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Three Rivers Science Symposium

Octiber 19, 2012

Hosted by the departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics in the School of Arts and Sciences

Current Symposium Topics

The Foundations of Computation

Director:  Dr. Joseph Flenner

Did you ever wonder where the ideas behind the modern computer came from?  In this workshop, we trace these ideas from a surprising source in a logical and philosophical debate about the theory and limitations of mathematical reasoning and the nature of infinity.  This motivates a look at some of the abstract precursors of computers which mathematicians played with even before the technology existed to build them.  We'll get some hands on practice designing finite automata and Turing machines.

Vaccination, Outbreaks, Preventable Deaths

Director:  Dr. Amy Obringer

Join the science faculty of the University of Saint Francis and investigate disease outbreak, immunological defense to pathogens that cause infectious disease, and implications to public health.  Utilizing traditional lecture, hands on laboratory techniques and case study (supported by human cadaver lab viewing), you will probe the following:

  • the debate regarding childhood immunizations
  • pathogens that have caused recent outbreaks
  • incidence of vaccine-preventable deaths in developing countries
  • realistic scenarios that would trigger a deadly outbreak

Crime Lab:  Investigating the Evidence

Director:  Dr. Jean Elick

In this workshop participants will subject evidence taken from a mock crime scene to forensic analysis.  Participants will explore the theory and operation of instrumentation commonly found in a Crime Laboratory.  Participants will gain hands on experience manipulating forensic instrumentation such as a GCMS (Gas Chromatogram Mass Spectroscopy), FAA (Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy) or SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy).  Those involved in this workshop will spend time learning the theory of each instrument and performing the forensic analysis.