Science Events at Bard

BSRI End-of-program party!
Friday, July 28, 2017
Please join us for one more social gathering before the summer ends!
Bard Summer Research Institute Celebration 
Pizza and refreshments
RKC Lobby, near the Chemistry labs

Friday, July 28
4:00 - 6:00pm

Time:4:00 pm
Location:Reem-Kayden Center
Sponsor:Bard Summer Research Institute
Contact:Megan Karcher
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Climate Change and Behavioral Economics: Implications for Policy

Thursday, September 14, 2017
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
Sponsor:Economics Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program
Contact:Michele Dominy
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Village of Red Hook Municipal Sewer Project
Thursday, September 28, 2017
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
Sponsor:Environmental and Urban Studies Program
Contact:Michele Dominy
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A Reading by Diane Ackerman
Monday, October 30, 2017
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 or (845) 758-7054.

Time:2:30 pm
Location:Campus Center, Weis Cinema
Sponsor:Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series
Contact:Micaela Morrissette
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AMC 8 Contest
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
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
Sponsor:Center for Civic Engagement; Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; Mathematics Program
Contact:Japheth Wood
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Harlem and the Roots of Gentrification, 1965-2003
Thursday, November 30, 2017
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
Sponsor:Environmental and Urban Studies Program
Contact:Michele Dominy
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Past Events:

How Does Biological Control of Ticks Affect Non-target Organisms?
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Bard Summer Research Institute

Efficient Learning:
What are the Limits of Human Memory?
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Our memory systems leverage the statistical structure of the world around us (context) to organize and store incoming information and retrieve previously stored information.  This enables us to recognize the situations we are in and to adapt our behaviors accordingly.  For example, your might choose to behave differently on a road trip with close friends versus commuting into work with your boss, even though many aspects of your perceptual experience are preserved across those two scenarios.  You might also remember different aspects of conversations from those trips when asked about them later.

In my talk, I will explore the extent to which (and the circumstances under which) these sorts of processes may be manipulated to influence memory.  I’ll begin by exploring these processes using a simple word list learning paradigm.  I’ll show how we can influence memory performance (specifically, how many words people remember and the order people remember the words in).  Then I’ll talk about how these same ideas can be applied to “naturalistic” memories, such as memories for scenes in a movie or concepts learned in the classroom.
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Bard Summer Research Institute

From Black Holes to Gravitational Waves and Quantum Measurement
Thursday, July 6, 2017
With three detections and counting, the Advanced LIGO gravitational-wave observatories have opened a new window into the Universe. For now, all the detected gravitational-waves originated from collisions of two black holes. The effect that these gravitational-waves have as they pass through space is to stretch and compress space-time, much like sound waves stretch and compress the air. To understand the challenge of detecting this effect here on Earth, imagine (if you can) that a reasonably strong gravitational wave changes the length of one kilometer by one thousandth of a proton's diameter. At this level of sensitivity, quantum mechanics and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle start playing a significant role and if we want to listen further into the Universe, we need to manipulate the quantum nature of light to our advantage. In this talk I will give an overview of gravitational waves, how LIGO detects them, and why quantum mechanics matters when measuring distances with such precision.
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Bard Summer Research Institute

Process Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Key Concepts and Selected Examples
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Pharmaceutical R&D chemistry is typically divided into two phases.  In the early drug discovery phase, medicinal chemistry is conducted to design and synthesize molecules on small scale.  Once a lead structure is selected from the large number of compounds prepared, R&D activities transition to the process chemistry phase which is concerned with the development and optimization of both the synthetic route and  individual procedures to enable large-scale production of the lead compound.  In this seminar, key concepts of process chemistry will be introduced, and selected examples of process chemistry from the Bristol-Myers Squibb portfolio will be discussed.
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Bard Summer Research Institute

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Earth's iron alloy inner core was not discovered until 1936-six years after the discovery of Pluto. For many years after that little was known about this most remote part of our planet, but in the last thirty years seismologists have been revealing it has some unusual properties. The cause of these seismic inferences remains uncertain, but they provide clues about the mineral physics and dynamics of the core. This talk will review the seismic observations of the inner core, and discuss their implications for its evolution.
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Bard Summer Research Institute

Looking for Extra Dimensions in the Cosmic Microwave Background
Friday, May 19, 2017
We can only perceive four dimensions, but several standard model extensions suggest the existence of more. If that’s true, why can't we see them? One possible explanation is that these extra dimensions are compactified, meaning they have a finite length compared to the infinite standard four. Cosmology offers a very interesting possibility of finding evidence for the existence of these extra dimensions in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The CMB is an echo from the Big Bang era, and can give us important insight to the past of our universe and whether it could have included compactified dimensions.
Location: Hegeman 107
Sponsor: Physics Program

Senior Project Poster Session
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Join Science, Mathematics & Computer graduating seniors in presenting their senior projects.
Location: Reem-Kayden Center
Sponsor: Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Virginia Caponera
“The Insectivore's Dilemma: An Assessment of the Potential Role of Red-backed Salamander Predation on Tick Populations”

Biz Osborne-Schwartz
“Attachment Affinity of Vibrio cholerae to Resistant Starches: Testing the Benefit of Adding Resistant Starches to an Oral Rehydration Therapy”

Abiba Salahou
“A Novel Approach for Exploring the Effects of Fluoxetine on Xenopus laevis tadpole Feeding Behavior”
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Biology Program

Middle Eastern Studies 
Open House 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Come celebrate the end of the year with fellow MESers. Meet faculty, hear about exciting new courses, study abroad programs, senior projects, and a number of incredible iniatives MES students are working on. Snacks will be served. All are welcome.
Location: Kline, Faculty Dining Room
Sponsor: Middle Eastern Studies Program

Marco Spodek senior recital
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Location: Blum Hall
Sponsor: Music Program

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