an impossible dream,” said Little Lam. “Maybe they’ll be teachers and maybe they’ll be researchers, but wherever they may be, they can contribute to their Tribal communities. AIS doesn’t just stop with them after they graduate. We give them financial resources, but also say, ‘Hey, we’re here for you. Even after you finish this program.’”

A problem is an opportunity in disguise

This is the first year that AIS invited a keynote speaker to address the students during their program completion celebration. For Little Lam, Alice Min Soo Chun was the perfect choice. Chun, founder and CEO of Solight Designs, Inc. invented the Solar Puff, a portable, collapsible, self-inflating light powered by the sun. Little Lam met Chun while at Navajo Strong, through which Chun donated Solar Puff lights to families on the Navajo Nation without access to electricity.

“Every problem is an opportunity in disguise,” Chun, who is also a professor at Columbia University, told the AIS PREP graduates. “By doing research and observing, anybody can do this.”

Chun’s passion for solar energy began when her son was diagnosed with asthma, a condition that was aggravated by New York City’s poor air quality. Chun was inspired to find energy solutions that would reduce air pollution and its impacts on respiratory health. She realized that her son’s respiratory issues were global; without access to electricity, millions of people are forced to burn kerosene lanterns for lighting that produce noxious fumes. She saw a need for solar lights that were durable and collapsible, but the only ones available had to be inflated, leaving users vulnerable to bacterial infections. So, she invented a foldable design that drew from her childhood.

“I’m Korean. When I was a little girl, my mother taught me origami when I was young. Origami is an incredibly powerful tool,” she said. “Paper on its own can’t stand up. Fold it once, you have a corner, you have structure.”

Through the “Give a Light” program, Solight Designs has supplied Solar Puffs to Haiti, Puerto Rico, The Florida Keys, Ghana, Ecuador, Miami and more after natural disasters left people without power. During her keynote address, Chun passed out Solar Puff lights to everyone in attendance and turned off the lights. Everyone switched on their solar lanterns, eliciting ooo’s and aww’s. The lights illuminated the entire auditorium, demonstrating the invention’s power.

“I used to get beat up a lot for looking different. So, I became a fighter—not with my fists, but with the light of my heart and mind. You are all light warriors,” Chun said. “My hope is that you leave understanding how powerful you are and that you have the ability to change the world.”

by Lisa Potter - originally published in @theU

Chemistry in Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures

Throughout spring semester 2021, students in chemistry professor Tom Richmond’s Integrated Chemistry for Health Sciences course have been taking pictures of chemistry in the world around them. From using shaving cream as sunburn relief to the thermodynamics of digestion, the students have put into pictures the principles they’ve learned in class. Now one of those pictures, documenting a home chemistry experiment by pre-nursing student Ashlee Taft Nelson, is published in the magazine Chemical and Engineering News.

“The Chemistry in Pictures project helped me see that chemistry, as a whole, is so much broader than just a list of elements,” Nelson says. “It is found in every part of life that helps defines processes of growth and change.”

The photo shows two eggs that have been soaked in different solutions to illustrate how fluid moves through a membrane. An egg sans shell soaked in water will swell, since the concentration of water inside the egg is less than outside and the water moves through the membrane to balance things out. An egg soaked in corn syrup will shrink, though, since there’s more water inside the egg than in the corn syrup.

Developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chemistry in Pictures assignment helps students drawing insightful connections between the concepts they learned in class and their everyday lives and fulfill the learning objectives of a chemistry education. Publication of Nelson’s photo is, Richmond hopes, the first of many opportunities to share his students’ insights with the world.

See other examples of: blood testing, protein denaturation and other student projects.

Developing the assignment

For years, Richmond has been asking his introductory chemistry students to create and solve chemistry problems that mattered to them, in part to hone their science communication skills.

“Altering this basic format by adding a picture that they have taken with their cellphone has proven to be an effective way for students to personalize their learning and works well for a generation of students who live on social media,” he says. “It also prompts them to more directly see the relevance of chemistry in their lives whether in the kitchen, at work or at play.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chemistry in Pictures proved useful in checking in on students’ learning while access to the laboratories was limited. Richmond and veteran TA Lizabeth Cowgill realized that the assignment could do even more.

“We realized this assignment could serve as a new curriculum tool that would not only serve as an artifact regarding student understanding but could also contribute to changing a student’s attitude toward the subject of chemistry,” says Cowgill, now a graduate student in the College of Pharmacy.

Mark St. André, Associate Dean in the U’s Office of Learning Outcomes Assessment says he works with a lot of departments to tailor assignments to meet university learning objectives. Chemistry in Pictures, he says, is unique.

“It makes sense what he’s trying to do,” St. André says. “He’s trying to get them to think with a different side of their brain by representing the problem using pictures. I’m not anywhere close to a brain expert, but common sense would tell us that activating the creativity you need to build a picture is likely to help you think about the issue differently and probably increase your understanding of it.”

Bringing chemistry into focus

The Integrated Chemistry for Health Sciences course is for pre-nursing students and others heading into healthcare fields. Understanding the chemistry behind why a patient is ill is vital, says Mardie Clayton, professor of nursing.

“Basic principles of chemistry transcend human physiology and pathophysiology, enabling students to understand how the body works normally and abnormally,” she says, with the photo of fluid moving in and out of the eggs as a good example. “Understanding the movement of fluids is vital to understanding cellular function and to the management of associated diseases such as heart disease.”

Richmond says that the Chemistry in Pictures experience also teaches students to observe and interpret chemical phenomena. “The ability to communicate scientific concepts – whether to patients or peers – is certainly needed to address many critical issues in our society at large,” he says.

Watching the flashbulb light up

Cowgill gathered feedback on Chemistry in Pictures as the class progressed. The students thoroughly enjoyed the creative freedom of the assignment, she says.

One student said: “If I could change one thing about these assignments it would be to have them more frequently. Chemistry in Pictures assignments helped me apply chemistry to everyday things in my life. It forced me to have to think in a different way and ask how and why questions. It was one of the most beneficial assignments for me personally because it felt interactive even despite being online.”

Students completed five Chemistry in Pictures assignments over the course of the semester, totaling nearly 700 among the entire class. Cowgill says that while the first two assignments showed solid understanding of content, the creativity and real-life application began to shine through starting at the third assignment.

“It was like a lightbulb had gone on in all 135 students!” she says. “I started to see experimental design and treatment, adventure and risk taking, research incorporation, friends and family involvement and engagement, but most importantly, spark.” The students, she says, were starting to go above and beyond the expectations of the assignment. And the spark was never lost.

“I saw their minds challenging their own comprehension and understanding and read the excitement when, say, their proposed experiment went as planned,” she says. “These students blew me away—absolute brilliance.”

Lasting memories of a first exposure

In response to an open call by Chemical and Engineering News for chemistry-related photos, Richmond sent in Nelson’s “egg-sample” image. It was published in the May 13 edition of the magazine, which is read by more than 150,000 chemistry professionals.

“Before taking Integrated Chemistry for Health Sciences, I saw chemistry as a math-based science using the list of elements found on the periodic table as variables,” Nelson says. “This project taught me to see that applications of chemistry are everywhere and to be a better observer of my environment.”

“I have been impressed with creativity and level of detail that many students exhibited in this project and suspect that their creations will be one of the lasting memories of their first exposure to chemistry,” Richmond says. “Perhaps it is not surprising that this ‘cell phone’ generation of students became adept at photographically documenting chemistry in their lives. We now often see pictures in lab reports in more advanced courses and even graduate research presentations in the department.”

Cowgill says that the assignment allows students to act as their own instructors. “It not only provides them complete creative freedom but keeps their learning unrestricted, boundless, free,” she says. “This assignment protects the most sacred component of learning: self. It is through assignments like Chemistry in Pictures where you can see raw and unedited active learning, application and educational growth tangibly.”

 

By Paul Gabrielsen, first published in @theU

Notebook 2021

Notebook Magazine


If you wish to receive Notebook magazine directly, please contact development@science.utah.edu to be added to our print or electronic mailing lists.

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Pride Week

Pride Week 2021


The College of Science recognizes that scientific research benefits from diversity in the lab and in the classroom, and we are working to promote a culture of acceptance, equity, and inclusion in our college. This is ongoing work, and takes the dedication of all of us to strive to improve. The College of Science has developed a series of Zoom backgrounds highlighting LGBTQ+ scientists and mathematicians. We encourage you to use these during Pride Week and beyond. 

The University is planning numerous activities for Pride Week. We hope that students, faculty and staff are able to find ways to participate in these opportunities. 

There are hundreds more scientists than we can include here. The College of Science has an LGBTQ+ STEM Interest Group: https://theroglab.org/lgbtq. More stories and resources are available at the links below:

500 Queer Scientists

https://lgbtphysicists.org/

https://astro-outlist.github.io/

Zoom Backgrounds


Please download and use these zoom backgrounds highlighting LGBTQ+ scientists and mathematicians to use during Pride Week and the spring semester.

To add and use a Virtual Background in Zoom:

  • Right click and save the Virtual Background image.
  • Under Zoom - Preferences/Settings, choose Background and Filters.
  • Click the plus sign (+) to the right of Virtual Backgrounds to upload a new background image.
  • For further instructions, consult Zoom's Help Center.

Discover 2020

Discover 2020


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AfterMath 2020

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Spectrum 2020

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AfterMath 2018

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Science Themed Communities

 Science THemed Communities


One way to deepen your engagement at the U is to live in a College of Science Themed Community: College of Science First Year Floor at Kahlert Village or the Crocker Science House on Officers Circle. These communities are designed to bring students with similar interests, majors, goals, and experiences together.

College of Science First Year Floor


Kahlert Village is the newest residential community on campus and is home to approximately 990 first year students. The building features double and single rooms in cluster and suite-style configurations. Kahlert Village is centrally located on campus, includes a full-service dining facility, and a variety of classroom and study space available for students. A meal plan is required in this living area.

If you are a first year student pursuing a degree in the College of Science the Science First Year Floor is an excellent opportunity for you. Residents support each other through the rigors of their coursework while deepening their connection to the College of Science faculty, alumni, staff, and opportunities.  Resident Advisors are science students who can help mentor you through your academic career.

Crocker Science House


Nestled in Officers' Circle, at the base of the Wasatch foothills and the Shoreline Trail, the Crocker Science House provides a unique opportunity for twelve science students to live and learn together in a beautifully restored building once occupied by military officers. Crocker Science Scholars have the opportunity to attend lectures, dinners, and other events with luminaries of Utah's business, science, and academic communities. In 2018, Mario Capecchi joined the students for dinner and ping-pong. A meal plan is required in this living area.

Crocker Science Scholars come from a variety of geographic, cultural, and academic backgrounds, united by a strong drive to succeed in the physical and life sciences.   Scholars often find that living in close quarters with students from other disciplines helps them with their own work and encourages them to explore avenues of science they would not have considered otherwise.

Frequently asked questions


Complete the Housing & Residential application and select the College of Science First Year Floor as your preferred Themed Community by the priority deadline of March 10.

 

Complete the Housing & Residential application and select the Science First Year Floor as your preferred Themed Community by the priority deadline of March 10.

A supplemental application is also required to be considered for the Crocker Science House.

Apply now for the Crocker Science House!

 

Selection for the College of Science First Year Floor and the Crocker Science House is completed by the College of Science. 

There are three main components that factor into how much it costs to live on campus: location, room type and meal plan. 

Pay your housing bill in monthly installments, rather than a lump sum at once. Payment plan enrollment is is fast and simple.

  • No hassle withdrawals are automatically deducted from designated checking or savings account, or charged to a credit card
  • Calculate the amount you wish to have in your payment plan by using the payment estimator tool

No scholarship is currently available for the College of Science First Year Floor.

Students accepted to reside in the Crocker Science House receive a scholarship to assist with housing expenses, making this opportunity accessible to a wide range of students.


Academic resources

Scholarships, Grants & Financial Aid

Science Research Initiative

Center for Science and Mathematics Education

Employment Opportunities

LEAP Science Course

Science Ambassadors

Honors College

MLK Week

mlk Week 2021


Historically, the Black, Indigeneous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community has been underrepresented in science and mathematics. The College of Science recognizes that scientific research benefits from diversity in the lab and in the classroom, and we are working to promote a culture of acceptance, equity, and inclusion in our college. This is ongoing work, and takes the dedication of all of us to strive to improve. This month, we are highlighting Black chemists, biologists, physicists, astronomers and mathematicians that have made extraordinary contributions to their field. 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week (MLK Week) has become a platform to engage students, faculty, staff and community members in critical conversations around contemporary Civil Rights issues and race in America. The University is planning numerous activities for MLK week. We hope that students, faculty and staff are able to find ways to participate in these opportunities. 

The College of Science has developed a series of Zoom backgrounds highlighting Black scientists and mathematicians. We encourage you to use these during MLK week and the upcoming semester. 

Zoom Backgrounds


Please download and use these zoom backgrounds highlighting Black scientists and mathematicians to use during MLK week and the upcoming spring semester.

To add and use a Virtual Background in Zoom:

  • Right click and save the Virtual Background image.
  • Under Zoom - Preferences/Settings, choose Background and Filters.
  • Click the plus sign (+) to the right of Virtual Backgrounds to upload a new background image.
  • For further instructions, consult Zoom's Help Center.

Alice Ball

Dr. Alice Augusta Ball (July 24, 1892 – December 31, 1916) was an American chemist who developed the "Ball Method", the most effective treatment for leprosy during the early 20th century. She was the first woman and first African American to receive a master's degree from the University of Hawaii, and was also the university's first female and African American chemistry professor.

Edray H. Goins

Dr. Goins is a Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College. He specializes in number theory and algebraic geometry, and his interests include Selmer groups for elliptic curves using class groups of number fields, Belyi maps and Dessin d'enfants. He grew up in Los Angeles, obtained a Ph.D. from Stanford (1999) and he was previously at Purdue University. He was the president of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) which seeks to promote the success of underrepresented minorities in the mathematical sciences. He spends most of his summers engaging underrepresented students in research.

Renee Horton

Dr. K. Renee Horton is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and lifelong lover of science and NASA. A graduate of Louisiana State University with a B.S. of Electrical Engineering with a minor in Math in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Material Science with a concentration in Physics, becoming the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama in 2011 in this area. Dr. Horton currently serves as the Space Launch System (SLS) Quality Engineer in the NASA Residential Management Office at Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans. In 2016, Dr. Horton was elected President of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as the second woman to hold the office, and In 2017, she was elevated to a Fellow in the NSBP, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a member.

Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.

Dr. Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. was a chemist by training, and was also the first African American astronaut. Lawrence was born in Chicago in 1935. After graduating from Bradley University with a chemistry degree, he joined the United States Air Force, eventually becoming a test pilot.

Soon after, the Air Force selected him to become an astronaut to work on low-orbit intelligence missions. This program was the precursor to the NASA’s space shuttle program. During his training, Lawrence also got a PhD in physical chemistry from the Ohio State University.

Lawrence never made it into space. In 1967, he died during a training flight at Edwards Air Force Base. He had completed about 2,500 hours of flight time in his short career. Bradley University named a scholarship in Lawrence’s honor, and a school in Chicago was also named for him. On Feb. 14, 2020, a shuttle bearing Lawrence’s name embarked for the International Space Station, carrying, among other things, supplies for scientific research.

Brandon Ogbunu

Dr. Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and leader of the Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, and Quantitative Science (GEEQS) Lab at Yale University. His research takes place at the intersection of evolutionary biology, genetics, and epidemiology. He uses experimental evolution, mathematical modeling, and computational biology to better understand the underlying causes and consequences of disease, across scales: from the biophysics of proteins involved in drug resistance to the social determinants driving epidemics at the population level. In doing so, he aims to develop theory that enriches our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological underpinnings of disease, while contributing to practical solutions for clinical medicine and public health. 

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Core Faculty Member in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire. In addition, she is a monthly columnist at New Scientist and a contributing columnist at Physics World. Her work lives at the intersection of particle physics and astrophysics, and while she is primarily a theoretical researcher, maintains strong ties to astronomy.  Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a topical convenor for Dark Matter: Cosmic Probes in the Snowmass 2021 process, and a lead axion wrangler for the NASA STROBE-X Probe Concept Study. Using ideas from both physics and astronomy, she responds to deep questions about how everything in the universe got to be the way it is. In addition, she researches feminist science studies, and believes all have the right to know the universe.

Candice R. Price

Dr. Price is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Smith College. Her primary area of mathematical research is DNA topology, that is, knot theory applied to the structure of DNA, but she has research interests in the broad area of applied mathematics. She is a co-founder of the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS) and co-creator of the website mathematicallygiftedandblack.com that features profiles of Black mathematicians. Her service mission is to support those underrepresented in STEM by creating and supporting programs that increase visibility and amplify the voices of women and people of color in STEM while creating networks and community in STEM to provide opportunities to share resources. 

Clifton Sanders

Clifton G. Sanders, Ph.D., is the Provost for Academic Affairs at Salt Lake Community College. A chemist by training, he has more than 25 years teaching, administrative and leadership experience in higher education. He has held several administrative posts at SLCC, including Division Chair for Natural Sciences, Dean of Science, Mathematics and Engineering, and Interim Vice President for Workforce and Literacy. Dr. Sanders led the development of several STEM programs and has provided leadership for several local and national initiatives in STEM education and workforce development, including major grants sponsored by the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy, and collaborative projects with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and Utah MESA/STEP. Prior to joining SLCC, Dr. Sanders was a senior research scientist and has several patents in biomaterials technology. His research was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.