Science Exploration Series

Make science part of your game day schedule and join the College of Science for exciting presentations before Notre Dame home football games. All presentations are open to the public and will be held in the Jordan Hall of Science.


Hunting for Toxins with a Particle Accelerator

Graham Peaslee

September 2 (Temple)
12-1 p.m.
101 Jordan Hall of Science

Graham Peaslee, professor of experimental physics

Fighting for Farmers and Freshwater

Jennifer Tank 250

September 9 (Georgia 7:30 kickoff)
2-3 p.m.
101 Jordan Hall of Science

Jennifer Tank, Galla Professor of Biological Sciences

Excess fertilizer runoff from farm fields can enter nearby streams and rivers. These excess nutrients contaminate drinking water, harm sensitive species, and fuel downstream algal blooms and low-oxygen “dead zones” that cost millions of dollars a year. Tank’s research group is investigating how novel conservation strategies can minimize these impacts to our valuable freshwater ecosystems.

An Eclise, an Equinox, and an Epitaph: Astronomical Events of 2017


September 30 (Miami of Ohio, 5 p.m. kickoff)
1-2 p.m., Digital Visualization Theater
100 Jordan Hall of Science

Keith Davis, Ph.D., director of the Digital Visualization Theater (DVT)

Keith Davis will illuminate some of the features of our most recent total eclipse of the sun, share the changing of the seasons with the audience, and memorialize the world-changing research by the Cassini mission, which just ended 13 years of exploration. Please join us at the DVT for a flight through the Solar System, and a view of 2017's most stunning images so far.


The Secret of Staying in Sync: It's not magic. It's math.


October 21 (University of Southern California, 7:30 p.m. kickoff)
1-2 p.m.
101 Jordan Hall of Science

Jonathan Hauenstein, Associate Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics

Synchronization is all around us, from the way our brains work to the way we navigate using GPS. Why do pendulum clocks on the same wall start swinging in unison? How do metronomes begin ticking together? It’s not magic; it’s math. Jonathan Hauenstein will share video examples and talk about multiple ways synchronization makes the world go 'round.


Laurie Littlepage

Fighting Irish, fighting cancer

October 28 (N.C. State, 3:30 p.m. kickoff)
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
101 Jordan Hall of Science

Laurie Littlepage, Campbell Family Assistant Professor of Cancer Research, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Forbidden Symmetries, Penrose Tiles, and the Nobel Prize

Brian Hall 250

November 4 (Wake Forest 3:30 kickoff)
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
101 Jordan Hall of Science

Brian Hall, professor of mathematics

Ancient Greek mathematicians identified five solid shapes with a high degree of symmetry, known as the platonic solids. The most symmetric of these, the dodecahedron, has 120 different symmetries. Crystallographers, meanwhile, identified the possible symmetries of repeating patterns (“crystals”) and found that dodecahedral symmetry was not possible in crystals. 

In 1982, however, Dan Shechtman created a specimen that appeared to be a crystal and that had the “forbidden” symmetry of a dodecahedron. This work, for which Shechtman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry, led to the study of a new class of objects known as quasicrystals, materials whose atomic structure is almost but not quite repeating. In retrospect, similar mathematical structures can be seen in Islamic tilings dating back to the 15th century.

The lecture will include lots of stories and pictures!

Jordan Hall of Science exterior after a rain storm

Science Alumni Tailgate Party

November 18 (Navy, 3:30 p.m. kickoff)
12 p.m. to 3 p.m. 
Jordan Hall of Science Galleria

This event requires an RSVP. Enjoy a show in our Digital Visualization Theater, watch the Chem Demo Team cook up their science magic, and take some selfies in our prop-filled photo booth. In addition, there will be giveaways, food, beverages and fun!