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Previous Events and Speakers

Photo of Matthew Grayson

Matthew Grayson

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are."
The Ubiquitous Nature of Random Walks

Thursday, April 22, 2021

What do Ben Franklin's batteries have to do with earthquake aftershocks in Hawaii and human life expectancy in the year 2021? Throughout history, many seemingly disconnected natural phenomena have been observed to manifest similar behavior, with the only common thread being that the response occurs in a strongly disordered system. One microscopic way to model such systems is with a random walk in a disordered landscape whereby the time between steps is chosen at random but might become infinite on average. A pattern emerges once a statistically large number of steps are taken, revealing a universal curve which can explain the dynamics of diverse systems with representation in all fields of science and engineering. In this talk, I will review some remarkable properties of random walk theory and share some stand-out historical examples with a glimpse of what unifies them all in the omnipresent world of random walks.

View Zoom recording

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Sally McFall

Research Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

COVID-19 Testing with CIGHT Developed DASH Platform

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

BME's Center for Innovation in Global Health Technologies (CIGHT) in collaboration with Minute Molecular Diagnostics is developing a point-of-care diagnostic platform that provides accurate qPCR results in 15 minutes or less. With the support of NIBIB and the Center for Innovation in Point-of-Care Technologies for HIVE/AIDS at Northwestern 9C-THAN), CIGHT is in the final stage of development of a COVID-19 test that will launch in Q1 of 2021. Sally McFall highlights the platform's unique design and the simple user steps required for the test.

View Zoom recording

Photo of Julius Lucks

Julius Lucks

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

What is in Your Water? How Synthetic Biology Could Impact the Lives of Billions across the Globe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Poor water quality affects over two billion people across the globe. While we can't often see or taste water conaminatnts, it turns out bacteria can. Professor Lucks presents the latest Northwestern research on careating a 'pregnancy test for water' - a cheap, fast, and reliable way that allows anyone, anywhere to detect if their water is contaminated - using synthetic biology. Professor Lucks also discusses the prospects for using similar technologies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Samir Khuller

Samir Khuller

Peter and Adrienne Barris Chair of Computer Science

Who to Marry, How to Cook and Where to Buy Gas: Solving Dilemmas of Daily Life, One Algorithm at a Time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Algorithms are methods for processing data, and are in wide use today to analyze data in many applications arising from societal needs - such as health, medicine, communication, and planning. In this talk, using very simple examples from every day life, Professor Khuller illulstrates some central ideas that showcase easy to understand problems and the algorithms designed for them. No computer sicence or programming background is needed.

Photo of James Hambleton

James Hambleton

Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

When the Earth Gives Way, for Better or Worse

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Dr. Hambleton’s main research interests are in computational plasticity, geotechnical analysis, contact mechanics, soil-machine interaction, and the analysis of problems involving unsteady plastic flow. A major focal point of his work is to advance the understanding of how soils are moved and shaped through interaction with man-made objects and machinery.

Photo of Jessica Hullman

Jessica Hullman

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Journalism

Information Visualization and the Communication of Uncertainty

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Professor Hullman's research has been supported by a Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the NSF (CAREER, CRII), Google, Adobe, Tableau Software and the Navy, among others. Her work has received multiple Best Paper awards from top Visualization and Human-Computer Interaction venues.

Photo of Linda Broadbelt

Linda Broadbelt

Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Associate Dean for Research, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

McCormick: A Fertile Ground for Research in Teams

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

With a trend towards research in multidisciplinary teams, the old adage of "publish or perish" in academia has been replaced by "collaborate or perish". This talk focuses on various research projects in Professor Broadbelt's group in which members are part of large, global collaborative teams and how the environment at McCormick allows them to flourish in this new era.

Photo of Dan Brown

Dan Brown

Director, Ford Prototyping Lab; Faculty Advisor, Segal Professional Bridge

Designing a Better Theory - Practice Integration at Segal

Tuesday, September 25, 2018