February 10 Scholar Recognition Day Seminars

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Ancient Shipwrecks and Roman Harbors. Learn how Luther students become practicing field archaeologists—both above and below water—on summer study-away projects in the Mediterranean region.

Bargaining for Justice? Students will have the opportunity to play the role of prosecutors and defense attorneys as they attempt to negotiate plea bargains in various court cases.

Biology Research and Study Away Opportunities. Tour biology research labs and visit with current biology students and faculty to find out about some of the collaborative research projects that are happening at Luther College.

Chemistry Makes Scents. The human nose is a very sensitive detector of odor. Explore the molecular characteristics that make one molecule smell fruity and another smell like sweaty socks. Bring your nose!

Creative, Collaborative, and Comfortable Communities: Making Music in your First Year at Luther. Topics will include:

  • How music can fit into the schedule of first-year students.
  • The value of ensemble participation in a liberal arts environment.
  • Testimonials of students who participate in music and sports.
  • Testimonials of students who participate in multiple ensembles.
  • Testimonials of students new to music as first-years.
  • Scholarship requirements.

Did Hobbits Really Speak English? J. R. R. Tolkien is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but he was also a linguist and an eminent scholar of Old English. We’ll examine how he applied the linguistic genius he developed as a lexicographer, a philologist, and an historical linguist to the shaping of the languages and alphabets of Middle Earth.

Estimating Conduction Velocity in Human Nerves. In this session, you will be able to measure the speed at which electrical impulses travel along nerves within the human forearm. Additionally, you will explore factors that may increase or decrease the speed at which this form of electrical communication takes place.

Family Communication. Families are complicated. Join as we discuss and consider communication, relationships, and self within family structures. Through media examples, discussion, and reflection we’ll explore how families shape and influence our lives.

Healers, Sorcerers, and Misfortune in Northern Chile. Anthropologists are known for exploring different cultural beliefs and practices around the world. Come and learn about ethnographic research results on indigenous women’s strategies for the protection of their health and wellness aided by healers or sorcerers in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile.

Human Anatomy. We will use prosected (previously dissected) human cadavers to look at some of the major human muscles, arteries, nerves, and joints. We will also examine organs such as the human heart, brain, and lungs. This session is appropriate for anyone who has an interest in what the human body looks like inside.

International Studies Roundtable: Study Abroad Experiences and Research. In this session, Luther's International Studies Director and current students will talk about the International Studies major. Then, students will share their study abroad experience, including some of their academic work abroad as well as the social aspect of studying in a different country. They will also share a little bit about their research projects, and how those projects relate to their study abroad experience.

Investigating Friction and Wear: Where Science and Engineering Meet. Learn about science and engineering at the nanoscale through hands-on activities involving everyday objects like refrigerator magnets and LEGOs®. So just how small is nano, anyway? How do scientists manipulate objects that are too small to see? To make long-lasting wind turbines and high fuel-efficiency car engines, engineers and scientists need to reduce friction between rubbing surfaces and minimize the amount of material lost due to wear. Control of friction and wear of materials is achieved by investigating friction and wear at the smallest of scales: at the nanoscale. Such investigations require perform high precision equipment, such as the atomic force microscope, an instrument capability of seeing atoms on a surface.

Meeting Luther's Climate Goals: What is the Next Step? To keep global warming to less than 1.5 degrees celsius, the world needs to become carbon neutral by 2030.  Luther College is half way there - the college's carbon footprint is half of what it was in 2003 - an accomplishment achieved through a combination of energy efficiency improvements and renewable wind and solar electricity production.   Much of the college’s remaining carbon footprint comes from heating buildings, which is currently done using natural gas.  What are the options for the next step as Luther continues to make cuts to its carbon dioxide emissions?  Seminar participants will learn about the science and policy behind sustainability as we discuss several options - and their tradeoffs - currently under consideration for carbon footprint reductions at Luther, including producing natural gas from cow or pig manure, producing natural gas from grasses, or switching to electrically-powered heat pumps.  

Modeling Avalanches in a Sandpile. How do avalanches occur in large piles of sand? Together, we will explore the dynamics of a particular sandpile model in small groups. In particular, we will examine how the Catalan Triangle helps count the number of possible sandpile configurations. This hands-on seminar will follow the discovery process of a past summer Student-Faculty Research Collaboration with Luther students.

Simulation in Healthcare Education: What is it and How Does it Work? Simulation is a hot topic in the education of healthcare professionals and yet this practice has been used for over 100 years. Simulation encompasses a variety of practices including role-playing among students; use of special actors known as standardized patients; and use of anatomical models, virtual patients, and electronic patients. This seminar, conducted by a member of the nursing faculty, will include a brief introduction to healthcare simulation and provide an opportunity to participate in a simulation activity.

So You Think You Are Not Creative? Creativity is essential to success in today's business world. Fortunately, creativity is a thinking skill that can be learned. Come learn how you can be creative on demand and develop new ideas for businesses and products.

Soil Turning: A Dance-Theatre Workshop. We will explore the process of creating a dance-theatre piece inspired by the theme of identity. Participants will be guided to share their experiences around identity through writing, moving, speaking, and listening.

Special January Term Experiences for Education Students. Education majors and minors share and discuss their involvement in practicum experiences at Luther. First-year students will share pictures and stories from the Education department's annual teaching observation trip in New Mexico. Juniors and seniors will describe their opportunities for teaching around the world.

Studios and Creative Practice. Tour art and performance studios and visit with current VPA students and faculty to find out how creative projects happen in the Center for the Arts at Luther College.

Study Abroad Opportunities IN Spanish. Hear ¡en español! about short-term and long-term study abroad opportunities in Spanish speaking countries. Spanish majors and minors at Luther spend time abroad immersing themselves in language and culture. Faculty and current students will show you where our students go and what they do while studying abroad. You will also have a chance to share your own travel and study abroad experiences while practicing your language skills.

The Computer Science of Social Media Filters. When you look at a picture online, it's hard to tell which images are real, and which are computer-generated. In this workshop, we will explore some of the techniques used to create these computer-generated images.

The Troubadours and Love Songs. Troubadours wrote songs on many of the same topics that popular musicians sing about today: love, desire, war, and politics. We will explore how troubadours expressed their heartbreak and longing by setting words to music. In doing so, we will gain insights into medieval concepts of love.

Triumph of Wild Animals over People? This talk explores the impact of wildlife conservation policies on rural populations in Southern Africa. In 2002, the Mozambican, South African, and Zimbabwean governments committed themselves to incorporating close to 3.6 million hectares of land—where the three countries meet—into the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), a wildlife park bigger than New Jersey, Rhode Island and Hawaii put together. Despite the claims to community participation, the park has largely been justified in terms of the needs of wildlife; its planners ignore how it denies access to water, forests, and land to rural populations living inside and adjacent to the park. Discussion will focus on ways to encompass the perspectives and interests of rural societies in utilizing wildlife resources—a key to attaining peace and sustainable development.

Yuck! That’s Disgusting! Disgust is a universal human emotion. From open sores to cockroaches, the things that gross us out reveal important things about our evolved psychological nature. In this lab we will activate your disgust emotion (in a fun way!) and demonstrate how disgust is an adaptive system.