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November 27, 2017

  • Thanksgiving Break Ends-Classes Resume

    Monday, November 27, 2017

    Thanksgiving break begins at the close of class on 11/23/17 and ends at the beginning of class on Monday, 11/27/17.

  • Penn Sociology Colloquium Series: Max Besbris, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rice University

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    103 McNeil Building

  • High Energy Theory Seminar: "BMS Invariant Fluids"

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 2:00pm

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, 2N36

    The Bondi-van der Burg-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) group is the asymptotic symmetry group of asymptotically flat spacetime.  It is related to flat gravity in the same way that the conformal group is related to anti de Sitter gravity.  However, while the conformal group is well known throughout field theory, the BMS group is rather mysterious.  We show that the BMS group is closely related to infinite dimensional symmetry groups governing fluid dynamics.  We use a relationship between gravitating systems and lower dimensional fluids on their boundaries to give a new derivation of the BMS group in three spacetime dimensions.

  • HSS Workshop: Lijing Jiang

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 3:30pm

    337 Claudia Cohen Hall

    Lijing Jiang, Haas Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical Heritage Foundation
    Visions of Life in the Land of Change: The Goldfish as Pet and Experimental Organism in Twentieth-Century China
    For the development of genetics, embryology, and aquaculture technology in China, the goldfish has played a uniquely important role partly because of its connections to experimental traditions, historical heritage, and economically valuable fishes. Building upon well-developed literature on model organisms in the life sciences, this talk gives an overview of the trajectory of using the goldfish as an experimental organism in twentieth-century China, while illuminating how its scientific life co-evolved with its varied representations as pet in China's changing political and cultural milieus. It shows how biologists engaged local cultures, politics, and global scientific traditions in genetics, embryology and evolution to construct different research programs of the goldfish in drastically different political climate. Following the fish, we open windows to understand the changing epistemic and socio-cultural space of biology in the country. Some of the scientists, for example, have used the goldfish to study Mendelian genetics in the Republican period, to support cytoplasmic inheritance and a "Great-Leap Forward" in aquaculture in early Communist years, or to test new biotechnological promises during the economic reform. In the end, I will raise questions about the exact epistemic and social functions, as well as the "modelness" of the goldfish as reflected in the scientific and political activities mentioned in the talk. I will also discuss the question how such regional focus on a single species that was less studied elsewhere help us to explore new ways to study world histories of biology and the role of local organisms in them.

  • MIRA Open: The Embodied Mind, Chs 5-6 (Varieties of Emergence).

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

    Cohen Hall, Room 493.

  • Material Texts: David Loewenstein (English, Penn State): “The New Oxford Edition of Paradise Lost and Early Publishing History”

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm

    Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center6th Floor of Van-Pelt Library

  • Material Texts: David Loewenstein (English, Penn State): “The New Oxford Edition of Paradise Lost and Early Publishing History”

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm

    Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center6th Floor of Van-Pelt Library

    We will be welcoming David Loewenstein for a talk entitled: “On Making and Publishing Paradise Lost: The New Oxford Edition and the Poem’s Early Publishing History.” David writes:
    This seminar will address the new Oxford University Press edition of Paradise Lost, a unique modern edition that brings together, for the first time, the 1667 and 1674 texts of the great poem. The seminar will also consider the history of publishing the poem in Milton’s lifetime, as Paradise Lost evolved from ten to twelve books and as Milton’s cultural authority was constructed and established in the great folio edition of 1688.
    David Loewenstein is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and the Humanities at Penn State-University Park. He has published widely on Milton and on politics and religion in early modern English literature and culture. His book Treacherous Faith: The Specter of Heresy in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Oxford University Press, 2013) examines the construction of heresy and heretics from More to Milton. He is the editor of John Milton, Prose: Major Writings on Liberty, Politics, Religion, and Education (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) and coeditor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2015). With Thomas Corns, he is editing Paradise Lost for the Oxford University Press edition of The Complete Works of John Milton. He is an Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America.

  • AmLit: , Black Cultural Studies Collective: Keyana Parks (WIP)

    Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

    Fisher-Bennett Hall Graduate Lounge, Room 330

November 28, 2017

  • CAMS Lunch with Robin Ren FULL

    Tuesday, November 28, 2017

    We regret that this event is fully subscribed.Robin Ren, C’95,Vice President, Asia Pacific, Tesla Inc.12:00-1:30pm, Cohen 104Robin
    Yuxiang Ren has been Vice President of Asia Pacific at Tesla since
    2015. He has a dual bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics and
    electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a
    master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He
    has held roles at companies including Rainfinity, Yahoo and Dell EMC.
    Prior to joining Tesla, Robin was CTO of XtremIO, which was acquired by
    Dell EMC in 2012. Robin then became the CTO of the XtremIO business unit
    at Dell EMC.See more CAMS events.

  • CNI Seminar: Eve Armstrong

    Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 11:30am

    SAIL Room, 111 Levin Building (425 S. University Ave.)

    Eve ArmstrongCNI post-docUniversity of PennsylvaniaCrafting and testing functional architectures for pattern-generating networkToday I will discuss both modeling of biological neuronal networks and a method to test such models. First I will describe a small-scale model of nucleus HVC of the zebra finch, a region implicated in song control. The core element of the model is a functional architecture that can exhibit multiple modes of activity depending on model parameter values. Specifically, the strengths of inhibitory chemical synapses modulate a pattern of activity among excitatory neurons. The model reproduces many observed features of HVC population activity.Next I will describe an optimization technique for determining which measurements are required to estimate unknown model parameters. Specifically, I will use simulated time series of membrane voltages to estimate the synaptic strengths and electrophysiological properties of the neurons in the HVC model, where the test of success is the ability to predict the associated mode of network activity. In addition, I will show how the procedure can "prune" a model to the maximum dimensionality required to capture observations. Finally, I will comment on plans to approach the (formidably challenging) case in which the measurements consist of real biological data.A pizza lunch will be served.