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October 27, 2005

Dr. Gerald Stokes, Vice President for International Partnerships, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 10/26/05

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Dr. Gerry Stokes was the founder and first Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a unique partnership between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland. PNNL is a DOE Office of Science National Laboratory that solves complex problems in energy, national security, the environment, and life sciences. Ohio-based Battelle has managed PNNL since the Laboratory's inception in 1965. JGCRI members are renowned for expertise in energy conservation and its understanding of the interactions between climate, energy production and use, economic activity, and the environment.

Dr. Stokes has served on multiple scientific and educational advisory boards throughout his career, including the National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment, and the NRC Committee for “Support for Spatial Thinking: The Incorporation of Geographic Information Science Across the K-12 Curriculum”. He currently serves on the committee on “Test Design for K-12 Achievement”.

Dr. Stokes's research interests include climate and the design of large-scale field research facilities. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 book chapters, journal articles, and reports on topics ranging from the interstellar medium, atmospheric spectroscopy, energy utilization, and climate policy.

Posted by David Lemberg at 04:44 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 23, 2005

Dr. Edward Lu, NASA Astronaut, 10/19/05

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Dr. Edward Lu has flown as a mission specialist on STS-84 in 1997, mission specialist and payload commander on STS-106 in 2000, and flight engineer on Soyuz TMA-2, and served as NASA ISS Science Officer and flight engineer on ISS Expedition-7 in 2003. A veteran of three space missions, Dr. Lu has logged over 206 days in space, and an EVA (spacewalk) totaling 6 hours and 14 minutes.

Since obtaining his Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University in 1989, Dr. Edward Tsang Lu has been a research physicist working in the fields of solar physics and astrophysics. He was a visiting scientist at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, CO, from 1989 until 1992, the final year holding a joint appointment with the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado. From 1992 until 1995, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu, HI. Dr. Lu has developed a number of new theoretical advances, which have provided for the first time a basic understanding of the underlying physics of solar flares. He has published articles on a wide range of topics including solar flares, cosmology, solar oscillations, statistical mechanics, and plasma physics.

Posted by David Lemberg at 11:42 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 21, 2005

Dr. Charles Reinholtz, Alumni Distinguished Professor, and Dr. Al Wicks, Director, Modal Analysis Laboratory, Virginia Tech, 10/12/05

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Dr. Charles Reinholtz is the co-author of Mechanisms and Dynamics of Machinery, published by John Wiley. At Virginia Tech, more than 90 students, or about one-third of the senior class in mechanical engineering, are enrolled in one of his autonomous-vehicle-related senior design projects. Under Dr. Reinholtz's guidance, teams from Virginia Tech swept the 2005 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition and took first place in the 2005 International Aerial Robotics Competition. Dr. Reinholtz is also leading a team that is working with the National Federation of the Blind to develop the inaugural Blind Driver Challenge. Dr. Reinholtz also advises the senior project teams that qualified two robotic vehicles in the finals of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. Dr. Al Wicks, who has expertise in experimental modal analysis, digital signal processing, and testing of transducers, is the Director of Virginia Tech's Modal Analysis Laboratory (MAL), housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Al Wicks, who has expertise in experimental modal analysis, digital signal processing, and testing of transducers, is the Director of Virginia Tech's Modal Analysis Laboratory (MAL), housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The MAL specializes in research relating to the characterization of dynamic properties of structures.

Dr. Wicks is also associated with the School of Biomedical Engineering and Science, a joint venture between Virginia Tech and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Wicks and the graduate students in his Advanced Instrumentation class developed a design for a new device to reduce x-ray exposure during surgery to repair broken bones. The result is a new low-cost, hand-held magnetic surgical tool called a Magnetic Targeting Device.

Posted by David Lemberg at 12:42 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 20, 2005

Dr. Billy J. Stanbery, President and CEO, HelioVolt Corporation, 8/24/05

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Dr. Billy J. Stanbery founded HelioVolt Corporation in order to develop and market new technology for applying thin-film photovoltaic coatings to conventional construction materials. He invented the company's FAAST (TM) process, a low-cost, flexible manufacturing process for CIGS synthesis.

Dr. Billy J. Stanbery's early work in photovoltaics began in 1978, as a Senior Microelectronics Engineer with the Electronics Support Division of the Boeing Aerospace Company. His initial responsibility was the development of fabrication processes for very high power silicon concentrator solar cells for a Boeing IR&D program in 1978. Based on that work, he negotiated a contract with Sandia National Laboratories for further development of the technology in 1980, and was responsible during the contract period for the design and operation of an advanced computer controlled concentrator solar cell test facility.

Subsequent to the work on concentrator cells, Dr. Stanbery served as a consultant at Boeing on an Air Force SMATH V subcontract for the development of metallization systems and device configurations for fabricating silicon solar cells capable of withstanding high temperature heat treatment. Since 1982, he has participated in Boeing's development of large-area CuInSe2 solar cells and related photovoltaic devices, has published over two dozen papers, and holds seven U.S. patents in photovoltaic technology.

In 1988, Dr. Stanbery was named Senior Principal Engineer at Boeing, managing the company's terrestrial photovoltaic program, including three contracts with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). His team set what was at the time the record for CIGS thin-film efficiency (14.6% AM1.5G). In 1990, a team lead by Dr. Stanbery demonstrated a tandem GaAs/CuInSe cell (measured at 25.8% AM1.5G), which still holds the world-record for thin-film solar cell efficiency.

Posted by David Lemberg at 01:19 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 15, 2005

Patrick J. Carr, ITT's Deep Space Network Operations and Maintenance Contract Program Manager, 9/7/05

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Patrick J. Carr is responsible for providing operations and maintenance support for the Deep Space Network, which supports JPL-NASA critical space exploration missions. The Deep Space Network's international system of antennas communicates with interplanetary spacecraft missions, such as Cassini and Mars Spirit. The network also collects information from Voyager 1, launched in 1977 and the most distant man-made object in space.

ITT's Systems Division makes sure the antennas at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California are calibrated and positioned correctly to collect information from deep-space craft. The antennas at Goldstone range in diameter from 85 feet to 230 feet. Signals received from Cassini can be as weak as a billionth of a milliwatt, more than 20 billion times less than the power required for a digital watch.

Mr. Carr has over 33 years experience in the Aerospace and Defense industry, including assignments at the Pentagon and key U.S. satellite command and control, early warning, ICBM, and launch facilities around the United States.

Posted by David Lemberg at 12:24 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 12, 2005

Dr. Dan Rockmore, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Dartmouth College, 9/21/05

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Dr. Dan Rockmore
is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Dartmouth College. Dr. Rockmore is also a technical consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses and has served as a member of the Defense Sciences Studies Group.

Dr. Rockmore has authored and co-authored numerous scientific articles and three technical books, mainly around the subject of the design of efficient algorithms for data analysis and data transmission. He has applied this work to climate modeling, image and signal processing, and the design of robust communications schemes. Dr. Rockmore's related work on digital techniques for art authentication has been reported in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, and other major papers. His research has garnered support from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Keck Foundation.

Additionally, Dr. Rockmore is a nationally recognized expositor of mathematics. His recent book, Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis, was published by Random House/Pantheon Books in Spring 2005.

Dr. Rockmore's expository work also appears in documentary form. He has co-produced the well-received video documentary “The Math Life” (distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences) on the people, process, and problems of mathematical research. His new films, “Living Math”, on the mathematical re-invention of the life sciences, and “Happy Birthday Hal: AI turns 50”, marking the 50th anniversary of artificial intelligence, are scheduled for release in Spring 2006.

Posted by David Lemberg at 11:45 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 10, 2005

Dr. James Dye, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, 9/7/05

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Dr. James Dye's illustrious career is an extensive one. In the past 20 years alone, he has produced 91 research papers in chemistry, published in various journals including Science, Nature, and Journal of the American Chemical Society. His work has warranted coverage in The New York Times and numerous other newspapers and publications. During this same period, his research group received more than $3.3 million in research funds from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Dr. Dye is the only chemist in Michigan awarded membership in the National Academy of Sciences, and was until recently the only MSU professor in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At age 70, he received the highest award given for Inorganic Chemistry in the U.S., the American Chemical Society National Award in Inorganic Chemistry.

Dr. Dye's work with Columbia doctoral student Michael Lefenfeld led to the formation of SiGNa Chemistry, an early-stage company developing unique solutions to compelling chemistry problems. The company's nano-encapsulated alkali materials are currently used in academia, and industrial markets as diverse as pharmaceutical synthesis, petroleum refining, organometallics, catalysis, and hydrogen energy.

Posted by David Lemberg at 02:31 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 06, 2005

Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam is the founding President of the New England Complex Systems Institute, 9/21/05

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Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam is the founding President of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), an independent nonprofit educational and research institution dedicated to advancing the study of complex systems. NECSI was established as a collaboration of faculty from Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Brandeis, and other academic institutions. In his research, Professor Bar-Yam has contributed to both physics and complex systems. On the technical side, he developed multiscale analysis, representations, and modeling, and contributed to the fundamental concepts of evolution and understanding the structure and dynamics of networks. He has also used complex systems concepts to advance a variety of diverse fields including the understanding of genetic regulatory networks, conservation biology, and systems engineering.

Professor Bar-Yam has lectured at and advised numerous corporations and government agencies, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the World Bank, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Military, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community. His most recent research has applied complex systems ideas to complex problems facing companies and societal networks. He has developed the understanding of how the structure, processes, and information flow of organizations can be designed to meet challenges at all scales.

Professor Bar-Yam is the author of two books and over 150 articles in professional journals. His newest book, Making Things Work, explains how the basic concepts of complexity theory can solve complex problems in healthcare, education, international development, ethnic violence, and terrorism.

NECSI is an independent educational and research institution dedicated to advancing the study of complex systems. Complex systems have multiple interacting components whose collective behavior cannot be simply inferred from the behavior of components. The recognition that understanding the parts cannot explain collective behavior has led to various new concepts and methodologies that are affecting all fields of science and engineering, and are being applied to technology, business, and even social policy.

Posted by David Lemberg at 10:26 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 05, 2005

Dr. Jay Johnson, Group Leader, Chemical and Biological Sensors, Materials Engineering Division, University of Dayton Research Institute, 9/14/05

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Dr. Jay Johnson has spent over 25 years in industry working on various aspects of chemical and biological sensor–related R&D and in R&D Management. Dr. Johnson joined UDRI in 2000 as a research chemist, then was promoted to senior research scientist in charge of the Institute's sensors laboratory. He is also an Assistant Professor in the University of Dayton School of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Johnson's research and professional interests are in chemical and biological sensors, biotechnological and biomedical applications of sensors, redox monitoring and control of biochemical systems, bioelectrochemistry, biocatalysis, photochemistry, and photobiology.

Dr. Johnson received his master's and doctoral degrees in analytical and biochemistry at Wright State University and the University of Cincinnati, respectively. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has co-authored a number of publications in his areas of research. Dr. Johnson is also the sole inventor on five U.S. patents and co-inventor on two additional patents.

The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) is a national leader in scientific and engineering research, serving government, industry, and nonprofit customers. UDRI's professional engineers and scientists conduct research and provide support in a wide variety of technical areas, ensuring customer success by delivering affordable and innovative solutions, leading edge technologies, and outstanding service. Major research areas include aerospace and automotive industries, materials and processes, manufacturing technology, environmental sciences, engineering, and information technology. UDRI also contributes to the fulfillment of the University's commitments to education, research, and public service through the involvement of students, faculty, and external partners.

Posted by David Lemberg at 09:59 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

October 02, 2005

Dr. Sylvester James Gates, John S. Toll Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory, University of Maryland, 9/14/05

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Dr. Sylvester James Gates is known for his skill at communicating the ideas at the frontiers of particle physics to general audiences. He explains how Albert Einstein's quest to find a "Unified Field Theory" seems to lead to superstring/M-theory, which describes infinitesimal vibrating structures that may encode all of physical reality. A celebrated scientist and teacher, Dr. Gates also is respected for his views on issues of general education in science and mathematics, the challenge of technical educations for African-Americans, and the issues of affirmative action and equity in science and society.

Dr. Gates has published more than 100 scientific papers, co-authored one book, and contributed numerous articles in others. He has been profiled by newspapers such as the Washington Post and has provided commentary on scientific stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today. Dr. Gates has appeared on three PBS scientific documentaries (most recently, "The Elegant Universe"), and will be seen in the broadcast of "Einstein's Big Idea" on PBS in October 2005. Dr. Gates is giving nearly 50 invited talks at national and international celebrations of the centennial of Einstein's "Miraculous Year", World Year of Physics 2005.

Dr. Gates also is active in the international arena with respect to science, education, and development on the African continent and beyond. He holds an honorary appointment at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town and is a supporter of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). He gave the initial scientific lecture to the inaugural class at AIMS. Dr. Gates has advised the government of South Africa on the use of its national physics infrastructure and economic development, and participated in discussions in the nation of Mali concerning science, research, education, and development.

Posted by David Lemberg at 02:41 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index