2016 Schedule

Monday, January 11, 2016

Congregation Emanuel
51 Grape Street, Denver, CO 80220

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Schedule of Events

9:25 am
9:30-10:30 am
Mathematics and Sustainability: What is the Connection?

Dr. Victor Donnay, Professor of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr college, will discuss links between mathematical modeling and environmental sustainability. His students are carrying our service learning projects with community partners to illustrate the usefulness of mathematical skills in analyzing issues of sustainability. He will speak about his experiences as Chair of the national advisory committee for Mathematics Awareness Month 2013 and present his TED ED animated video on tipping points and climate change. Part of his presentation will be a hands-on participatory session, so attendees are encouraged to bring a copy of their monthly electricity bill. 

In his teaching, Dr. Donnay, who earned his Ph.D. at NYU Courant Institute, works on making connections between mathematics and issues of civic  engagement. He has participated in several NSF funded projects to improve math and science education. He chairs the college’s Sustainability Leadership Group and he directs Bryn Mawr’s Enviromenral Studies Program. 


10:45 – 11:45 AM
From Blood to Brain: Cells from the Immune System Generate New Neurons in the Adult Brain

What if the immune system can provide neural precursor cells in the adult brain? Dr. Barbara S. Beltz, Allene Lummis Russell Professor of Neuroscience at Wellesley College, will discuss new frontiers for research into neurodegenerative disorders, clinical depression and brain cancer. She will share her insights on generation of new nerve cells in adult brains of many organisms including humans and crustaceans. 

11:45 am-12:30 pm
Box Luncheon Served
12:30 – 1:30 PM
Disruptive Innovation as a Liberal Art: Remaking Higher Education in the 21st Century

Dr. Dan Ryan will present his work on educational innovation within the academy. He will examine this question: Why is there so little innovation in places where the liberal arts have an advantage if Steve Jobs was correct when he said, “It’s technology, married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing”? He will discuss ways that colleges may change, not for the sake of change alone, but to find new solutions for new problems. He will question whether colleges remain too true to 19th century origins, and whether the “new” is just a digital remake of the “old.” As contemporary higher education faces a number of challenges, including those from entrepreneurs developing “killer apps” that could disrupt our current educational model – similar to Apple remaking the music industry or Amazon reworking the book publishing industry – Dr. Ryan will preview a course designed to provide insight into these challenges. 

Dr. Ryan, Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Head of Sociology and Anthropology at Mills College, holds a B.A. in Mathematics from New College of Florida and a Masters in Philosophy and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University. He specializes in the social psychology of organizations, social networks and intelligent agent modeling.

For over forty years, College for a Day has brought professors from top liberal arts colleges to the greater Denver Community for stimulating lectures, each followed by an informative, question and answer discussion. Profits help support the participating schools.

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