Lecture Preview

Title: School of Art Lecture Series — Trenton Doyle Hancock

The Basics: Trenton Doyle Hancock, a world-renowned artist and sculptor, will speak on the variety of artistic forms he uses in his efforts to convey the classic battle of good versus evil through his pieces and use of his two central characters: the Mounds and the Vegans. The complexity of Hancock’s works as well as his effective use of time shifts in conveying various stages of the episodic battle have captured the interest of many and have resulted in several solo exhibitions, most recently at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.

When: Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Where: Kresge Recital Hall, College of Fine Arts

Title: Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar — “Solving Linear Equations Using Random Walks”

The Basics: Sachin Sapatnekar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Minnesota, will discuss efficient ways to solve systems of linear equations characterized by positive, definite, diagonally dominant matrices. Sapatnekar will show that although the use of random walks was previously thought to be a complicated and unpractical method, it can be simplified through the introduction of certain mechanisms.

When: Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Scaife Hall 125

Title: Language Technologies Institute Seminar — “Statistical Parsing Triptych: Jeopardy, Morphosyntax, and M-Estimation”

The Basics: Noah Smith, an assistant professor of language technologies at Carnegie Mellon, will be speaking on recent advances made in the area of statistical parsing including new algorithmic and learning solutions. In 2007, Smith was awarded an IBM Faculty Award and made a member of the DARPA Computer Science Study Panel.

When: Friday at 2 p.m.

Where: Newell-Simon Hall 1305

Title: Humanities Center Lecture Series — “Making Citizen Participation Count: Practical Issues in Local Deliberative Polling”

The Basics: Gregg Crowley, the director of research at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh, will be speaking about the uses of the deliberative poll, a tool originally created by Jim Fishkin to address the shortage of informed political discussion among citizens. Crowley has recently been part of an effort to expand the technique’s influence and promote civic engagement in politics. He is also the author of The Politics of Place: Contentious Urban Redevelopment in Pittsburgh, as well as numerous articles and reports.

When: Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Porter Hall 100

Title: USA Today CEO Forum

The Basics: The forum will include speeches from General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as well as a featured interview with David Lieberman, a senior reporter with USA Today which will be followed by a question and answer session. The event is presented in partnership with the Carnegie Mellon Student Senate and the Tepper School of Business W.L. Mellon Speaker Series.

When: Monday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Rangos 1 and 2, University Center

Title: Sunday Poetry and Reading Series — Jerome Cooks

The Basics: Jerome Cooks, a writer and performer, will host a session on his own writing experiences. Cooks is a University of Pittsburgh graduate who has been writing for 16 years and is the founder of Speed and Briscoe, a support group for other writers.

When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

Where: Carnegie Library in Oakland, first floor