February 9 Scholar Recognition Day Seminars

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Anthropology and Public Health. The secret to curing the world is no secret at all… Learn how anthropology contributes to dispelling myths about health and illness by studying the case of Kuru in Papua New Guinea. This seminar will introduce you to the field of medical anthropology.

Buckminsterfullerenes. The discovery of a molecule comprised of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a cage-like structure (buckyballs) led to a 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Experiments that involve bombarding these stable molecules with charged atoms (ions) and looking at how they fragment have given conflicting and confusing results.  This talk will be about theoretical attempts to study collisions between buckyballs and ions and how these theoretical studies can help us understand the physics of collisions involving lots of particles, and give us insight into the electronic properties of the buckyball molecule.

Creative, Collaborative, and Comfortable Communities: Making Music in Your First Year at Luther. This session will focus on the ways being a musician can be a natural part of being a Luther student. Students will be invited to dialogue about why they are drawn to music making, how Luther's schedule and curriculum might allow them to continue their pursuit of musical excellence, and how being music makers can make them more effective in whatever field they choose.

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.

Elementary Education: Making Math Tangible. Elementary math students will engage participants in active hands-on activities for making math meaningful and compelling for the learning.

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.

From the Enlightenment to the Magic Kingdom. This presentation will concentrate on the evolution of the fairy tale literary genre with the analysis of 17th to 19th century French fairy tales and Norwegian folk tales with an emphasis on the persistence of their relevance at times of unease and cultural transition. Through this lens, we will highlight the use of role-playing simulations (RTTP) in language classrooms at Luther College as a mode for increased language proficiency, empathy and critical engagement in the classroom.

High Impact Experiences in Biology. 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.

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.

Introduction to Contact Improvisation. Get a taste for this fantastic art/sport and one of Luther's most popular courses! All levels welcome.

Learning Python Programming. In this seminar you will explore what it means to program a computer using the Python programming language. Python is used by both software engineers and data scientists.

Made a Mistake? Perfect! You're Doing it Right. The liberal arts environment requires us to think critically and dare greatly in our scholarship—often in a public forum. This idea can be scary because we're bound to make mistakes! Research has shown it is important to take risks and be vulnerable, but the current climate of perfectionism in education and the digital world get in our way. How can we be less burdened by the fear of failure? Students from every discipline are encouraged to attend, but it may be of particular interest to those interested in art, theatre/dance, music, and art/music education.

Media and Democracy. Where do you get your news? How do you know if the news you are seeing is accurate? Who is trying to influence your political views? This seminar will explore some common sources of bias in the media, and will encourage participants to think about the role of the media in a democracy.

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 halfway 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.

Musical Theatre Dance. Get a taste for how we choreograph musical theatre at Luther. All levels welcome!

Optimizing the Flight Time of a Paper Helicopter. You will learn basic concepts concerning the statistical design of multi-factor experiments. After introducing the concepts, students will be invited to participate in designing and test-flying different variations of a paper helicopter. Data will be collected and analyzed by the end of the session.

Roses are Red. Or Can They Be Blue? Chemistry is the Key to Changing the Hue. Chemistry can be used to understand the colors of our natural world. In this seminar, you will extract dye from rose petals and investigate ways to change the color of the dye. Come learn how chemists detect and quantify the color of a substance.

Self-Portrait. Learn to paint a self-portrait from life using acrylic paints.

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.

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 Impact of the Black Death. In 1348 and 1349, the Black Death swept across Europe killing approximately one third of the population. As such, it represents a disaster of unprecedented magnitude. How did people react? Was it in ways that were specific to the fourteenth century or is there a commonality in human responses to all disasters? This seminar will address such questions.

Yuck! That’s Disgusting! Why Certain Things Gross Us Out. 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.