Spring 2015 Science Seminars

All Seminars will be held each THURSDAY in Powell Hall Auditorium at 4pm. Powell Hall is located next door to the Bailey Science Center

January 29               

The Pecan: America’s Tree of Life

Dr. Lenny Wells, Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA

Hosting Dept: Biology

February 5

The Status of the Blackbanded Sunfish and Other Select Species in the State of Georgia.

Dr. David Bechler, Department of Biology, VSU

Hosting Dept: Biology

February 12

Reserved

Dr. Eric Chambers, Department of Biology, VSU

Hosting Dept: Biology

February 19

Development, Risk, and Confidence in Science Cross-Nationally

Dr. Anne Price, Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

February 26

A Pot of Gold: Rainbows as a Calibration Cue

Abstract:   Rainbows are ephemeral, optical and meteorological phenomena caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets in the air, most often after a storm. In this talk, I will present our work on how rainbows captured on photographs provide unique camera calibration cues. Rainbows are centered exactly opposite the sun and have an outer radius of 42 degrees. I will formally define the geometry and describe minimal sets of constraints that are sufficient for estimating camera calibration. I will present both semi-automatic and fully automatic methods to calibrate a camera using an image of a rainbow.  To demonstrate our methods, we collected a large database  of rainbow images and use these to evaluate the calibration accuracy and created an empirical model of rainbow appearance.  I will show how this model can be used to edit rainbow appearance in natural images and how rainbow appearance together with a horizon line estimate and capture time, provide an estimate of camera location on Earth.

Dr. Radu Mihail, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, VSU

Hosting Dept: Mathematics and Computer Science

March 5

Discrete Lattice Paths, Fourier, and Random Walks

Dr. Shaun Ault, Brooke Johnson, & Dr. Charles Kicey, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, VSU

Hosting Dept: Mathematics and Computer Science
March 12

Reserved

Dr. Ryan Range, Dept of Biology, Mississippi State University

Hosting Dept: Biology

March 19

The Kerala School of Mathematics and the emergence of Calculus around 1400 AD

Abstract: In 14th century Kerala a remarkable group of mathematicians developed a technique to express the sine, cosine and tangent function in terms of the angle itself. The methods used are very closely related to later techniques usually associated with newton and Leibniz centuries later.  This knowledge from India has been known in Europe since 1835, but was conveniently ignored by historians of calculus.. It took persistent efforts by Indian mathematicians to bring this back to the honest attention of the world. 

Dr. Iwan Elstak, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, VSU

Hosting Dept: Mathematics and Computer Science

March 26

Spring Break WEEK                                                      

April 2

TBA

Dr. Ken Sulak, Lead Scientist - Coastal Ecology & Conservation Research Group

Sturgeon Quest Leader, Southeast Ecological Science Center

U.S. Geological Survey

Hosting Dept: Biology

April 9

Reserved

Dr. Sophie George, Program Director BIO/DBI; National Science Foundation

Hosting Dept: Biology

April 16

Our Coastlines Under Siege

Dr. John Tanacredi, Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Research

Molloy College, NY

Hosting Dept: Biology

April 23

Evaluating Cognitive Flexibility & Risky Decision-making

Dr. Joshua Rodefer, Department of Psychology, VSU

Hosting Dept: Psychology