Lecture Previews

Benjamin Madueme Jan 30, 2012

Music in the Brain: Pitch, Plasticity, Imagery, and Emotion
Monday at 4:30 p.m.
Steinberg Auditorium
(Baker Hall A53)

Robert Zatorre, the James McGill Professor of Neuroscience at McGill University, will be giving a talk on the brain’s response to music, explaining the mysteries of how the brain perceives music and why music sometimes elicits an emotional response. The lecture will focus on identifying the portions of the brain that deal with music processing and musical imagery. Zatorre will touch on studies that claim the strong positive emotion elicited by certain types of music seems to be mediated by the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, a neural pathway believed to be associated with feelings of reward and motivation.

Entries from a Built Encyclopedia
Monday at 6 p.m.
Carnegie Museum of Art Theater

Charles Rosenblum, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Schools of Art and Architecture, will give a lecture on Henry Hornbostel’s School of Applied Design, now known as the College of Fine Arts.
The building played an integral role in the promotion of the arts on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. Unlike the buildings he designed for Carnegie Tech, and unlike Hornbostel’s other major works, the College of Fine Arts building was never published in a major architectural journal. Through an in-depth analysis of its design and construction, Rosenblum will affirm the architectural significance of the building.
Rosenblum has written numerous essays on Hornbostel’s works, and is currently working with filmmakers on a documentary about Hornbostel’s architecture.

Hydrodynamics and Elastodynamics of Flagellated Bacteria
Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Wean Hall 7218

Henry Shum, a professor at the University of Oxford, will present a new model of bacterial locomotion that considers elastic behavior in the hook that links the flagellar filament of bacteria to the motor in the cell body. The model, based on Gustav Kirchhoff’s rod theory, predicts upper and lower movement on the hook’s stiffness for effective swimming, and hints at the possibility for more complex behaviors, like cell reorientation.

Google’s Speech Internationalization Project: From 1 to 300 Languages and Beyond
Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Giant Eagle Auditorium (Baker Hall A51)

Pedro J. Moreno, a research scientist at Google, will present a lecture about Google’s speech recognition team. The team has developed speech recognition systems for more than 30 languages in a little over two years. Moreno will dive into the acoustic modeling, lexicon, language modeling, infrastructure techniques, and social engineering techniques used in the project. Google’s speech recognition team has the ultimate aim of building speech recognition systems for the world’s top 300 languages.