Science Seminar

everyone is welcome!

October 7, 2016

Stephaney Puchalski (Geology)

What if it is our fault?

Like many people living in the Puget Sound, you likely are aware of the fact that the Pacific Northwest is earthquake country. What you may be less aware of is that you have a 37% chance of experiencing a major seismic event in the next 50 years. The odds of you experiencing the “Big One” are much lower, only about 10%. Unfortunately, those numbers do not fully reflect the danger you will be in WHEN (not IF) the ground beneath your feet begins to shake and the series of hazards that occur even after the rolling stops. There are many unprepared or unwilling to face the possibility of disaster. Will you be one of them? Or, do you want to be prepared, and so increase the odds that you will make it through okay? If you don’t know where to start or just want to know more about earthquake preparedness, come to Science Seminar this Friday

October 21, 2016

Rus Higley (Biology)

Walking on thin ice?

Walking on thin ice? Arctic Sea Ice and why it matters. In September, we saw the one of the lowest Sea Ice coverages of the Arctic that has EVER been recorded. Arctic Sea Ice is frequently touted as a primary example of the impact of climate change, but a lot of the data is misleading or even wrong. This talk will look at how ice is impacted and what this does to the rest of the ecosystem and the planet. Even includes some cute pictures of polar bears.

October 28, 2016

Dr. Helen Burn (Mathematics)

Predicting Winners and Losers: The Math of Elections

And the Winner is . . . The science (and art) of predicting the winner of an election

Predicting the winner in an election depends on public opinion polls that are influenced by several factors including who you ask, what you ask, and when you ask. This science seminar includes hands-on, interactive activities that will help you understand why the results of public opinions differ and the meaning of "margin of error."

November 4, 2016

Diana Lee (Mathematics)

That Election Ain't Fair!

The Presidential Election allows voters to cast one ballot for a candidate and then the Electoral College gets the real power. However, that's just one voting method among many. Many of these alternative methods involve ranked voting. Diana Lee will be presenting several systems for ranked (preference) voting along with examples of where they are used. She will show why there is no voting method that mathematically meets all of the criteria for fairness, but she will also provide avenues by which improvement may be possible.

November 18, 2016

Eric Baer, Rus Higley, and Woody Moses

Doing Science in the Big Ditch

Doing Science in The Big Ditch: What happens when three Highline scientists raft the Grand Canyon?

This past summer, three Highline College Faculty members took the trip of a lifetime and rafted the Grand Canyon. Come hear about their trip and see what science can teach us about the magnificent “Big Ditch”. From river hydrology and learning to read the river, to human impacts from prehistoric to modern times, to the geological shaping of the canyon, to the challenges and logistics of surviving for 18 days with 16 people, Woody Moses, Eric Baer, and Rus Higley will take you on a journey of adventure and personal challenges.

December 2, 2016

Bob Nylander

Data Science Meets the Law: eDiscovery

In the last 15 years or so, a whole new industry has emerged to assist in the prosecution and defense of lawsuits in America. That industry is called “eDiscovery,” or electronic discovery. The industry was created as a reaction to the explosion of the amount of data in the form of electronic records, including email, text messages, computer files, smart phones, and other smart devices such as automotive black boxes. This talk will introduce the concepts of eDiscovery, and explain how it is now possible to quickly review hundreds of thousands, or millions, of documents in a way to extract useful information from all this data.