NNA2 is dishing up another informally informative evening and we want YOU to join us! Our menu features specials including mathematics Ph.D. student Jasmine Powell exposing the freakiness of fractals and their never-ending patterns, astronomy Ph.D. student Gillen Brown explaining how stars blew up a million years ago and landed all over our periodic table, and evolutionary biologist and virologist Kayla Peck shares Louis Pasteur’s legacy through crystals, milk, and rabies. Pull up a chair and enjoy!
When: Thursday, 3/21/19
Doors at 6:30/talks at 7 pm
Where: LIVE, 102 S. First St
Cost: Free! This night out is sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library!
Just after the Big Bang, hydrogen and helium were the only elements in the universe. 14 billion years later, we have everything from argon to zinc. The story of how the elements were made includes the beginning of the universe itself, the death throes of stars like our sun, and at least three types of exploding stars. I’ll cover the handful of ways the universe builds elements, then walk through the periodic table to show where each element comes from.
Gillen is a Ph.D. student in the astronomy department at the University of Michigan, where he studies how elements are distributed within galaxies by using computer simulations. When not writing code, he enjoys watching sports, camping throughout the beautiful state of Michigan, and riding roller coasters.
While the spotlight on math often takes the form of its many direct applications to problems in other fields, there’s another, quieter side of math lurking in the background: understanding and solving problems arising not from any real-world issues, but instead from abstract patterns. Throughout this talk, we’ll delve into my own research on this side of things, and in the process will discover a collection of intricate, beautiful, surprising abstract shapes called fractals. Through talking about what I do and why I love it, I’ll touch on questions about what “pure math research” looks like and why it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.
Jasmine is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at the University of Michigan and a native Ann Arborite. She loves thinking about math: how to learn it, how to teach it, and how to extract its intrinsic beauty. When she’s not at a local coffee shop working on research, you can find her playing board games, doing an escape room, or embarking on her quest to eat at every restaurant in Ann Arbor.
French scientist Louis Pasteur left his mark on science in a bunch of weird ways. Let’s explore them together!
Kayla first became an LP fangirl sometime in 2007 during Organic Chemistry I. Coincidentally, her career path also resulted in the study of deadly pathogens. She earned her PhD in Biology in 2016 and is primarily interested in virus evolution and how viruses emerge into humans. When not in lab, she can be found catching pokemon, reading medieval fantasy, playing scrabble, or coming up with new Shrek drinking game rules.