Let's Have a Moment of Science

Hands-on activities

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Join five Notre Dame science and engineering faculty for four TED-style talks to learn how Notre Dame is fighting for farmers and freshwater, understanding mathematical patterns in our own world, exploring facial recognition, and investigating diseases such as the Zika virus in our own backyard. Experience hands-on science and engineering demonstrations with Notre Dame students.

Venue Villita
401 Villita Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Friday, November 11, 2016
8:30 am–12 pm STEM Demos
10–11 am Faculty Presentations

Notre Dame undergraduates and graduate students will give interactive presentations about math, biology, physics, engineering, and chemistry. Five faculty members will also give four short talks on their areas of expertise.

Children's Museum

San Antonio-area middle and high school teachers are encouraged to bring their classes to this event. One adult chaperone must be present for every 10 students in attendance. All Notre Dame alumni, friends, and football fans are also invited to join us.


Faculty Presentations

Jennifer Tank 250

Fighting for farmers and freshwater

Jennifer Tank
The Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences

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

David Galvin

Understanding mathematical patterns in our world

David Galvin
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Our world is full of patterns – the rhythm of a piece of music, an airline’s service network, the pitch sequence of a baseball at-bat. Mathematicians seek out and study patterns, and look for the common points and differences between them. Is there any connection between the rise and fall of the stock market and the random motion of a dust particle in the air? (There is.) Between a full moon and madness? (Probably not.)       

Galvin’s mathematics deals with patterns among numbers. He asks questions like: if you only know the first few numbers of a sequence, can you figure out how the sequence continues? And what does that tell us? He will talk about some of these questions, but more importantly, he will explain why he cares passionately about them.

Nicole Achee And John Grieco

Bugs in Our ‘backyard’: tropical diseases in the USA

Nicole Achee
Research Associate Professor

John Grieco
Research Associate Professor and Associate Director, Eck Institute for Global Health

The world around us is not that big after all! Arthropods—insects, ticks and mites—and the diseases they can cause in people by passing along viruses and parasites are often thought to occur only in faraway, exotic places of the tropics, but actually, they can occur right here in our very own backyard, including Texas!  Achee and Grieco are medical entomologists and their research focuses on understanding the habits of arthropod vectors of human disease. They combine both laboratory and field activities to develop and evaluate ways to better prevent and control arthropods from interacting with humans. Come join us for a dynamic and interactive look at a selection of some of these bugs and diseases that afflict millions across the globe which also have an impact on health here at home.

Patrick Flynn

Human faces: simple and complex, diverse and alike

Patrick Flynn
Duda Family Professor of Engineering, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Concurrent Professor of Electrical Engineering; Interim Director of Notre Dame California

The human face is an assembly of organs and muscles with a foundation of bone and an overlay of skin. The face presents an enormous variety of appearances to the people and cameras that see it. When we study recognition of faces by computers and by humans, we must understand the diversity of facial appearance. In this presentation, we explore the landscape of facial appearance and expressiveness relevant to human and machine processing of face images, with a focus on special situations such as the faces of identical twins and the effects of facial plastic surgery and aging.