S17A2 Science Smorgasbord
A sample of the sciences will start with was there really a Big Bang, and why do we think so? We will end with mathematics of the late 20th century: chaos, fractals, and strange attractors, which is a recently developed field with implications in many sciences. Between the Big Bang and chaos, we will explore organisms and the genetic modification of them in the USA, climate change from prehistoric to modern times, and animal cognition with What Animals Think: Clever Crows, Joyous Whales, and Grieving Elephants.
LLI member Bill Ingham attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and did his graduate work in astrophysics. He was a faculty member at JMU for 34 years, where he was on the staff of the Honors Program and taught courses in physics, astronomy, and the history of science.
Jon Kastendiek is an Associate Professor of Biology, Emeritus, at JMU. His research interests include the influence of mammalian grazers and understory vegetation on patterns of forest.
Dave Pruett is a Professor Emeritus of applied mathematics at JMU, a former NASA researcher, and author of Reason and Wonder: A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit (HB 2012, PB 2015).
Robyn A. Puffenbarger received a B.S. in biology from Virginia Tech. She attended the Medical College of Virginia and earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology. She continued her studies as a post-doctoral research fellow at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her current research involves many aspects of molecular biology. Puffenbarger joined the Bridgewater College faculty in 2001.
Sarah Swank is Professor Emerita of Biology at Bridgewater College where she taught for over 25 years. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California with an emphasis on ecology and evolution. While at Bridgewater, she taught ecological field courses in the Bahamas, Kenya and Tanzania, and Costa Rica. Since her retirement, she has taught and traveled with the University of Virginia's Semester at Sea.
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