ISIS Meeting Times...


ISIS typically meets monthly on a Thursday and alternatively on a Friday/Saturday to meet eminent researchers in the New England region.

Much of the ISIS calendar each season is filled with visits to local researchers within Connecticut, including U. Conn. Avery Point, U. Conn. Storrs, US Fish and Wildlife Service - Fisheries in Milford, Mystic Aquarium and The Institute For Exploration, US Dept. of Agriculture Experiment Stations in Ansonia, here on SCSU's own campus, Yale, The Peabody Museum, University of New Haven, and a variety of other research sites.

Once per semester there is a trip to either Woods Hole (Marine Biological Labs, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and US Geological Survey), Boston (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard), Washington DC and Virginia (Library of Congress, National Institutes of Health, National Museum of Natural History, American Association for the Advancement of Science and others, and NASA), or New York City (American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium).

Sample ISIS calendar:


ISIS XII Fall 2009 Schedule.

9/10/09
4pm - MO-103 --Dr. Charles Vigue--"The 'other' discoverer of DNA"

9/11/09
3:30pm - DEP-Milford-Kristin Frank--Shellfish management in LIS

9/24/09
4pm EN A 120 - Dr. David Novella----"The role of Skepticism in science"

10/1/09
4 pm – EN A 120-Dr. Daniel Tso--"Seeing is Believing: Visualizing Visual Processing"

10/15/09
4:30pm EN-013--Dr. Michael Rogers----In Search of Our Ancestors

11/13-14/09 BOSTON TRIP - expanded below!
11/13/09
8-10—TBA
10-12-Fusion Lab
12-3--MIT Museum
3-5--DR. Noam Chomsky
11/14/09
8:30-11:30 Nancy Pick-"Rarest of the Rare" Harvard Museum of Natural History
11:30-2:00—Benoit Mandelbrot – Fractals!

11/20/09
3pm British Art Museum--"The Science of Art" Meet with the painting and paper curators

12/4/09
4pm JE-335--Dr. Joel Block--"Earth Science and the Bible"




Boston Trip - expanded.

November 13th 2009 Friday


AM session: 8:00am – 10:30am •Bus leaves hotel parking lot promptly at 8:00am
Presenter: Ms. Felice Frankel, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Innovative Computing at Harvard, former Research Scientist and Artist in Residence, MIT.
Ms. Frankel will introduce us to the work of the Images and Meaning. (http://web.mit.edu/felicef/)
Felice Frankel is a Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where she heads the Envisioning Science program at Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC). She holds a concurrent appointment as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Frankel's images have been published in over 300 journal articles and/or covers and various other publications for general audiences.
AM session: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Presenter(s): Dr. Paul Rivenberg, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Plasma Science & Fusion Laboratory 167 Albany St. (Lab entrance) 617-253-8101
Dr. Rivenberg will introduce us to the work of the Plasma and Fusion Labs. (http://www.psfc.mit.edu)
The Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) seeks to provide research and educational opportunities for expanding the scientific understanding of the physics of plasmas, the "fourth state of matter," and to use that knowledge to develop useful applications. Among fusion research groups, MIT's Alcator C-Mod project is unique in its dedication to compact size and high performance. It is the world’s highest magnetic field tokamak plasma confinement experiment. As a result, Alcator experiments have performed at levels rivaling the largest fusion experiments in the world.
Follow-up assignment: You are to produce an abstract of the presentation, including your thoughts on the significance of the topic to you and your teaching (2-3 pages). A source of information can be found at the Alcator website: (http://www.psfc.mit.edu/research/alcator/index.html).


PM session: 12:30pm – 2:00pm (includes a working lunch)
Presenter: Art Ganson, Gestural Engineering – Sculptures, MIT Museum. 265 Mass Ave, Bldg N52, Cambridge, MA 617- 253-4444.
Self-described as a cross between a mechanical engineer and a choreographer, Arthur Ganson creates contraptions composed of a range of materials from delicate wire to welded steel and concrete. Most are viewer-activated or driven by electric motors. All are driven by a wry sense of humor or a probing philosophical concept.
Follow-up assignment: You are to produce an abstract of any readings/discussion done in preparation for the presentation, as well as notes recorded at MIT. A good amount of information can be retrieved at Mr. Ganson’s website: http://web.mit.edu/museum/exhibitions/ganson.html. In your summery/synthesis, include your thoughts on the significance of the topic to you and your teaching (2-3 pages).

PM session: 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Presenter: Dr. Noam Chomsky, MIT Linguistics and Philosophy, 32 Vassar Street in Kendall Square, in the Stata Center, in the Dreyfoos Tower, on the 8th floor, in Rm. 840
Dr. Chomsky will be speaking to us about his work MIT and his passion for connecting Linguistics to ethics and forces that drive individuals and cultures to behave the way they do….
Follow-up assignment: You are to produce an abstract of any readings/discussion done in preparation for the presentation, as well as notes recorded at MIT. A good amount of information can be retrieved from Dr. Chomsky’s website: http://www.chomsky.info. In your summery/synthesis, include your thoughts on the significance of the topic to you and your teaching (2-3 pages).



November 14th 2009 Saturday


AM session: 9:00am –11:00am •Bus leaves hotel parking lot for Harvard promptly at 9:45am
Presenter(s): Nancy Pick, Staff Writer for the Harvard Museum of Natural History 26 Oxford St. Cambridge, MA 617-495-3045
Nancy Pick (a former journalist for the Baltimore Sun, and current staff writerfor HMNH) will introduce us to her work in discussing the “Rarest of the Rare” (http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/shops). From Nabokov's butterflies and George Washington's pheasants, to the only remaining bird specimen from the Lewis and Clark expedition, the vast collections of animals, minerals, and plants at the Harvard Museum of Natural History are among the oldest in the country, dating back to the 1700s. In the words of Edward O. Wilson, the museum stands as both "cabinet of wonder and temple of science."
Dr. Pick’s new book, The Rarest of the Rare tells the stories behind extinct butterflies, rare birds, lost plants, meteorites, and other scientific and historic specimens that fill the museum's halls. In her book, you'll learn about the painting that catches Audubon in a shameful lie, the sand dollar collected by Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle, and dozens of other treasures in this surprising, informative, and often amusing tour of the natural world.

Follow-up assignment: You are to produce an abstract of the presentation, including your thoughts on the significance of the topic to you and your teaching (2-3 pages). A good source of information can be found at the Harvard Magazine website: (http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/110478.html) where you can read excepts from Dr. Pick’s book.

AM session: 11:30am –1:00pm
Presenter: Dr. Benoit Mandelbrot, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences Mathematics Department - Yale University, IBM Fellow Emeritus T.J. Watson Research Center
International Business Machines Corporation.

-The fractal geometry of nature by By Benoît B. Mandelbrot is a landmark treatise. It is online at Google Books: <http://books.google.com/books?id=xJ4qiEBNP4gC&lpg=PP1&ots=QlFHgb_YJ7&dq=Benoit%20Mandelbrot&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=Benoit%20Mandelbrot&f=false>

A nice video segment which demonstrates the almost infinite depth of the “Mandelbrot Set” can be found at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tRdLD6vh3g>

PBS NOVA series produced a program on “The Hidden Dimension” which explores fractal geometry, the Mandelbrot and Julia Sets, and the science and mathematics behind these wonderful discoveries, as well as the innovative use of fractal geometry in fields seemingly far removed from theoretical mathematics.<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/fractals/>

Freeware/shareware Fractal Geometry viewer programs abound. One such site with a large listing of these programs for PC, Mac and other computing platforms is:<http://home.att.net/~Paul.N.Lee/Fractal_Software.html>