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Book Discussion | What the Eyes Don't See

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 9:36pm

Stephen Henderson of WDET's Detroit Today leads a discussion of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s What The Eyes Don’t See: The Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

The book dives into Dr. Hanna-Attisha's story in contributing to the discovery of elevated lead levels in Flint’s public water infrastructure.  Henderson is in conversation with Michigan Radio Investigative Reporter Lindsey Smith ​and State Senator Jeff Irwin.

This event is part of a community-wide discussion on the story of Flint and how it’s affected the country’s views on infrastructure, justice and the relationship between state and local government.

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Epic Grammar Fails

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 8:38am

Do you feel compelled to correct everything you read or hear: signs, menus, emails, web pages, song lyrics, fortune cookies? Or have you been the target of such "Grammar Police"? This lecture traces protests over English usage, such as the non-literal use of "literally" and when to use an apostrophe in "its" vs "it's." We discuss what merit such complaints might have, as well as what problems they might pose, especially to speakers of non-standard varieties of English.

Ezra Keshet is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. He studies semantics, especially examining how we figure out what a particular pronoun like "it" or "her" means in context. Ezra lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and their two tiny linguists, aged 4 and 1. 

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Genetic Genealogy: Discrepancies in Your Family Tree

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 8:31am

Using actual case studies, learn how you can use your DNA test results to detect and solve potential discrepancies in your family tree, such as mis-attributed parentage. The case studies illustrate the use of autosomal DNA, Y DNA and X DNA test results to support or refute your family tree.

Mary Henderson has 45 years of experience with traditional, document-based genealogy, and 6 years of experience with genetic genealogy.  She volunteers her services to adoptees seeking their birth parents and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

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Nerd Nite #67 - Let's Talk About Stress, Baby!

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 1:39pm

This A2 Nerd Nite talk features U-M PhD candidate in biopsychology Sofia Carrera explaining how neurotransmitters affect our behavior and feelings. 

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Nerd Nite #66 - Hidden Planets

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 8:53am

Could there be a planet lurking at the edge of our Solar System that we haven’t discovered yet? Maybe! It’s happened before. In this talk, Larissa Markwardt explains how the orbits of objects we already know about in our Solar System can be used to infer the existence of yet unseen planets. Larissa also discusses the history and science of the discoveries of Neptune and Pluto, searches for other hypothetical planets (Planet X and Vulcan), and the current hunt for Planet 9. 

About Larissa: 

Larissa is a PhD candidate in Astronomy and Astrophysics and NSF graduate research fellow at the University of Michigan. She studies tiny, faint, and distant space rocks in our Solar System, specifically Earth Trojans and Kuiper Belt Objects. In her free time she likes to go hiking and kayaking, play board games, and watch Stargate. Find her on Twitter @LarMarStar.

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Nerd Nite #66 - Making the Impossible Possible: Lessons from Apollo

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 8:31am

In 1962 under President Kennedy’s direction, our nation committed itself to “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” At the time, this goal was physically impossible. In order to accomplish this goal, it had to be broken down into component tasks. Accomplishing these tasks determined the mission objectives of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Samuel Carpenter discusses not only the accomplishments these early space exploration efforts, but also outlines a general process of how to take on impossible goals. You will be able to apply this process in your own lives in order to achieve your ‘impossible’, whatever that happens to be. 

About Samuel:

Samuel is a Pennsylvania native who recently relocated to Ann Arbor from Portland, OR. Throughout a career in academic research and volunteering as a prehospital medical provider, he has maintained an avid interest in space exploration history as well as current progress of existing space programs. Find him on Twitter @carpensa1.

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Nerd Nite #49 - Let Them (fruit flies) Eat Cake

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 8:09am

Fruit flies’ eyes are bigger than their stomachs (no, really, they are), but this is not why they love sugar. In our lab we feed cake to fruit flies to see what happens to their brains (#badlyexplainyourjob), and boy, a lot happens, and most of it is NOT good. Maybe this is why we all love sugar and can’t stop eating it. And if you are one of those weird people who doesn’t maybe stop by the lab so we can study you?

About Monica: I received my first microscope at age 7, a gift from my dad, and had an idyllic childhood in Italy pulling hair off Barbie’s and legs off bugs and looking at them under the microscope. What really kept me in science, however, was the pervasive beauty of the natural world. I still remember the first time, as a high school student, I heard about molecular biology: I was amazed by its beautiful complexity. Nearly twenty years later, I still haven’t found something that is man-made and more beautiful than the natural world, not even a Dolce and Gabbana dress. At 18 I left Italy for the USA, majored in Biology and Philosophy, got a Ph. D in biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and in 2015 started a lab at the University of Michigan where I also teach genetics and neuroepigenetics. My favorite things in life are dogs, desserts, philosophy and post-modern literature, pastel colors, fuzzy things, and unicorns.

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Author Event | Katherine Reynolds Lewis Discusses Her Book "The Good News About Bad Behavior"

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:17pm

A new and surprising problem has quietly been developing in the current generation of children: they are out of control. A recent study of first-graders found they could sit still for no more than three minutes, only a quarter of the time that their peers could in 1948. Government statistics show that half of all children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age 18.

In the era of the helicopter parent, children seem to have lost the ability to regulate their behavior and emotions. Our time-honored methods of punishments and rewards haven't taught discipline -- they've undermined it.

Journalist Katherine Reynolds Lewis spent five years investigating this crisis: observing families at the dinner table, meeting educators who are transforming the school experience for kids with attention and mood disorders, studying psychological research, and looking introspectively at her own parenting habits.

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Graduate Students of Color | Panel on Life in S.T.E.M. at U-M

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:45am

Graduate and professional students of color at the University of Michigan host a panel to discuss their challenges, victories, and strategies behind their ascension into the realm of S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

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Visions 2018: AT Guys

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 5:17pm

Learn about the latest technology that can improve your quality of life. J.J. Meddaugh discusses accessible mobile phones and tablets including iPhone and Android devices, the latest in computer software, braille displays, portable devices, smart assistants, and what's on the horizon. 

J.J. Meddaugh is an accessibility consultant, trainer, entrepreneur, programmer, and overall tech geek, writer, and enthusiast. Specializing in bettering the lives of the blind and visually impaired through technology, training, and support, J.J. is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. He can be heard each week on the Blind Bargains Qast, a podcast focusing on access technology trends and reviews.