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Lecture Previews

Mechanisms of Biological Dynamics Determined from Studies of Virus Particle Maturation

Monday, Sept, 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Wean Hall 7500

In this lecture, Jack Johnson, head of the structural virology department at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., will discuss how the accessibility of bacteriophage maturation to structural, biophysical, and genetic methods enhances scientists’ understanding of novel processes in biological dynamics.

His lecture will include identifying mechanisms that create energy landscapes for exothermic virus maturation, as well as discovering a means of directing the effects of thermal fluctuations for particle development through a Brownian ratchet. Johnson will also explain his encoded program, a biological nano-machine, that directs particle maturation.

School of Art Lecture Series

Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 5 p.m.

Kresge Theater, CFA

In this lecture, Nobuho Nagasawa will discuss her various works and life as an artist. Her pieces primarily focus on politics, ecology, and psychology. She uses the medium of site-specific art to incorporate community participation. She also uses in-depth research into cultural history and memory for each piece she creates.
In the field of public art, Nagasawa has been commissioned for more than 25 projects internationally, and has received numerous awards. Most recently, she has been selected to work on a project in downtown Pittsburgh, which makes a connection between the Mon Wharf and Point Park University’s campus.

Nagasawa has an extensive international exhibition record, which includes the Royal Garden of the Prague Castle in the Czech Republic, Ludwig Museums in Germany and Hungary, Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico, Alexandria Library in Egypt, and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Calif. in the United States.

Exploring Impossible Spaces: Practical Illusions in Virtual Reality

Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m.

Mauldin Auditorium (Newell-Simon Hall 1305)

Postdoctoral research associate Evan Suma from the University of Southern California will describe experiments with “impossible spaces,” environments that leverage perceptual illusions to relax physical space constraints when walking naturally through a virtual world.

His lecture will begin with an overview of the topic, discussing how natural locomotion is one of the fundamental challenges for immersive virtual environments. His study’s results have shown that these illusions can successfully fool the senses into believing there is an expansive virtual environment despite being in a considerably smaller physical workspace.

Mahatma Gandhi Birthday Celebration

Sunday, Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh

This Sunday is Gandhi Jayanti, the national holiday celebrated in India to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. This event will celebrate Gandhi as a global humanitarian figure with cultural performances, interfaith presentations, and a talk by Uma Majmudar, a Gandhian researcher and published author. Majmudar’s lecture will be titled “Gandhi’s Legacy of ‘Satyagraha’ in the Modern World.” In her talk, she will answer such questions as what “Satyagraha” is, whether it involves passive resistance or civil disobedience, how Gandhi coined this term, and what it meant to him.

Majmudar’s most famous work is her novel Gandhi’s Pilgrimage of Faith: From Darkness to Light.