Science Events at Bard

Next-generation Atomic Clocks:
Harnessing Quantum Matter to Study Gravity and Search for Dark Matter

Friday, April 28, 2017
The accuracy of atomic clocks has improved a thousandfold over the last 15 years. The latest generation of atomic clocks, called "optical lattice clocks", can detect changes in general relativity's gravitational redshift over a few centimers. These clocks use extremely stable lasers to count the "ticks" of an optical-frequency transition in atoms cooled to the nanokelvin regime, reaching 18 digits of accuracy in a few hours. In this talk, I will discuss how we achieve this accuracy through exquisite control of the quantum mechanical state of these ultracold atoms, and how we are using these clocks to search for dark matter and test relativity.

Time:12:00 pm
Location:Hegeman 107
Sponsor:Physics Program
Contact:Hal Haggard
E-mail:hhaggard@bard.edu
Phone:845-752-7302
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Collective Dynamics of Microbes in Natural Sediment
Thursday, May 4, 2017

Time:12:00 pm
Location:Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor:Biology Program
Contact:Arseny Khakhalin
E-mail:akhakhal@bard.edu
Phone:845-752-2333
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American Studies Open House
Monday, May 8, 2017
Come meet the faculty and students of the American Studies program! Enjoy some free food, hear about upcoming fall courses, and celebrate seniors who have just turned in their projects. 

Time:5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Location:Hopson Cottage
Sponsor:American Studies Program
Contact:Alex Benson
E-mail:abenson@bard.edu
Phone:845-758-6822
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Fragments, Fungi, and Feedbacks:
Can Fungal Pathogens Help Maintain Prairie Plant Diversity in Fragmented Landscapes?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time:12:00 pm
Location:Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor:Biology Program
Contact:Arseny Khakhalin
E-mail:akhakhal@bard.edu
Phone:845-752-2333
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Galactic Exploration with Invisible Light
Friday, May 12, 2017
Radio astronomy has greatly enhanced the range of observable astronomical phenomena.  Although a wide range of wavelengths are used in radio astronomy, one of the most important is 21 cm, which corresponds to the hyperfine transition in atomic hydrogen.   Although the 21 cm signal from a small collection of hydrogen atoms is exceedingly weak, and the density of hydrogen in the Milky Way is very low, the Galaxy is a big place and contains enough hydrogen to produce a signal that can be detected with a modest terrestrial apparatus.    In this talk, I will present results obtained at 21 cm with a recently refurbished cold-war-era 60-foot dish antenna.   Data from the dish will be used to measure the Sun's velocity with respect to the average velocity of nearby stars and to infer the existence of dark matter.    Time permitting, pulsar signals will be presented and schematic plans for a kit capable of detecting indirect evidence for dark matter for costing less than $1000 will be presented.

Time:12:00 pm
Location:Hegeman 107
Sponsor:Physics Program
Contact:Hal Haggard
E-mail:hhaggard@bard.edu
Phone:845-752-7302
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Senior Project Poster Session
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Join Science, Mathematics & Computer graduating seniors in presenting their senior projects.

Time:6:30 pm
Location:Reem-Kayden Center
Sponsor:Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing
Contact:Michael Tibbetts
E-mail:tibbetts@bard.edu
Phone:845-752-2309
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Marco Spodek senior recital
Friday, May 19, 2017

Time:8:00 pm
Location:Blum Hall
Sponsor:Music Program
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Past Events:

Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Empathy, the ability to perceive and be sensitive to the emotional states of others, motivates prosocial and caregiving behaviors, plays a role in inhibiting aggression, and facilitates cooperation between members of a similar social group. This is probably why empathy is often and wrongly confused with morality. Morality refers to prescriptive norms regarding how people should treat one another, including concepts of justice, fairness, and rights. Drawing on empirical research and theory from evolutionary biology, psychology and social neuroscience, I will argue that our sensitivity to others’ needs has been selected in the context of parental care and group living. One corollary of this evolutionary model is that empathy produces social preferences that can conflict with morality. This claim is supported by a wealth of empirical findings in neuroscience and behavioral economics documenting a complex and equivocal relation between empathy, morality and justice. Empathy alone is powerless in the face of rationalization and denial. It is reason that provides the push to widen the circle of empathy from the family and the tribe to humanity as a whole.

 
Location: Campus Center, Weis Cinema
Sponsor: Mind, Brain, & Behavior Program; Psychology Program

Seating Arrangements, Domino Tilings, and Graph Factorials
Thursday, April 27, 2017
At a dinner party, each guest is assigned a seat along a long table, which seats 12 people. However, when all guests arrive, they decide to change things a little up by swapping seats. In order to minimize the amount of chaos, they have to follow the following three rules: a guest can keep their seat; two guests sitting next to each other or across the table can swap seats; three or more guests can swap seats in a cyclic
fashion, provided that each person is moving one seat to the left or to the right or across the table. Assuming that all guests have showed up, how many possible seating rearrangements are there? Now consider the graph on the left. We want to place dominoes along some of the edges of this graph so that each vertex is covered by exactly one domino. We call any such placement of dominoes a domino tiling. How many domino tilings of this graph exits?

In this talk, we will explore the connection between these two problems by defining what the factorial of a graph is.

Prerequisites: A familiarity with graphs and counting arguments is a plus, but not
required.
Location: Hegeman 308
Sponsor: Mathematics Program

Molecular mechanisms of SLUG-induced Chemotherapeutic Resistance in Triple-negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

 
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Biology Program

HOW TO BUILD A GIANT TELESCOPE IN THE DESERT (AND MAKE A WORLD): 
A FIELD GUIDE

Monday, April 24, 2017

 The Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains nearly two-thirds of the world’s infrastructure for astronomical data production. In 2012, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), was under construction. Documenting the extraordinary process of building a radio telescope composed of sixty-six 100-ton antennae, spread out across eighteen kilometers at 16,500 feet in altitude on a plateau in the Chilean Andes-- an anthropologist, a designer, and a camera man spent three weeks filming at ALMA. We will discuss the challenges that emerged in filming and in the subsequent experiments with the collected footage: around the interdisciplinary crafting of narrative; about the limits and possibilities of a range of ethnographic tools; and about the aesthetics of anthropology. 

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Anthropology Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program

Virtual Reality:
New Horizons, New Boundaries
 
Monday, April 24, 2017

Location: In Studio X in Avery
Sponsor: Computer Science Program; The Big Ideas Initiative

Making Your House Safe from Zombie Attacks
Thursday, April 20, 2017
In this talk, we investigate the important question of how many zombies are required to catch and eat a person in an enclosed structure.  We model the structure with a graph, and we assume that the person can move much faster than the zombies.  The minimum number of zombies required to catch an intelligent person is called the zombie number of the graph.  This is a variation on the "cops and robbers" game from graph theory, which can be used to define the treewidth of a graph.  We will discuss how the zombie number of a graph relates to the treewidth, and we will determine which graphs have zombie number 1 and 2.  This talk will be accessible to anyone who is taking or has taken a 200-level mathematics course.

 
Location: Hegeman 308
Sponsor: Mathematics Program

The Ecology of West Nile Virus in the United States

 
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Biology Program

Just For Fun:
A Couple of Games and Playful Things
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Ramsey Nasser is a computer scientist, game designer, and educator based in Brooklyn. His work explores issues of justice in computing and the role of human culture in coding. He researches programming languages by building tools to make computation more expressive and implementing projects that question the basic assumptions we make about code itself. His games playfully push people out of their comfort zones, and are often built using experimental tools of his design. Ramsey is a former Eyebeam fellow and a professor at schools around New York. When he is not reasoning about abstract unintuitive machines, he goes on long motorcycle trips.
Location: RKC 100
Sponsor: Computer Science Program; Presented by the Big Ideas Initiative in Collaboration with the Bard Teach In

Science and Politics:
Science Literacy for Activists
Monday, April 17, 2017

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Sponsor: Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Early Life Adversity and the Risk of Depression in Young Adulthood
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Location: RKC 111
Sponsor: Psychology Program

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