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Science Inspires Series

  • The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Science Inspires Series is offered in collaboration with IUP’s Sigma Xi chapter, an honor society of scientists and engineers that rewards excellence in scientific research and encourages a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields.

    SIS presents lectures by prominent researchers on topics interdisciplinary in nature and of interest to faculty and students from a variety of academic fields and to the general public. Every semester, the series schedules two talks by NSM researchers and one renowned speaker.

    The fall 2017 Science Inspires Series schedule of talks is as follows:

    September 14, 2017

    “Using Mathematics to Model the Treatment of River Blindness”

    4:30 p.m., Johnson Hall, Room 247

    Rachelle Bouchat, Department of Mathematics

    River Blindness is a disease that has a huge economic impact in sub-Saharan Africa. It is spread through the transmission of microfilaria through the bite of a black fly. There is a known treatment, through the drug Ivermectin, that is provided free of charge by Merck & Co. through the Mectizan Donation Program. This talk features research that uses mathematical modeling to investigate the minimum treatment standards to achieve eventual eradication.

    October 12, 2017

    "The Rosetta bone: We made our bones in the Permian and, after many missteps, are now able to translate many of the contained messages"

    4:30 p.m., Eberly Auditorium (Public reception to follow in Serafini Atrium)

    Bruce Rothschild, Professor of Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine

    Our perspectives are generally the product of what we see, flavored by the chosen lens. The lenses in science have traditionally been our visual, auditory and tactile senses, augmented by x-ray and microscopic vision and chemical/physical analyses. Application of these across the zoological spectrum truly blurs the distinction between species. We share much the same susceptibilities and behaviors. This is especially recognizable as we look back at diseases through geologic time, although additional lens had to be developed. When all that remains is the skeleton, a new opportunity presents. Bone alterations are revealed that are otherwise inaccessible. This allowed development of new diagnostic techniques, ones that allow identification of disease origin and spread both geographically and chronologically, referred to as scientific paleoepidemiology. Tracing decompression syndrome (bends), arthritis and tuberculosis through geologic time, identifying the origin of rheumatoid arthritis and syphilis, and recognizing the transcendental nature of the ball as a play toy have been products of this approach, but that is only the beginning. 

    November 9, 2017

    4:30 p.m., Eberly Auditorium

    Neil Donahue, Carnegie Melon University