Old Dominion University
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Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference




 

Friday April 13th

Lawrence B. Weinstein, Ph.D.
University Professor
Department of Physics
Old Dominion University

Guesstimation: Back of the envelope solutions to the world's problems
You can estimate anything using just a few simple principles and a little basic scientific knowledge. This talk will present and apply those principles to cover topics from the serious to the silly, from the relative power densities of the Sun and a gerbil, to the relative merits of gasoline and electric cars.

 

Saturday April 14th

John A. Adam, Ph.D.
University Professor
Department of
Mathematics and Statistics
Old Dominion University

Noticing Mathematical Patterns in Nature
This presentation will include many color photographs of naturally-occurring patterns; these can be fascinating, intriguing, and frequently very beautiful. Such patterns are exhibited in rainbows, ice crystal halos, sundogs, waves, sunflowers and daisies, pinecones, spider webs, clouds, trees, river meanders, mountain shadows, glitter paths and sunbeams, to name but a few. The word 'pattern' implies an underlying scientific and mathematical basis for describing and explaining what we see (to some degree, at least). Indeed, mathematics has been called the science of patterns. Patterns we notice in nature can reveal to us much of the beauty of mathematics (and vice versa); furthermore, they are free, and accessible to anyone with a love of nature, and a willingness to look up, down or around (except while driving!).

 


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