|February 12, 2020|Theme: Transdisciplinary Research|
Distinguished Professor Kathleen Halvorsen
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Team Science: Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Transdisciplinary Research
The creation and management of effective large, complex research teams and proposals is challenging. One of the keys to turning a diverse group of individual talented researchers into an effective research group is an understanding of some basic team science principles. I focus on describing some of the lessons learned together from my time working in, leading, and studying large, complex scientific research teams. My goal is to increase understanding of successful teamwork skills that can increase research team success.
|December 5, 2019|Theme: Cloud Chambers|
Distinguished Professor Raymond Shaw
The Michigan Tech Cloud Chamber – How Does It Work and What Have We Learned?
Michigan Tech is home to a unique chamber used for investigating aerosol and cloud processes relevant to weather and climate. To make a cloud, the environment has to have a relative humidity above 100%. In the laboratory that’s a tricky thing to achieve because water condenses on any available surfaces; the MTU chamber gets around that by generating clouds through turbulent mixing. The cloud chamber allows us to study a wide variety of research questions: For example, how do clouds respond to clean versus polluted conditions? Cloud chamber experiments reveal how clean clouds may produce rain more easily.
|October 16, 2019 | Theme: Utilitarian Engineering |
Distinguished Professor David Watkins
Utilitarian Engineering: Promoting Equity and Sustainability Under Resource Constraints
Research shows that happiness and life satisfaction scale with the logarithm of income. This supports the use of utility functions (and their derivative, demand curves) in engineering models for managing resources and planning infrastructure investments. Examples of resource management models that ultimately seek to maximize societal utility--both for current and future generations--will be presented, along with some limitations and research directions. The talk will begin with a disclaimer that, despite having a Ph.D., the speaker has no formal training in philosophy.