STEM Seminar Spring 2021 - Class Activities

Fri April 23 - Chemistry Guest Speaker
Dr. Brett Taubman, Professor and Director of Fermentation Sciences, App State

Title: Bypassing the Malting Process with Koji
Abstract: Barley is a critical component of the brewing process, contributing fermentable sugars, flavor, and aroma. To be of use, enzymes must digest polymers in the grain to develop fermentable wort. These enzymes are synthesized and/or activated via malting, a seven to eight-day process consuming up to 5000 L of water. Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus that uses exogenous enzymes to saccharify substrates in the production of Asian foods and beverages. The goal of this study was to determine if A. oryzae, commonly referred to as Koji, can be used on unmalted barley to bypass malting and produce grain that may be used in brewing. This research also set out to characterize sensory characteristics exhibited by koji barley. It was predicted that koji barley would yield substantial wort extract and enzyme activity, as well as unique sensory characteristics. To test this, benchtop mash tests were performed on pearled barley previously inoculated with A. oryzae and wort extract was quantified, followed by fermentation with brewer’s yeast to observe attenuation. A starch-iodine assay was performed to determine enzyme activity and a sensory analysis was conducted to characterize flavors and aromas, with results suggesting potential applications for koji barley in the brewing industry.

Fri Apr 16 - Guest Speaker
Jakobe Bussey and Dr. Andrew Polonsky, Department of Computer Science, ASU
Title: The Logic of Type Systems, or: How to make computers understand abstract math
The formalization of mathematics is a new field whose goal is to eventually represent the entire body of mathematical knowledge on the computer. Over the years, a number of languages for computerized mathematics have been developed, achieving major milestones in formalizing proofs of important results in pure mathematics. One recent addition is the Agda language based on Dependent Type Theory, which is particularly well-suited for representing mathematical theories with computational content. In this talk, we will give an overview of logical foundations based on type theory. The fundamental idea rests on a surprising connection between proofs and programs known as the Curry--Howard isomorphism. This gives rise to a 2-layer correspondence between, on the one side, data types and programs, and, on the other side, logical formulas and proofs. .
We will demonstrate the current state of formalization technology by presenting our library of computer-checked proofs about relationships between elementary ordered structures. Arranged from the general to the particular, these are:
Partial orders > Semilattices > Lattices > Distributive Lattices > Heyting Algebras > Boolean Algebras
The latter two structures form the most general domains in which one can interpret the language of intuitionistic and classical propositional logic.

Fri Apr 9 - Geology Seminar (3:30-4:30)
Exploring the Timing, Triggering, and Spatial Distribution of Landslides along the Cascadia Subduction Zone
Dr. Alison Duvall, University of Washington

Fri Apr 2 - Easter Holiday

Fri Mar 26 - Math Guest Speaker
Title: Unfolding the Math in Origami
Noah Williams, ASU Mathematics
Abstract: Origami, the practice of paper folding, has inspired humans for centuries, but this ancient art continues to evolve as we study its underlying mathematical structure in search of beauty and solutions to modern engineering problems like designing space telescopes, medical implants and airbags. In this talk I will introduce some of the mathematical principles of origami, and we'll do some paper folding ourselves to prove that one can trisect an angle and double a cube using the Huzita-Justin origami axioms. We'll conclude by admiring some origami innovations due to Robert Lang and others.

Fri Mar 19 - Distinguished Guest Speaker
Dr. Baker Perry, ASU
Elevating Meteorological Understanding on Mt. Everest: Installing the Highest Weather Stations in the World
The highest elevations in the Hindu Kush-Karakorum-Himalayan region are among the most rapidly changing environments on the planet and of immense hydro-climatological significance, yet in-situ meteorological observations are largely non-existent above ~5,500 m. As a result, scientific understanding of glacier-climate interactions, paleoclimatic reconstructions from ice cores, and future high-elevation climate change remains limited. As part of the most comprehensive single research expedition to date in the region, our team installed a network of five automatic weather stations (AWSs) at elevations ranging from 3,810 m to 8,430 m asl during the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mt. Everest in April and May 2019. The Balcony (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m) AWSs are the highest ever installed. Each station at the minimum records temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and wind speed/direction; all but the Balcony AWS records incoming and outgoing short and long-wave radiation. Phortse (3,810 m), Pumori Bench (5,315 m), and Camp II (6,464 m) AWSs include snow depth sensors, whereas Phortse and Pumori Bench also feature a full suite of precipitation sensors, including a weighing precipitation gauge enclosed in a double-alter shield and a present weather sensor. The AWS network will greatly improve climber safety on the main climbing routes on the south side of Mt. Everest through real-time meteorological monitoring and bias correction of numerical model output. The highest stations in particular will enable the first in-situ characterization of the climate at the highest points on Earth, and will improve paleoclimatic reconstructions from nearby ice cores.

Fri Mar 12 - Guest Speaker
The Role of Adventure Exploration, and Discovery in the Environmental Studies - Why We Do It and Why It's Good for You Too!
Dr. Shea Tuberty, Department of Biology, ASU

Fri Mar 5 - No speaker
Community Building

Fri Feb 26 - Guest Speaker (Professor Anders Sjostrand)
Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and the ethics of nature conservation
Traditional notions of wilderness have long been the prevailing guiding principle within the conservation community, but at what cost? What are the implications of evicting native people in the name of preserving and caring for natural resources? In this seminar, we will explore some of the ethical and practical consequences of the globally dominant conservation paradigm, understanding the method of conservation and the development of protected areas not as inevitable, but as a political and social process.

Fri Feb 19 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Andrew Zeidell,
Flexible Electronics: Making the Future Organic

Fri Feb 12 - Sharing an Experience
My Journey ..
Chris Ballard, Director of Corporate Infrastructure, Airbnb

acred Places, what makes them important
What are common amongst you (themes, classes, dreams, ...)
Dr. Jim Street

Fri Jan 29 - Leadership Workshop-Sacred Places, what makes them Important, Part 1
Dr. Jim Street

Fri Jan 22 - Getting the Semester started
Welcome Back
Plan for the semester

Study Hall Leaders
Danny manages all the Study Halls and Breakout rooms by subject
CS Study Hall Leader - Danny Avila
CS Study Hall Leader - Bryan Hill for Intro to Midlevel courses
CS Study Hall Leader - Martin Hernandez-Gamezfor Mid to Upperlevel courses
Chemistry Study Hall Leader - Loly Amaya
Geology Study Hall Leader - Jason Sellars
Math Study Hall Leader - Sofia Cole
Physics Study Hall Leader - Dominick Fetters

Dr. Tashakkori - How is you shinny rock doing?