Flight Instruction to Gas Hydrates: Mic/Nite Highlights Faculty Research

mic-niteParticipants can get a whirlwind education on a variety of topics at Mic/Nite, where eleven UT faculty members will take turns making short presentations about their work.

This semester’s Mic/Nite will be held on Thursday, March 13, at the Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 North Central Avenue.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour, including a cash bar and free pizza. Presentations will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude around 8:30 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening.

The free event is open only to UT faculty, staff, and their spouses or partners, and those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP online.

Mic/Nite is described as a “Pecha Kucha–powered social gathering to enhance the intellectual, interdisciplinary, and cultural life of the faculty and staff at UT.” Held each semester, the upcoming event will be the sixth Mic/Nite and is part of the university’s Top 25 initiative.

Originating in Tokyo, Pecha-Kucha (pronounced peh-CHAKH-cha) is a simple lecture format where presenters show and discuss twenty images for twenty seconds each, for a total of only six minutes and forty seconds.

“UT is a large university, and it can be easy for faculty to narrowly focus on their specific discipline. Mic/Nite provides an opportunity to learn about important, innovative, and interesting research happening in the different colleges and departments,” said Beauvais Lyons, Mic/Nite coordinator and Chancellor’s Professor in the School of Art. All speakers are selected by the academic deans, and the presentations reflect the intellectual diversity of the campus.

Presentation topics for the spring 2014 Mic/Nite include:

  • “Reversing Climate Change by Design” by Mark Dekay, associate professor of architecture. Dekay will discuss how changes in buildings’ design can lower greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately reverse climate change.
  • “The Genesis of Spanish: Conquest, Caves, Centralism” by Gregory Kaplan, professor of modern foreign languages and literatures. Kaplan will discuss the beginning and spread of the Spanish language.
  • “Making Circles Behave” by Ken Stephenson, professor of mathematics. Stephenson will present a visual tour of static and moving circle packings, which are arrangements of circles with a specified pattern of tangencies.
  • “My Life as a Flight Instructor” by Terry L. Leap, Lawson Professor of Business Administration and head of the Department of Management. Leap will talk about the process of becoming an airplane pilot.
  • “The ‘Luntzification’ of the Health Care Debate” by Mark Harmon, professor of journalism and electronic media. Harmon will explain how pollster Frank Luntz shifted the terminology during health care policy debate.
  • “Dirt Don’t Hurt!” by Dawn P. Coe, assistant professor of kinesiology, recreation, and sport studies. Coe will discuss outdoor play in “natural playgrounds,” which incorporate elements such as tree stumps, boulders, and logs.
  • “How Many Punches Can Mother Nature Take in the Gulf of Mexico?: Focus on the Deepwater Horizon Spill & Science and the Media” by Terry Hazen, UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering. Hazen will discuss the questionable and sensationalized journalism that surrounded the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill and give suggestions on how to avoid future media extravaganzas.
  • “Gas Hydrates—Nuisance or Natural Energy Source and Sequestration Medium” by Claudia J. Rawn, director of the Center for Materials Processing and associate professor of materials science and engineering. Rawn will explore how crystalline gas hydrates, generally a nuisance to the gas and oil industry, could be harvested as an energy source.
  • “A Hidden Musical Treasure from East Tennessee: J. Lawrence Cook” by Alan Wallace, associate professor and education librarian. Wallace will discuss the work of pianist J. Lawrence Cook and his impact on East Tennessee’s musical heritage.
  • “Life Begins and Ends with a KiSS” by Brian Whitlock, assistant professor of large animal clinical sciences. Whitlock will explain the role of KiSS, a gene that regulates reproduction of cancer cells.
  • “Smaller is Stronger: Exploring the Strange New World of Small-Scale Mechanic” by George M. Pharr, Chancellor’s Professor and McKamey Professor, director, UT–ORNL Joint Institute for Advanced Materials—Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Pharr will discuss the small-scale mechanical behavior of a wide variety of materials, with examples from materials science, biology, geology, and medicine.

C O N T A C T :

Beauvais Lyons (865-974-3202, blyons@utk.edu)

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