Science and Math Seminar Series Fall 2016 - Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Division

The Ohlone College Science and Math Seminar Series program features distinguished speakers who address interesting topics related to science, mathematics, or technology.

Most seminars are sponsored by ASOCASOC Student Government logo. and Ohlone's Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Division. The seminars are free and open to the public.

Please check back for additional Science and Math Seminars.

Election Year Math

By Jeff O'Connell, Professor, Mathematics, Ohlone College.

Are you tired of all the politics and rancor of this election year? A talk about Election Year Math should solve all of those problems!!! Professor Jeff O’Connell will present information about the math that is used during election years to predict outcomes of elections. What is margin of error? How are the outcomes of elections predicted before all of the votes are counted? Who is Fredric Gauss and why is he so important in all of these discussions? The speaker promises not to mention that guy or that woman who are running for president.

The mathematics of this talk will be accessible to all levels. There will be sign-in sheets for those offering Extra Credit. Plan to arrive early as Jeff is a very popular speaker!

Download the Election Year Math flyer (PDF).

EuroSoviet: Chernobyl to Moscow—The nadir and the zenith of Soviet science and technology

By Dr. Eric Wegryn, faculty, Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, Ohlone College.

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016
  • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Room NC2100, second floor, Wing 1, Newark campus

The Soviet Union was the largest country ever.  Rising from the revolutionary ashes of the Russian Empire, for 7 decades, through 1990, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a major world power.  Soviet forces helped the USA and Allies to defeat Germany in Eastern Europe in World War II.  Developing their science and technology, the USSR put the first satellite in orbit (Sputnik, 1957) and the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961).  They matched America in development of nuclear weapons, and also pioneered peaceful nuclear power plants.  But one Soviet reactor, Chernobyl, became the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, in 1986.  Shortly after that, the Soviet Union fell apart.  Russia retains most of its territory, people, and power; but most of the smaller republics in Eastern Europe have westernized, some even joining NATO and the European Union.  Astronomy instructor Erıc Wegryn has recently returned from a tour of Russia and six other former Soviet republics, from Ukraine to the Baltic states.  Highlights of this talk will include the Soviet legacy of cosmonautics (spaceflight), and a chilling visit to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where cleanup is never-ending, a huge and expensive new sarcophagus is under construction to contain the dangerous radiation, and nature slowly swallows the abandoned city of Pripyat.

Dr. Erıc Wegryn, a former engineer and NASA scientist, has taught astronomy (plus physics and engineering) at Ohlone College for over 12 years.

From Gentrification to Geomorphology: Geography in the Golden State

By Dr. Adam Levy, Geography faculty, Ohlone College.

  • Tuesday, December 6, 2016
  • 4:30pm
  • Room NC2100, second floor, Wing 1, Newark campus

California is a geographic wonderland and physical geographers have long shown how forces from faulting and fires to food have forged the Golden State. Likewise, cultural geographers have uncovered how the landscape of the Beautiful and the Dam(m/n)ed exposes The Lie of the Land and renders hollow Agrarian Dreams. Following this tradition, the talk will use the geographer’s toolbox to examine the production of landscape and will offer a broad understanding of the field as “earth-writing” to help understand emergent geographies of California –especially the imagination envisioned in the California Dream. Framed in terms of current events and iconic images, the discussion will interpret examples of geographic vulnerability and displacement forces in the widest senses –from gentrification to geomorphology.

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