MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Faculty Talks

Friday, Sept. 14 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325

Steve Lindaas: Making Connections: micro-controllers and interdisciplinary projects.
How do you connect computers to external sensors? How do you connect students to interdisciplinary projects? We will be showcasing the use of Arduino micro-controllers in different projects. Many of these projects are interdisciplinary involving students from different majors and/or requiring the use of a wide range of skill sets and knowledge bases. For instance the Marine Lab has a tide-pool that uses an Arduino to controller the water level and hence simulate tides. We will cover what you need to know, what you will learn as well as address how you can get involved.

Ananda Shastri, Visions of an atomic playground: how MSUM physics majors help probe the motions of sodium ions in fast ionic conducting glasses.
What are conducting glasses, and why would anyone want to study them? How can MSUM physics majors use the knowledge gained from coursework to solve real physics problems? What kinds of skills does one develop doing this kind of research? Come to this talk and find out!

Richard Lahti, Why Is Minnesota History Day Thriving When Science Fair Is Declining.
Secondary school science fair participation has been on the decline for the last 2 decades, with declines up to 70% observed, and with some sponsors threatening to pull funding due to the lack of diversity represented at the state science fair. Conversely Minnesota History Day (MHD) participation has grown from a mere 150 students to a steady 30,000 during the last 4 decades and MHD reports participation that reflects greater diversity than the student body of the schools represented as a whole. The causes of these different trends may be traceable to the differences in what constitutes research and the culture of science vs. humanities themselves, as well as the structures and supports each institution has created to address (or not address) challenges that both face.

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