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Events Archive

This is a complete listing of CAS events from past semesters. The listing of events organized by Initiative can be found here.

Annual Lecture

James Anderson
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Congress passed the landmark amendments to the Constitution (13th, 14th and 15th) that ended slavery, defined citizenship, guaranteed equal protection of the laws and expanded the right to vote to all male citizens. This series of Constitutional transformations…
Renée Baillargeon
Recent research indicates that children in the first two years of life already possess rich expectations about how individuals should act toward others. These expectations appear to be guided by a small set of abstract sociomoral principles. My talk will focus on three of these principles: fairness…
Gordon A Baym
At very low temperatures certain gases and liquids undergo Bose-Einstein condensation -- a phenomenon first proposed by Einstein in 1925 -- in which atoms stop behaving independently, but march together in lock step. Only recently have physicists, using magnetic fields and lasers, been able to…
Nina Baym
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May R Berenbaum
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Leon DeCosta Dash
This will be a wide-ranging talk, covering the issues of social exclusion and underclass life. Leon Dash will cover the period from 1971-96 plus broadening the scope to the current time. He will talk about adolescent mothers and their children growing up and living in urban poverty, but only a…
Matthew W Finkin
Should the law distinguish the lease of labor from the lease of a house? Roman law said “no.” Jewish law said “yes.” The debate echoes down the centuries and in America today. By the end of the 1940s, the United States settled upon a modus vivendi: a low statutory floor for wages and hours upon…
Martha U Gillette
Timekeeping is part of the very fabric of life, embedded in the genes and expressed in orchestrated cycles of molecules, cells and body systems. Life processes oscillate over timescales of milliseconds to years. Understanding circadian rhythms, those repeating ~24 hours, has been a grand challenge.…
William T Greenough
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Bruce Hajek
AUDIO Life and random algorithms are intertwined. Individuals and communities are built upon random algorithms, through mechanisms of mutation and biological regulatory networks for evolution of individuals, to social order emerging from traditions, constitutions, and communication platforms.…
Dale J Van Harlingen
Superconductivity is one of the most remarkable and potentially useful phenomena ever discovered --- the ability of a material to carry electrical current without any loss of energy by heating was an amazing and unexpected observation first made almost 100 years ago. The mysterious behavior of…
Karl Hess
Quantum Computers that eclipse the performance of conventional digital computers represent the holy grail of current research goals. Quantum entanglement is basic to their operation and was the subject of a famous debate between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr who attempted to resolve the following…
Thomas S Huang
Computer technologies are progressing at a breakneck pace. But tremendous computing speed and enormous storage capacity do not amount to anything unless we have intelligent human-computer interfaces. In this talk, Tom Huang will describe some of the research he and his students have been conducting…
Marianne E Kalinke
With the fall of the Roman Empire and the invasions of the Germanic tribes, a literate culture was submerged by an oral one. As the pagan Germanic peoples became Christianized, the literate and Latin culture of the clergy began to coexist with the illiterate and vernacular culture of the laity.…
Benita S Katzenellenbogen
Estrogen hormones play crucial roles in women and men throughout the life cycle, regulating fertility and reproduction, supporting bone and cardiovascular health, and influencing brain function, yet estrogens can also fuel the growth of some breast cancers. Because estrogens act through specific…
Susan Kieffer
How does a curious little kid grow up to become a research scientist? Join us for an evening of fun and thought as we explore the elements that nurture creativity and careers in science. Our journey is through the second half of the 20th century to the present--from personal infancy and maturity to…
Paul Lauterbur
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Anthony J Leggett
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Stephen P. Long
As we look to plants for energy as well as food and feed, demand for major crops is expected to rise 70% by 2050. Yet yield increases from the Green Revolution, a period of agricultural innovation, are stagnating. The Green Revolution’s approaches have reached their biological limits, but…
James Marchand
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Michael Moore
The neuroscience of the last 30 years has discovered that our voluntary actions are initiated by certain happenings in our brains well prior to our consciously willing such actions to occur. That finding seems to threaten the common sense view of persons as agents who both cause such actions and…
Tere O'Connor
Tere O’Connor has created dances for the last 35 years. Often classified as an iconoclast, O’Connor perceives his journey as an organic excavation of the philosophical underpinnings of the form. A tension between his love for the art of dance and persistent questions about its use and fundamental…
David Pines
Following an elementary description of superconductivity, Pines will review the development of the microscopic theory by John Bardeen and others at the University of Illinois in the late 1950s. Pines will then describe the search for superconductivity and superfluidity in the universe, from the low…
Gene Robinson
True societies are very rare in biology, but have evolved repeatedly in a group of insects that include the ants, bees, and wasps, with the honey bee widely considered a paragon of sociality.  This lecture uses the honey bee and related species to demonstrate how the new science of genomics enables…