Physics

News & Events

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Viewing

Safely see the Great American Solar Eclipse through an array of telescopes

In our region the eclipse starts around 1:20 pm and ends around 4:00 pm, with the eclipse maximum occurring around 2:45pm.  Note that it will only be a partial eclipse here, so there is no qualitatively different "minutes of totality" to see (or miss) that people in other parts of the country will be able to witness, just a gradual darkening and lightening.
Time: 1:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Campus Walk (Above Kline)
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ancient European Dog Genomes Reveal Continuity Since the Early Neolithic

Krishna VeeramahStony Brook University


Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Climate Change and Behavioral Economics: Implications for Policy
 

Howard KunreutherJames D.  Dinan Professor of Decision Sciences and PolicyCo-Director of Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes CenterWharton School  University of Pennsylvania  

We face challenges in dealing with potentially catastrophic events associated with climate change. Most individuals do not think about investing in energy efficient measures to reduce global warming or undertaking protective actions to reduce damage to their homes from future floods or hurricanes until after a disaster occurs. I will use concepts from behavioral economics and psychology to highlight why we ignore these risks and recommend public-private sector partnerships that provide economic incentives for taking steps now rather than waiting until it is too late.
 
Time: 4:40 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Degradation-resistant Proteins:
Biological, Disease, and Biotechnology Implications

Wilfredo Colón, Ph.D.Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Village of Red Hook Municipal Sewer Project

Brent KovalchikArchitect and Deputy Mayor of Red Hook, NY 

The Village of Red Hook’s Municipal Sewer Project has been developing for over seventy years. Countless planning documents, initiatives, two failed referendums and the path to final completion will be explored.  The project addresses the Village’s economic development future and protection of drinking water supplies for residents and institutions that rely on the Saw Kill Watershed’s aquifer, tributaries and streams for their own needs.
 
Through the example of a municipal infrastructure project, we will discuss the work involved with gathering and documenting the research, finding the necessary funding, advocating for its necessity, and navigating the bureaucratic and regulatory paperwork required to realize this most important project.
 
Time: 4:40 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Effects of Viruses on Plant Fitness:
A Plant Ecologist's Foray into Plant Virus Ecology

Helen AlexanderUniversity of Kansas


Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Evolution of Animal Flight From a Biomechanics Perspective

David E. AlexanderUniversity of Kansas

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Monday, October 30, 2017

A Reading by Diane Ackerman

The celebrated author reads from The Zookeeper’s Wife

On Monday, October 30, at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, Diane Ackerman reads from The Zookeeper’s Wife. Sponsored by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, introduced by Bradford Morrow and followed by a Q&A, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

The Zookeeper’s Wife, a little known true story of WWII, enjoyed months as the New York Times #1 nonfiction bestseller, was the basis for the 2017 feature film of the same title, and received the Orion Book Award, which honored it as “a groundbreaking work of nonfiction, in which the human relationship to nature is explored in an absolutely original way through looking at the Holocaust. A few years ago, ‘nature’ writers were asking themselves, How can a book be at the same time a work of art, an act of conscientious objection to the destruction of the world, and an affirmation of hope and human decency? The Zookeeper’s Wife answers this question.”

Diane Ackerman’s other works of nonfiction include An Alchemy of Mind, a poetics of the brain based on the latest neuroscience; Deep Play, which considers play, creativity, and our need for transcendence; A Slender Thread, about her work as a crisis line counselor; The Rarest of the Rare and The Moon by Whale Light, in which she explores the plight and fascination of endangered animals; On Extended Wings, her memoir of flying; and her bestseller, A Natural History of the Senses. Her most recent book, The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us, a celebration of the natural world and human ingenuity, and an exploration of human-driven planetary change, received the P.E.N. Henry David Thoreau Award for Nature Writing.

Several of Ackerman's books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Circle Critics Award finalists. She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her—dianeackerone— a pheromone in crocodilians. Her essays about nature and human nature have been appearing for decades in the New York Times, New Yorker, American Scholar, Smithsonian, National Geographic, and elsewhere.

Any supporter who donates $500 or more to Bard’s literary journal Conjunctions receives a BackPage Pass providing VIP access to any Fall 2017 or future event in the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series. Have lunch with a visiting author, attend a seminar on their work, and receive premium seating at their reading. Or you can give your BackPage Pass to a lover of literature on your gift list! To find out more, click here or contact Micaela Morrissette at conjunctions@bard.edu or (845) 758-7054.
Time: 2:30 pm
Location: Campus Center, Weis Cinema
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Poisons, Predators, and Parasites:
Integrating Ecological and Evolutionary Complexity into Toxicology

Jessica HuaBinghamton University SUNY 


Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

AMC 8 Contest

Sponsored by the Bard Math Circle

The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills.
The contest is paired with an engaging math talk at the middle school level, presented by a Bard mathematician.

The Bard Math Circle hosts this annual event to promote a culture of mathematical problem solving and math enrichment in the mid-Hudson Valley.
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center
Website: Event Website
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Integrating Livestock and Wildlife in an African Savanna

Felicia Keesing, Biology Program


Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

How to Plan a Meaningful Summer

Felicia KeesingBiology Program


Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Harlem and the Roots of Gentrification, 1965-2003

Brian Goldstein, Swarthmore College

In the last four decades of the twentieth century, Harlem, New York—America’s most famous neighborhood—transformed from the archetypal symbol of midcentury “urban crisis” to the most celebrated example of “urban renaissance” in the United States. Once a favored subject for sociologists studying profound poverty and physical decline, by the new millennium Harlem found itself increasingly the site of refurbished brownstones, shiny glass and steel shopping centers, and a growing middle-class population. Drawing from Brian Goldstein’s new book, The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle Over Harlem (Harvard University Press, 2017), this lecture will trace this arc by focusing on competing visions for Harlem's central block. In doing so, it will reveal the complicated history of social and physical transformation that has changed this and many American urban centers in the last several decades. Gentrification is often described as a process controlled by outsiders, with clear winners and losers, victors and victims. In contrast, this talk will explore the role that Harlemites themselves played in bringing about Harlem’s urban renaissance, an outcome that had both positive and negative effects for their neighborhood. 
Time: 4:40 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
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Past Events

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

    • 2012

      Senior Project Poster Session

      December 13
      Reem-Kayden Center

      Students Presenting:
      Stephanie Dunn
      
Adviser: Felicia Keesing

      Justin Gero
      
Adviser: Felicia Keesing

      Liza Miller
      
Adviser: Brooke Jude

      Keaton Morris-Stan
      
Adviser: Philip Johns

      Megan Naidoo 

      Adviser: Philip Johns

      Jonah Peterschild 

      Adviser: Felicia Keesing

      Damianos Lazaridis Giannopoul
      
Adviser: John Cullinan

      Chaos and Network Synchronization

      December 12
      Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium

      A lecture by
      Lucas Illing
      Candidate for the position in Physics
      Time-delayed coupling and self-feedback occurs in many systems and is particularly important at high speeds, where the time it takes signals to propagate through device components is comparable to the time scale of the signal fluctuations. A fascinating feature of systems with delay is that even seemingly simple devices can show exceedingly complex dynamics such as chaos.  I will talk about the generation of high-speed chaos using optoelectronic time-delayed feedback oscillators and discuss a particularly intriguing form of collective behavior that arises when several such oscillators are coupled to form a network. Under certain conditions the entire network will oscillate in synchrony, in spite of the signal propagation delays in the coupling links.

      Collecting Electrons from Bacteria with Microbial Fuel Cells

      December 5
      Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium

      A lecture by
      Emily Gardel
      Candidate for the position in Physics
      The energy for all forms of life comes from the flow of electrons in energetically favorable pairings of oxidation and reduction reactions. While humans can only use oxygen as an electron acceptor, bacteria have the ability to use a variety of compounds, including solid materials, such as metal oxides. This metabolic diversity makes these micron-sized organisms dominant members of our biosphere and opens possibilities for biotechnological applications, including electricity production, bioremediation, and wastewater treatment. In my research, I focus on bacteria that are capable of transferring electrons outside the bacterial cell to a solid-phase electron acceptor. I will discuss how this phenomenon can be studied by separating the locations of the oxidation and reduction reactions while providing an electrode as an electron acceptor for the bacteria. These microbial fuel cells (MFCs) produce an electrical current and there is interest in understanding the limiting factors governing overall power performance in these systems. Using an environmental MFC, I have found that current production decreases when the system is mass-transfer limited. By allowing the electrode to rest disconnected from electron flow, any necessary nutrients or electron donors diffuse to the bacteria on the electrode and allow for increased current production upon reconnecting the electrode. These findings demonstrate a method for determining an optimal way for operating MFCs used for electricity generation as well as raise additional questions about bacteria-electrode electron transfer.

      Bring Disease to Light: Medical Diagnostics for Low-Resource Settings

      November 29
      RKC 111

      A lecture by
      Neil Switz
      Candidate for the position in Physics

      Quasichemical Consideration of the Effect of Osmolytes in Protein Solution Thermodynamics CANCELED

      November 6
      RKC 102

      **This lecture has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date**

      A lecture by
      Dilip Asthagiri
      Johns Hopkins University
       


      Bard Summer Research Poster Session

      September 27
      Reem-Kayden Center

      Students presenting:Michael Anzuoni, Tedros Balema, Amanda Benowitz, Cara Black, Sheneil Black, Max Brown, Celeste Cass, Matteo Chierchia, Nikesh Dahal, Francesca DiRienzo, Leila Duman, Jose Falla, David Goldberg, Sumedha Guha, Nabil Hossain, Linda Ibojie, Lena James, Seoyoung Kim, Thant Ko Ko, Lila Low-Beinart, Yuexi Ma, Keaton Morris-Stan, Mark Neznansky, Matthew Norman, Ian Pelse, Liana Perry, Min Kyung Shinn, Olja Simoska, William Smith, Nathan Steinauer, Xiaohan Sun, James Sunderland, Weiqing Wang, Michael Weinstein, Clare Wheeler, Sara YilmazAdvisers: Craig Anderson, Christian Bracher, John Cullinan, Swapan Jain, Philip Johns, Brooke Jude, Tanay Kesharwani, Christopher LaFratta, Barbara Luka, Emily McLaughlin, Keith O’Hara, Lauren Rose



      So You Want to Become an Engineer?

      September 14
      Hegeman 102

      Nicole Ross graduated from RPI in 2011 with a BS in chemical engineering. Her first job was with Schlumberger, “the world’s largest oilfield services company.” She’ll talk about the engineering curriculum and her work experience.

      Her talk will be illuminating to students interested in pursuing a degree any field of engineering through the joint programs with Columbia University and Dartmouth College.


      Senior Project Poster Session

      May 17
      Reem-Kayden Center

      Graduating Seniors:
      Daniela Anderson, Lilah Anderson, Nadya Artiomenco, Conor Beath, Rachel Becker, Jeannette Benham, Matthew Boisvert, Samantha Brechlin, Ke Cai, Nicole Camasso, Curtis Carmony, Deven Connelly, Shellie Ann Dick, Sara Doble, Siyao Du, Madison Fletcher, Briana Franks, Abigail Fuchsman, Kira Gilman, Erin Hannigan, Lucas Henry, Andrew Hoffman-Patalona, Maxwell Howard, Yunxia Jia, Adriana Johnson, Axel Kammerer, Nicole Kfoury, Sankalpa Khadka, Youseung Kim, Sining Leng, Emily Mayer, Stergios Mentesidis, Mariya Mitkova, Samantha Monier, Jessica Philpott, Jega Jananie Ravi, Laura Schubert, Lindsey Scoppetta, Evan Seitchik, Hannah Shapero, Abhimanyu Sheshashayee, Eli Sidman, Gabriella Spitz, Veronica Steckler, Joshua Tanner, Emma Taylor-Salmon, Isabelle Taylor, Giang Tran, Will Wisseman, Kimberly Wood, Zhiwei Wu, Dimin Xu, Jing Yang, Yongqing Yuan, Changwei Zhou

      All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Triangles

      March 15
      Hegeman 308

      Joshua Bowman
      SUNY Stony Brook
      Flat surfaces (such as a cube or tetrahedron with the vertices removed) show up in a variety of mathematical areas. Their structure can be studied using Delaunay triangles, which in most cases are uniquely determined by the surface. As a surface is deformed, its Delaunay triangles change, and the way in which they change can give us a surprising amount of information about the surface. The only prerequisites for this talk are knowing what a
      2x2 matrix is, and a certain level of comfort with abstract constructions.

      Orthogonal Maximal Abelian Subalgebras of the n x n Matrices

      March 8
      Hegeman 308

      A lecture by
      Jan Cameron
      Vassar College
      Though the terminology may be unfamiliar, you have certainly seen a maximal abelian self-adjoint subalgebra (masa) of the complex matrices in your linear algebra course: the algebra of diagonal matrices. The notion of orthogonality for a pair of masas in M_n(C) is simple to describe, but surprisingly deep and relates to many areas of mathematics. In this talk, we'll consider the fascinating and important open problem of nding complete sets of pairwise orthogonal masas in the n x n complex matrices. We'll look at a few di erent ways to think about the problem, as well as why one might be interested in a solution, and an assortment of related questions. If time permits, I'll talk a bit about how orthogonal masas have come up in current research on structure theory of nite von Neumann algebras.This talk will be accessible to anyone who has had a course in linear algebra

      Making the Most of Euler's Formula

      March 1
      Hegeman 308

      Kristin Camenga
      Department of Mathematics
      Houghton College
      Most people remember working with polyhedra in elementary and high school: cubes, prisms, tetrahedra, pyramids, etc. Euler's formula states that if V is the number of vertices, E the number of edges and F the number of faces of a polyhedron, V + F = E + 2. This is a beautiful and useful formula - but can't we do more? Can we get a similar theorem if we change some of our hypotheses? How does Euler's formula change if we allow polyhedra to be in dimension 4 or 5 or n? What if we look at angles of polyhedra instead of the number of faces? We will look at a number of examples as we generalize Euler's formula in these directions and others. We will end with a glimpse of open questions about angles in polytopes. No specific math background will be assumed, but curiosity is expected!

      Symmetries of Julia Sets

      February 23
      Hegeman 308

      James Belk
      Mathematics Program
      Bard College
      A fractal is a mathematical shape that exhibits the same structure at a range of different scales. Among the most famous fractals are the Julia sets, which arise in a simple way from polynomials and complex numbers. In this talk, I will introduce Julia sets and discuss some of their basic properties. I will then indicate a connection between Julia sets and certain groups of functions on the unit circle. This talk should be accessible to students who have taken Proofs and Fundamentals. Some familiarity with groups would be helpful, but is not necessary.


      The History and Arithmetic of Legendre Polynomials

      February 16
      Hegeman 308

      A lecture by
      John Cullinan
      Mathematics Program

      The Legendre Polynomials are orthogonal polynomials that have deep connections to mathematical physics. For example, they arise when solving the Laplace equation in spherical coordinates. It is also the case that the Legendre Polynomials are extensively studied for their number-theoretic properties. In this talk we will describe some of these properties as well as discuss some open questions surrounding the Legendre Polynomials. This talk should be accessible to students who are currently taking Proofs and Fundamentals (though some group theory will be used at the end).

      **MATH TEA**The weekly Math Tea will immediately follow the seminar.  Join us for tea and refreshments at 4:30 in the Albee 3rd floor Math Lounge.