Professor of Classics, Art History, New York University
Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Jones Theatre, HSFAC
"The Dynamics of Discovery: Unearthing Lost Truths from the Ancient Past"
From excavation trenches to the history books, the discovery of new evidence and the ways in which this shapes what we call "knowledge" is an ever-dynamic process. Focusing on a series of recent breakthroughs, Dr. Connelly takes us from the Acropolis of classical Athens, to an island sanctuary off Cyprus in the final years of Cleopatra's reign, to another island in the Arabian Gulf where descendants of Alexander's armies kept Greek culture alive centuries after his death. New discoveries in art, architecture, texts, and rituals at these sites have turned conventional wisdom on its head as they rewrite history. The study of new evidence calls for teamwork, open-minds, and innovative thinking. The learning process itself is recreated.
MICHAEL K. SALEMI
Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Monday, October 21, 2013, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Kayser Auditorium, HSB
"Debt and Taxes"
Data show that the US national debt has risen substantially in recent years. Most economists agree that growth in government debt should be curtailed and that eventual debt reduction is a good idea. But how urgent is the problem of government debt? The argument of this lecture has four parts. The first reviews data on debt and some basic concepts and definitions. The second explains how an economist looks at debt in general and government debt in particular. The third asks whether the US is near a debt "tipping point," a level of debt so high that debt reduction becomes very difficult if not impossible. The fourth considers the "slow-growth" tipping point suggested by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff and reviews the recent controversy surrounding the Reinhart-Rogoff findings.
Curator's Teaching Professor of Physics, University of Missouri
Monday, October 28, 2013, 7:00-8:00 p.m., B110, Baylor Science Building
"Blind to Polarization - What Humans Cannot See"
Light is a fundamental necessity for most creatures on our planet. It makes our lives possible; without it we'd be blind, lost in the unknown. Yet humans only perceive two properties of light, brightness and color. The third, polarization, is almost undetectable to our eyes. But nature offers as wide a visual variety in the realm of polarization as it does with color. A rich panorama of sights can be discovered with the help of a polarizing filter. This talk will explore natural phenomena as well as modern-day applications of polarization, ranging from 3D movies to engineering design. We will conduct a few hands-on activities during the lecture - if available, bring your polarized sunglasses, and a smartphone/iPad/laptop with you.