Science and Arts Cafe

The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts’ 2018-19 Science and Arts Café Lecture series will feature lectures on a variety of topics, including the science of nutrition, the physics and mathematics of music and Valentine’s Day in Japan.

The Science and Arts Café series features a short lecture on an interesting topic in an informal setting. The lecture is followed by an open, casual discussion between the lecturer and audience members. Each program is free and open to the public. Each lecture will begin at 7 p.m. with the lecture and discussion period lasting about an hour. This year’s lecture series will be held at Kollective Coffee + Tea, 110 Central Ave. in downtown.

The lineup for this year’s series is:

• Oct. 11 — What to Eat: The Science of Nutrition by Dr. Patrycja Krakowiak, a biology instructor at ASMSA. With the popularity of fad diets, weight-loss supplements and gastric surgeries on the rise, it is hard to know what scientific evidence exists to support the often outlandish claims that come with them. At the same time, obesity and diabetes are becoming worldwide epidemics, while complications of poor nutrition such as heart disease and cancer are also on the rise. But what is “poor” nutrition? In this session, Krakowiak will examine the history of human ingestion; review basics of digestion, metabolism, and addiction; and analyze the latest nutrition research. Be ready for an impromptu quiz that will test your knowledge of nutrition. Just don’t be surprised to find out that much of what you think you know about what is best to eat may not be quite true according to latest scientific research.

• Nov. 8 — Poetry: Matters of Life and Death by Brian Isbell, a humanities instructor at ASMSA. In times of great joy and moments of deep grief, why do we so often turn to this art form more than any other? In this session, Isbell will look at some famous examples of poems that often bring us solace, help us heal, and celebrate the human experience of love and loss.

• Dec. 13 — The Physics and Mathematics of Music, James Katowich, a humanities instructor at ASMSA, and Dr. Brian Monson, a physics instructor and chair of ASMSA’s Science Department. Of all art forms, music is probably the most mathematical. We will look at the anatomy, physiology, physics, and mathematics of pitch perception and how they influenced the development of musical scales and composition. We will also illustrate the history of musical scales and how they evolved to the modern equally tempered scale.

• Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day and Gift-Giving in Japan, Betty Brown, Japanese instructor at ASMSA. Japan has a very interesting culture surrounding gift-giving. We will take a look at the adoption and history of Valentine’s Day in Japan and how gift-giving culture has transformed it into a uniquely Japanese holiday.

• March 14 — How We Know What We Know — The Higgs Boson and the Standard Model, Dr. Jack Waddell, a physics instructor at ASMSA. In recent years, a huge collaboration of scientists confirmed the existence of one of the most elusive objects in nature — the Higgs Boson. We'll talk about what this object is, what it represents and what role it plays in helping to support one of the most successful theories, the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

• April 11 — The Esperanto Movement Today: That Idea Flopped, Right? Do, tute ne! Not At All!, Bryan Adams, a French instructor at ASMSA. Esperanto is a planned, created, “easy-to-learn” language developed in the late 19th century by L. L. Zamenhof. His dream was to foster and facilitate international communication by reducing the amount of time it normally takes to learn a new language. Adams will briefly discuss the origin of Zamenhof’s ideas and how they have made Esperanto snowball into an international movement with eager Esperantists who foster the learning of the language, and the proliferation of culture, news, music, art, and dance. We might even learn a few survival phrases.

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