Science Seminar

everyone is welcome!

January 22, 2016

Dr. Molly Brignall

Natural Therapies for Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a very common occurrence in women. Symptoms can include mood swings and cramps during certain times of a menstrual cycle. The majority of the time, health care providers give birth control pills to eliminate these symptoms. Many women are looking for natural solutions instead of hormonal pills.

January 29, 2016

Dr. Savio Pham

Data Science and Big Data: How big is "Big" and why do we care?

"The phrase "Big Data" has been a big buzz in the last few years and continued to gain traction. In the meantime, information technology (IT) professionals are scrambling to learn how to deal with a humongous amount of data while those in other disciplines (e.g. biologists) are concerned with how their prescribed professions will gradually change and demand this new skill set. Come to this seminar and un-myth Big Data."

February 5, 2016

Sara Harrold and Philip Swartzendruber (Puget Sound Clean Air Agency)

Air Quality and Opportunities for Students

Our common activities are generating the bulk of today's air pollution - exhaust from vehicles, yard and recreational equipment, and smoke from our chimneys and burn piles.

If we all made just one air-friendly behavior change - how we get to work, how we heat our homes, for example - collectively we could dramatically reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Together, we can keep our region's air healthy and clean.

February 12, 2016

Rus Higley

Methanol or Metha-NO! To build or not to build.

Local cities are talking. If built, the Tacoma facility will:

  • Use 3.8 billion gallons of water per year
  • Become the 1st or 2nd largest source of carbon dioxide in the state
  • Provide 260 living wage jobs

Should Tacoma build the biggest methanol plant in the world? Should the Pacific Northwest, combined with two other plants in Washington and Oregon, double the supply of methanol which is a major ingredient in making plastic? Is this a good choice for our economy? Our environment? How do you balance our economic health with local and global impacts? This week’s seminar will look at the process for making methanol and then the regulator procedure which is currently underway. Learn what you can do to have your voice heard during the public comment period.

February 19, 2016

Dr. Lonnie Somer (Anthropology)

The Latest Finds in Human Evolution, Part 2

Among the topics to be covered will be:

  • A new fossil species in our family tree unexpectedly discovered deep within a cave in South Africa that has all the hallmarks of a murder mystery.
  • A mysterious hominin species from China that may have lived until relatively recently.
  • Modern humans in China that may have arrived thousands of years earlier than was believed
  • Neanderthal, Denisovan, and early modern human sexual relations.
  • The latest genetic studies revealing the peopling of Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas.
  • The earliest stone tools ever found, causing a re-think of what it is to be human.
  • The earliest evidence for a population of modern humans being massacred.

February 26, 2016

Kip Wanzer and Kurt Giessel (Information Technology Services)

Fiber Optics

An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair. Optical fibers are used most often as a means to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber and find wide usage in fiber-optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and at higher data rates than wire cables. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with lesser amounts of loss; in addition, fibers are also immune to electromagnetic interference, a problem from which metal wires suffer excessively.

March 4, 2016

Dr. Helen Burn (Mathematics)

A New Spin on Math Words

Important math concepts are sometimes described using words that have negative everyday meanings, such as inequality, irrational, and deviation. This talk focuses on several of these terms, explores what they mean in mathematics, and proposes positive alternatives.

March 11, 2016

Dr. Bob Baugher (Psychology)

Helping a Grieving Friend

Watching a friend who is grieving the death of a loved one is always difficult. Join us as we examine the latest research on what helps people cope with grief and what doesn't.