I’ll talk about a joint project with Sabetta Matsumoto to investigate theoretical and (via 3D printed models) practical possibilities for designing three-dimensional auxetic mechanisms. We consider connections between existing two-dimensional designs, and generalize these to three-dimensions.
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK. Ten new prizes have been awarded every year since 1991, in gala ceremonies at Harvard and MIT, with winners traveling from around the world, and Nobel laureates physically handing out the Ig Nobel Prizes. The whole history of science, technology and medicine is a parade of things that at first made people LAUGH, then THINK. The Igs focuses public curiosity on the early, thought-provoking, "Is it good, bad, or too-early-to-tell?" stage of things.
The title of this talk remains one of the most important and challenging questions in theoretical astrophysics. The explosive deaths of massive stars, core-collapse supernovae, are some of the most energetic events in the Universe; they herald the birth of neutron stars and black holes, are a major site for nucleosynthesis, influence galactic hydrodynamics, trigger further star formation, and are prodigious emitters of neutrinos and gravitational waves.
Proteins can adopt a variety of intricate conformations, including native, unfolded, misfolded and aggregated forms. In the latter case, generally 10’s-1000’s of protein molecules bind together to form an aggregate structure that could be random and amorphous or highly specific and well-ordered, such as an amyloid fibril. Amyloid fibril formation of certain proteins is associated with disease, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, wherein the aberrant misfolding and aggregation of a particular protein is central to pathogenesis.
Emma Stowell has enjoyed her time at Monmouth University, in central New Jersey. But the small private school has only one ultracentrifuge in its labs, a situation that can occasionally send the senior chemistry major into a tailspin.
“I didn’t even know how to work it,” she says. “But this summer, I’ve learned how to work multiple kinds of centrifuges.”
That’s because Stowell spent her summer at Georgia Tech with the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s Undergraduate Summer Research Program. When Stowell presented her poster on July 26 – about peptide extensions on virus-like particles – she joined 49 other students from Georgia and around the country taking part in undergraduate research programs in the School of Physics and the School of Biological Sciences, in addition to the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
“This summer experience has been awesome,” Stowell says. “Being able to work in such a large science university is amazing. I got to use equipment I had never even heard of before.”
The summer undergraduate research programs expose students to the kind of academic work they’ll be doing if they pursue graduate studies. The students receive a $5,000 stipend for 10 weeks of work on high-level research projects. Graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and professors serve as mentors
This was also the second year for the College of Sciences to offer the BEE-Inspired Summer Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nine students worked on research relating to pollinators, ecosystems, or sustainability. Jennifer Leavey, integrated science curriculum coordinator for the College of Sciences and director of the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project, says BEE-Inspired participants also spend one day a week on community service projects.
“Sometimes we go to community gardens and urban farms, or work on sustainability projects, such as planting a pollinator garden,” Leavey says. “We work with summer enrichment camps for school children, teaching them about the role of pollinators and ecosystems and doing STEM outreach.”
“I learned that research in graduate school is a major life commitment,” says Heritier-Robbins, an environmental engineering major. “I also gained an understanding of the high level of perseverance required to conduct research.”
Helping students learn how challenging research can be is another outcome of the summer programs, says Brian Hammer, professor in the School of Biological Sciences. “It was a steep learning curve for some, and they learned a lot about the process of science. For some of them, it was not what they expected.”
The work didn’t scare Stowell, who says she will now study for the Graduate Records Examination. “Doing research this summer has really solidified the idea that I want to go to graduate school,” she says. “I’m definitely going to apply to Georgia Tech. Everyone here has been so kind and open to answering all my questions.”
Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer/Science Writer
College of Sciences
Complex systems are those systems that are comprised of a large number of interacting units, such as neurons in a brain, and individual animals in fish schools and ant colonies. Each unit acts on its own, using only local information, and there is no centralised control of the collective. The thousands of tiny interactions between the individuals leads to sophisticated ‘emergent’ behaviour at the group level, such as solving mazes, making efficient trade-offs and building self-assembled, adaptive structures.