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UCSB Nobel Laureates Among Speakers in Campus Lecture Series on Research, Innovation and Technology

UC Santa Barbara scholars and scientists –– including three of the university’s five Nobel Prize winners –– will discuss their research in a series of Ground-breaking Research/Innovative Technology (GRIT) Talks throughout the month of July.

The hourlong talks, two per week, will begin at 5 p.m. in UCSB’s MultiCultural Center Theater. Free and open to the public, they offer a rare opportunity to hear from the researchers behind some of the most important discoveries of our time.

Theodore Kim, Oscar-winning professor of media arts and technology, will give the 2013 GRIT Talks keynote address on Monday, July 15, with a lecture titled “Math and Physics Go to Hollywood.”

The series highlight will take place on Monday, July 22, when Alan Heeger, Walter Kohn and Finn Kydland participate in a panel discussion titled “A Night With the Nobel Laureates.” Meredith Murr of UCSB’s Office of Research will moderate the discussion.

Heeger, professor of physics and of materials, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000; Kohn, research professor of physics and founding director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998; and Kydland, the Jeff Henley Professor of Economics and director of the campus’s Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2004.

The series begins on Monday, July 1, with Jeffrey Richman, professor of physics, giving a talk titled “From the Big Bang to the Higgs Boson in Less Than an Hour.” Other speakers include Sumita Pennathur, professor of mechanical engineering; Susan Kuzminsky, a doctoral candidate in anthropology; Howard Zisser, adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering; Joshua Mailman, visiting professor of music; and Katie Byl, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Pennathur will speak on “Lab-on-a-Chip Devices: How Do We Make Handheld Devices for Healthcare?” on Wednesday, July 3. Kuzminsky will follow on Monday, July 8, with “The Study of Human Bones, Past and Present,” and Zisser will discuss “Should We Trust Our Lives to Technology?” on Wednesday, July 10.

Mailman’s talk on Wednesday, July 17, is titled “Diving into Flux: Journeying Among Music Theories and Interactive Multimedia Practices.” The series will conclude with Byl speaking on “Robot Locomotion” on Wednesday, July 24.

The GRIT Talks series is presented by UCSB Summer Session’s Research Mentorship Program. The six-week program gives talented high school students the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research under the direction of faculty members, postdoctoral students, and advanced graduate students.

Choosing their own research topics in areas as diverse as science and engineering, the humanities and fine arts, and the social sciences, students earn eight units of UC academic credit, and present their findings at a two-day symposium that is open to the public.

More information about GRIT Talks and about the Research Mentorship Program is available on the Summer Sessions website by clicking here.

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