Workshop on Effective Communication

SPIE Traveling Lecturer: The Science of Invisibility

On Friday, January 27th, we were pleased to host Professor Greg Gbur from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNCC) Department of Physics and Optics for our yearly SPIE Traveling lecturer series.

This year’s talk had everyone intrigued from the beginning. With the clever title “How not to be seen: the science of invisibility,” Professor Gbur talked us through the crazy science fiction and the even crazier science of cloaking technology, invisibility, and metamaterials. We laughed, we cried, we asked “WTF.” Slide after slide, we were emerged in the science and fun speculation with what one can do with the increasingly plausible notion of invisibility. Protect from earthquakes? Make a hole in a wall? Turn a spoon into a coffee cup???

Apparently, this is what theorists do 🙂

Also, Greg is a fantastic, interesting speaker, and we were so glad to host him. Professor Gbur also writes two web blogs on creepy stuff in science called the Science Chamber of Horrors, and a fun exploration of physics, optics, and pulp fuction: Skulls in the Stars

Thanks for joining us on this blustery day, Greg! We hope you come visit us soon!

Art in Science 2016: Reception and Winners

On November 17th, we held the reception for our annual Art in Science competition.

We were pleased to have received 40 submissions from departments across UCI’s campus. The stellar quality was impressive! Our guest judge, Professor Stephen Barker and Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, eloquently told us his vision for the winners: how one may make emotions and perceptions come alive in art.

Professor Barker and our very own and much beloved adviser, Professor Eric O. Potma from the Department of Chemistry, came to unanimous decision on the top two winners and one honorable mention.

Honorable Mention: Neha Garg, “LCAT Particles”

The picture represents the particle (fluorescent) trapping in the microstreaming vortices at air-liquid interfaces. The air-liquid interfaces are actuated using an acoustic wave which creates streamlines in the fluid causing the particles to trap.


2nd Place: Haoxin Zhange, “Fear of the Brain”

When animals or human beings are threatened, they feel fear. In my study, the virus containing the m-cherry fluorescent protein gene sequence and the opsin gene sequence was labeled to Parvalbumin-positive neuron subtype in certain areas of the mice’s brain. Exciting these neuron optogenetically will induce the innate fear responses of the animal. In the behavioural experiment, rodent presented freezing behaviour, which means they were feeling fear, when stimulating these specific neuron. The brain tissue was then sliced and the labeled neurons were captured by confocal microscopy. This figure presents the neurons responsible for fear emotion in rodent brain.

1st Place: Yasemin Sarigul-Klijn, “Musicglove”

[This comic is] inspired by the research that has gone on with my lab to aid people with disability, and that I too have had the privilege to contribute to.

With a good dose of art and snacks, we bid 2016, adieu. To view this year’s, and past year’s winners, drop by the lobby in Natural Sciences 2 when you need a study/lab break!