Director's Seminars Resume September 21

The Beckman Institute will once again feature some of its most intriguing research when the Director's Seminars resume September 21 with a talk by David Clayton of the NeuroTech group.

Three more talks will follow Claytons presentation in the Fall semester, then the series will resume again for the academic year in the spring with presentations from faculty members and from Beckman Fellows.

The Directors Seminars have been a regular part of the Institute for several years and help to spread the word about research taking place here, Beckman Director Pierre Wiltzius said.

"We have a very diverse range of research projects taking place at Beckman, and the Directors Seminars help to share that work with others," Wiltzius said. "The great thing about the Seminars is that they are open to the public, so its not their usual peer audience that most researchers are used to talking to.

"I think its a great opportunity for the speakers to reach a broader audience, as well as those from outside their field to get an up close look at the leading-edge research going on at Beckman."

Clayton, a Professor in Cell and Structural Biology, has a research focus on molecular neurobiology. He opens this academic years series with a talk titled "Nano-to-micro: Spanning the levels of biological organization using zebra finch vocal communication circuits as a model."

The talks that follow demonstrate the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of the research taking pace at Beckman. Scheduled presenters (and their topics) this Fall include: Oct. 5, Tom Huang (Audio-visual biometrics: Person, gender, age, and emotion recognition); Nov. 16, Dan Roth (Natural language processing via learning and inference with constraints); and Dec. 7, Charissa Lansing (The utility of speech gestures and facial expression in communication).

The Spring semester features Andreas Cangellaris on Feb. 1 (Computer-aided design of MEMS and NEMS: State of the art and future challenges), followed by talks by Beckman Fellows. March 7 will feature presentations by Fellows Joe Geddes (Optical pulse shaping for nonlinear imaging techniques) and Mark Neider (Studying attention outside the confines of the laboratory).

On April 18 talks by Fellows Stephanie Rinne (Contrast agents and microstructured hydrogels) and Dirk Walther (I know what you saw last summer: Decoding brain activity associated with natural scenes) will close out the series for this academic year.