Conferences / Symposia / Programs
UA HOSTED ALABAMA POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION MEETING
The UA department of political science hosted the 40th annual Alabama Political Science Association meeting at the Hotel Capstone on campus. This year’s conference featured papers and presentations on a range of topics including public policy, American politics, international politics and political theory. The event’s highlight symposium was titled “The State of Women and Politics in Alabama.” Participants explored the causes of Alabama’s historically low rankings regarding the political representation of women in each state and offered their perspectives on what changes can be made to give Alabama women better political representation.
DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR SPOKE AT UA ON TRACKING SOCIAL MEDIA
Dr. Arthur G. Cosby, a nationally recognized social scientist, spoke about tracking and analyzing social media to mine scientific data at UA this spring. Cosby, the William L. Giles Distinguished Professor and director of the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University, gave his lecture, titled “The Social Media Tracking and Analysis System: The Superstorm Sandy Beta Test,” in Smith Hall. Part of the Lowder Lecture Series in the UA Culverhouse College of Commerce, Cosby’s visit was also sponsored by the UA College of Engineering and Center for Advanced Public Safety.
UA HOSTED STATEWIDE HIGH SCHOOL FINANCE COMPETITION
The UA College of Human Environmental Sciences department of consumer sciences welcomed 19 Alabama high schools at the third annual Alabama Personal Finance Challenge. Sponsored by the Alabama Council on Economic Education, the challenge tests high-school students on their knowledge of income and money management, spending and credit, and saving and investing. Leading up to the statewide competition, four-member teams were required to complete an online 30-question, rapid fire exam in those same categories. An average of the students’ top three scores was computed, and the top 28 teams were then invited to the state competition. In addition, 43 middle-school teams, comprised of 172 students from seven schools took part in the middle school online challenge. This is the first year UA has hosted the competition.
LITERARY DARWINISM TOPIC OF ALLELE LECTURE AT UA
Dr. Joseph Carroll, professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a leading scholar on the connection between social science and literary study, visited UA to give the lecture “The Historical Position of Literary Darwinism” as the final talk in the 2012-2013 Alabama’s Lecture on Life’s Evolution Series, or ALLELE, an interdisciplinary lecture series organized by UA’s Evolution Working Group. In his lecture, Carroll discussed Literary Darwinism, which is a school of thought that integrates literary study with evolutionary social science. According to Carroll, a series of scientific developments in the past two centuries, including Darwin’s theory of natural selection, have provided the foundation for literary Darwinism.
NOBEL LAUREATE, CHEMISTRY RESEARCHER LECTURED AT UA
Dr. Robert H. Grubbs, the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, visited UA to lecture on his ground-breaking research in the area of organic synthesis, known as alkene metathesis. His public lecture was titled “Bugs, Windmills, and Victoria’s Secret: Fundamental Science to Commercial Products.” The lecture was part of the 2013 Anthony J. Arduengo, III Lecture in Main Group Element and Physical Organic Chemistry and was the inaugural lecture in the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board Nobel Lectureship Series.
UA SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK COLLOQUIUM FOCUSED ON MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING
Guest speaker Dr. Shawn Jeffries, a licensed clinical psychologist at the University of North Texas’ department of clinical health psycho-logy, gave a talk on “Motivational Interviewing and Social Work Practice.” The lecture was part of the UA School of Social Work’s Colloquium Series that brings speakers to campus to share expertise with UA faculty, staff, students and guests. Jeffries specializes in behavioral medicine, addictions, and Motivational Interviewing (MI). He is an adjunct assistant professor for the clinical psychology program at North Texas where he teaches a course on MI, and has conducted multiple MI trainings for a wide variety of health care professionals.
BIRMINGHAM BROADCASTER DISCUSSED JOURNALISM ETHICS IN UA’S MILLS LECTURE
Sherri Jackson, an award-winning broadcaster and news anchor for CBS 42 in Birmingham, presented the Helen Crow Mills and John Carroll Mills Lecture. Titled “TV or Not TV: Is that the question? Why Ethics Must Cross Platforms for Journalists,” her lecture addressed the evolving nature of how journalists approach reporting the news. She addressed questions of both personal and professional ethics in journalists’ use of social media in their reporting. The Mills lectureship was established and endowed in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences by Mrs. Helen Mills Pittman and her late husband, Dr. John Mills of Birmingham, to bring successful and distinguished alumni and citizens to campus to speak as a way to motivate and inspire students.
UA HOSTED ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK
UA hosted a variety of entrepreneurial-related sessions during its annual Entrepreneurship Week activities. Greg Sheek, director of Alabama Launchpad programs, David Snyder of Urban Cookhouse, and Sam Brewer and Nick Wright of Game Day Tents were among the featured speakers. The events concluded with UA’s Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs Day, or AIME Day. The annual event provides opportunity for members of the investment and business communities to hear presentations about specific UA-based technologies and entrepreneurial activities under way on campus. Some 20 presentations from both students and faculty were made throughout the day. Other highlights of the week included a UA student entrepreneurial pitch competition held at The Edge, a newly opened business incubator in Tuscaloosa.
UA HOSTED ROBOTICS COMPETITION
More than 350 students from third graders to seniors in high school from across Alabama were at UA telling robots what to do and hoping their instructions were good enough to win the Alabama Robotics Competition. The competition, which is in its third year, was hosted by the UA College of Engineering’s department of computer science. The goal was to spur interest in computer science among the state’s primary and secondary education students. Unlike other robotics competitions, students were not judged on building the robot, rather how the robot performed in obstacle courses set up in the rotunda of Shelby Hall. Students programmed the robots at a computer before watching the robots autonomously carry out their instructions on the playing field.
UA ENGLISH DEPARTMENT HOSTED SYMPOSIUM
A symposium on elemental ecocriticism, which is a critical field that examines literary representations of the world and their effects on the world, was hosted by the department of English at UA this spring. The event marked the 30th Alabama Symposium on English and American Literature and was sponsored by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies in the department of English. The symposium featured a variety of distinguished guests – writers, professors, journalists and others well recognized in their fields – who spoke and led discussions during the three-day event.
UAB’S CIVIL RIGHTS COMMEMORATION EVENTS CONTINUE
Eugene Jarecki, an award-winning filmmaker, screened his docu-mentary The House I Live In, which won the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Documentary on March 26, 2013. Prominent race-relations writer and educator Tim Wise gave a public lecture at UAB on March 28, 2013. Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Ph.D., professor of law at Harvard University, gave a lecture on “Why Protest Matters” March 28, 2013. Brown-Nagin is the author of Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement, which examines “the activism of visionaries.” Jerry Mitchell, an investigative reporter who helped bring murderous Klansman to justice, presented a lecture on civil rights cold cases April 18, 2013. Grammy Award-winning jazz singer, bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding performed in a free show on April 15, 2013, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. This perfor-mance was presented by the UAB Department of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences. These events were part of UAB’s partnership with the City of Birmingham in 50 Years Forward, the ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the seminal events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
UAB TO HOST CIVIL RIGHTS-THEMED NATIONAL WRITING CONFERENCE FOR TEACHERS
The UAB Red Mountain Writing Project and the 21st Century Literacies Conference hosted educators from across the country for the National Writing Project’s Urban Sites Network Con-ference held April 26-27, 2013. The theme was “Writers of Social Justice: How One Pen Can Change the World.” The conference was held in conjunction with the citywide commemoration of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. The conference featured a host of civil rights-themed events, including a roundtable with civil rights movers and shakers, as well as tours to historic sites. Author and social-justice speaker Helen Shores Lee was a featured speaker. She provided firsthand accounts of living during the turbulent movement as the daughter of famed civil rights attorney Arthur Shores.
UAB BIOMEDICAL SYMPOSIUM FEATURES RESEARCH ON CANCER, RETINAL DISEASES AND MORE
The UAB Department of Bio-medical Engineering (BME) hosted the second annual Biomedical Engineering Research Symposium on March 28-29, 2013. BME undergraduate and graduate students made presentations about their research. They are building machines to mimic breast cancer tumors to aid in testing new anti-cancer drugs and developing high-resolution imaging to detect early signs of retinal diseases, as well as using nanomaterial to improve biocompatibility of cardiovascular devices like stents, vascular grafts and heart valves.
UAB HOSTS DEBATE ON ATKINS DIET VS. CHINA STUDY
The UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center presented “High vs. Low Carbohydrate Diets for Cancer Control and Overall Health,” March 27, 2013. The event was made possible through a gift by Deane Corliss and the Corliss family. Corliss was a member of the UAB Center for Palliative Care Community Advisory Board. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., wrote “The China Study” in 2005. A professor emeritus at Cornell University, Campbell was the director of the China-Oxford-Cornell study on diet and disease in the 1980s. Eric Westman, M.D., has conducted clinical trials regarding the Atkins diet, made famous by Robert Atkins in 1972.
NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK KICKS OFF AT UAB WITH PROMINENT SPEAKERS
National Public Health Week activities at UAB featured guest speaker Donna Arnett, Ph.D., MSPH, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health and current president of the American Heart Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.
SUSTAINABILITY EXPERTS MEET AT UAB, SEEK GREEN SOLUTIONS FOR BIRMINGHAM
The UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center brought green experts from around the world for the second annual Sustainable Smart Cities Symposium. The April 3, 2013, event focused on lessons learned in sustainability, as well as potential programs for Birmingham. Jose Holguin-Veras, Ph.D., who helped implement Manhattan’s Off-Hour Delivery Truck Program, explained how limiting freight deliveries from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. gives the city an estimated economic savings of $100-200 million. Richard Michos, a global vice president with IBM, discussed how his company’s Smarter Cities Challenge helps 100 cities address critical challenges. Wouter Schik with Arcadis in the Netherlands explained how real sustainable cities are not based on the number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building or neighborhoods, but the continuous process of transformation.
GIRLS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING DAY AT UAB INSPIRES YOUNG WOMEN TO EXCEL IN MATH, SCIENCE
More than 150 girls from middle schools throughout Jefferson and Shelby counties came to UAB April 20, 2013, to spend their Saturday learning about math and science. Some of the girls will be back for a second or third time. The third annual Girls in Science and Engineering Day gave the registered sixth, seventh and eighth graders the change to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields through hands-on activities and workshops created and presented by female faculty, scientists and students at UAB.
UAB EXPO HIGHLIGHTS UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP
The sixth annual UAB Expo showcased research and scholarly work by UAB undergraduate students across all academic disciplines and depart-ments. The expo gives young researchers experience presenting their ideas in the format used by many academic conferences, and it provides a forum for students to discuss cutting edge research and creative topics with faculty and the UAB community. In 2012, nearly 200 undergraduates participated in the student-planned and led event.
UAHUNTSVILLE MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN CONFERENCE
Eleven UAHuntsville students participated in the 64th AIAA Region II (Southeastern region) Student Conference held April 8-9, 2013 in Raleigh, NC. There were 170 attendees. The UAH team presented 8 papers, and the four listed below placed in the competition:
o Awarded 1st Place in Region in the Team Design Category: Bryant Finney, Annalisa Fowler, Iris Lin and Josiah Thomas – ME Seniors. Paper: “ATeP – UAV Sensor testing Platform.” This group will attend and present at the International Student Competition at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting in January 2014 in National Harbor, MD.
o Awarded 2nd Place in Region in the Freshman/Sophomore Open Category: Josh Thibideau and Blake Krause – AE Freshmen. Paper: “Deployable Stable Particle Deflector for Nano Satellites.”
o Awarded 2nd place in Region in Community Outreach Category: Markus Murdy – AE Sophomore, John Alcorn – AE Junior, Mark Becnel – ME Masters. Paper: “STEM outreach – Engaging 8th Graders with Astronauts through the ARISS Program.”
o Awarded 3rd place in Region in Community Outreach Category: Matthew Hitt – ME Masters, Adam Dziubanek – AE Sophomore, Josiah Thomas – ME Senior. Paper: “UAH AIAA Community Outreach.”
UAHUNTSVILLE CSPAR ORGANIZES 7TH GAMMA-RAY BURST SYMPOSIUM
The 7th in the Huntsville series of Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) symposia was held from April 14-18, 2013 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN, organized by Michael Briggs and Valerie Connaughton of CSPAR, UAHuntsville, and Neil Gehrels of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Approximately 135 attendees from 15 countries contributed to a diverse scientific program anchored by observations from the Fermi and Swift satellites. Prompt GRB emission from other platforms such as the Japanese MAXI satellite, and afterglow and GRB host galaxy observations from space and ground-based instruments spanning the electromagnetic spectrum from radio to very-high energy gamma-ray obser-vations were also presented. A special session was held on the new topic of ultra-long GRBs which it has recently been proposed come from a different population of bursters in under-luminous galaxies. A press release and tele-conference on this topic, organized by NASA, was picked up by the LA Times, Universe Today, Earth & Sky among others. The meeting closed with 13 brief presentations of planned or proposed space- and ground-based experiments that will address remaining open questions in GRB physics, and an ensuing moderated discussion con-cerning the health and future of our field. It was widely agreed that the main limitation is budgetary rather than scientific and that the current golden era of observational high-energy astro-physics has raised as many new ques-tions as have been solved.
UAHUNTSVILLE ART & ART HISTORY CHAIR PRESENTS TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
Dr. Lillian Joyce gave a talk on the goddess Roma at the 2013 Archaeological Institute of America annual meetings.
UAHUNTSVILLE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE SEVERE WEATHER RESEARCH TEAM PRESENTS RESEARCH RESULTS AT CONFERENCE
Faculty and students presented at the Southeast Severe Storms Symposium in Starkville, MS, in March. Dr. Kevin Knupp was the Keynote Speaker, graduate students gave oral presentations and the mobile weather instruments were showcased at this regional severe weather conference.
UAHUNTSVILLE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS STUDENTS ATTEND R.I.S.E. CONFERENCE
On April 4-6 two College of Business students, Ye Li and Mutyam Pedireddi, attended the 13th annual R.I.S.E. conference at the University of Dayton. The R.I.S.E. investment strategy conference brings students from all over the country together for a series of keynote panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops from industry leaders. Topics range from the economy to financial markets to industry practice.
UAHUNTSVILLE CENTER FOR MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CMER) SUPPORTS THE ALABAMA AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION
CMER supported the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association annual conference in Mobile in February. The conference focused on the “Alabama Automotive Industry Outlook” as well as supplier networking with buyers. Speakers included Governor Robert Bentley and Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield as well as ten presenters from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). There were 340 attendees and 20 OEM and Tier 1 supplier representatives for a supplier match-making sessions.