Polymathic Pizza - Weird Science

Spring 2012
Polymathic Pizza - Weird Science

A series of informal yet directed undergraduate encounters with faculty who have demonstrated polymathic approaches to scholarship and teaching.

Spring 2012 discussions will explore the wonder, mystery, and vast, inviting strangeness of scientific pursuits.

Held on selected Wednesdays throughout Spring 2012 in Doheny Memorial Library (DML) Room 241, 5:00pm – 6:30pm, unless noted otherwise.

Clifford Johnson
January 25, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Herklotz Room, G24

How does the cosmos—whether one or multiple—hold itself together?  Here’s one theory, strings, the unifying of the universe via a sub-atomic grid that some scientists see as the binding force of the cosmos.   A USC physicist will suggest how this might be happening and the multiple disciplines...

Caleb Finch
February 8, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

While genes determine whether a fertilized egg will become a mouse or a man, there is a level of biological randomness that causes identical twins to differ even before birth. This levels of randomness helps understand the limited success of the human genome projects in finding gene differences...

Clifford Johnson
February 29, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

How does the cosmos—whether one or multiple—hold itself together?  Here’s one theory, strings, the unifying of the universe via a sub-atomic grid that some scientists see as the binding force of the cosmos.   A USC physicist will continue his conversation with students how this might be...

Jed Fuhrman
March 7, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

We are not alone on this planet.  Bugs are everywhere, butterflies and viruses alike.  What are bugs trying to teach us regarding mutation and survival?  Will we ever win the battle against deadly viruses? Or will bugs prove our undoing?

Thomas Jordan
March 21, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

USC sits atop earthquake country—one stop on the Ring of Fire encircling the Pacific.  No wonder USC is the headquarters of enquiry across dozens of disciplines into the whys, wherefores, and—most important of all—the predictability of a whole lot of shakin’ going on.

Gregor B. Adams
April 4, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Stem cells are the protean building blocks of biological life, triggered into multiple formats by genetic chemistry.  Hence they offer breathtaking possibilities for regenerative medicine.  How far along are we in understanding these design mechanisms?

Florence Clark
April 11, 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Why get up in the morning anyway?  USC Professor Florence Clark has some answers.  Professor Clark helped pioneer the field of occupational science – how and why, although deceptively simple, everyday activities are actually extraordinarily complex, giving life purpose and meaning, impacting...