STEMinar Series

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Spring 2019 STEMinar Series

The STEMinar Series consists of a variety of talks related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics. These talks are FREE and open to the public and take place throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. All talks take place in the Health and Science Center (HSC), Room 1234 unless otherwise noted. For more information about each talk, see below.

Saturday, February 9, 2019
7:30 p.m.
Joseph DalSanto, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, College of DuPage
"The Hubble Space Telescope"

Since 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope has been our premier astronomical observatory. From its vantage point in space it has provided us our clearest views of the planets, the birth, life and death of stars, countless galaxies and the origin and fate of the universe. It has truly revolutionized our understanding of astronomy. Join us for a review of Hubble's history as well as some of its greatest discoveries and achievements.

This talk is free as part of the Sage Series but requires pre-registration. Please register online or call Continuing Education at (630) 942 2208.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
4 p.m.
Emily Zvolanek, Senior GIS Analyst, Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory
"The Power Behind Maps: Geographic Information Systems"

Our daily lives are filled with spatial data, but the topic is not well known to the average person. Geographic Information Systems (or GIS), the powerhouse set of tools and skills that allow people to analyze spatial data and extract useful information, is an even bigger mystery. This presentation will give a brief overview of GIS and highlight some of the many ways it is used in our daily lives. I will also go into depth on my work at Argonne, explaining how GIS is applied to environmental science. Register in advance to save time!

Sunday, February 17, 2019
4:00 p.m.
Captain Mark Kelly, Retired Astronaut and Navy Pilot
"Endeavour to Succeed"

*This talk is sponsored by the College of DuPage Physics Department and will take place at the McAninch Arts Center.*


 An American hero who exemplifies effective leadership and courage under pressure, highly decorated American astronaut Captain Mark Kelly continues to secure his place in history, partnering with his identical twin brother, Scott from the ground in a historic yearlong space expedition and NASA's unprecedented study on how space affects the human body.

Kelly began his illustrious career with NASA in 1996, spending more than 50 days in space and commanding both the Space Shuttle Endeavour and Space Shuttle Discovery.


Friday, March 15, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Sheena Erete, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University
"Taking an Assets-Based Approach to Designing Socio-Technical Solutions with Resource-Constrained Communities"

Neighborhoods play a critical role in the social and economic outcome of their residents. Particularly for resource-constrained neighborhoods that face issues such as poverty, unemployment, crime, lack of educational opportunities, and inadequate housing, it is essential to identify and address issues that contribute to decline as evidenced by a lack of public revitalization efforts, local resources, and private investments. As tech designers, it is common to approach work in resource-constrained communities with a deficit view, leading to simplistic and stigmatizing descriptions of these communities that often minimize or ignore institutional infrastructures that breed inequity. In our work, we design solutions with residents in resourced-constrained communities by focusing on their assets, specifically the human, environmental, social, and economic capital that can be leveraged in design. In this talk, I will discuss how we can identify and leverage local assets in resourced-constrained communities when designing technologies, practices, and policies. Specifically, I will present two projects in which we take an asset-based approach to understanding how neighborhoods use technology to address crime and how we design technologies to support violence prevention in Chicago. Results from these studies provide insight into how to effectively leverage community assets, particularly in historically marginalized communities. Register in advance to save time!

Friday, April 5, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Shane L. Larson, CIERA/Northwestern University
"Songs from the Stellar Graveyard: Probing the Cosmos in Gravitational Waves"

*This talk will take place in the Jack H. Turner Conference Center, Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 2000*

Virtually everything we know about the Universe has been discovered from the study of photons --- light in all its myriad forms from radio waves, to visible light, to x-rays and beyond. At the dawn of the 21st century, advanced technology is providing access to the Cosmos through detection of ripples in the fabric of spacetime itself.

These ripples in spacetime, called gravitational waves, carry information not in the form of light or particles, but in the form of gravity itself. Over the past two years, the first gravitational wave signals from the Cosmos have been detected here on Earth, revealing a dynamic and energetic Universe that has previously only been speculated about. Gravitational wave observations have revealed black holes dancing a death spiral billions of lightyears from Earth, and neutron stars ripping themselves apart in a titanic burst of light and gravitational energy.

This talk will explore what gravitational waves are and how we measure them, and what we are learning from their detection. Gravity has a story to tell, and in this talk, we'll explore some of discoveries are making by listening. Register in advance to save time!

Past STEMinar Series

Visit our College of DuPage YouTube channel to see videos of past talks, or click on each presenter below.

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Joseph DalSanto, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, College of DuPage
"Black Holes"

Friday, October 19, 2018
Nim Tottenham, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University
"Development of Emotion Regulation Neurobiology and the Role of Early Experiences"

September 12, 2018
Michael Swierz, Founder and Participatory Ecologist, People Are a Part of Nature
"Participatory Ecology and Foraging Walk: Can We Be Stewards of Biodiversity and Life Off the Land at the Same Time?"

May 7, 2018
Terry Miesle, Native Bee Expert
"Native Bees: Their Abundance and Importance"

April 20, 2018
Dr. Ted Daeschler, Curator and Professor, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
"Great Steps in the History of Life: The Origin of Limbed Vertebrates"

April 12, 2018
Dr. Mark SubbaRao, Adler Planetarium
"Advancing Education and Research through Immersive Data Visualization"

April 6, 2018
Dr. Wesley Ketchum, Associate Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
"Understanding the Universe through Neutrinos"

March 9, 2018
Dr. Andrew N. Jansen, Engineering Research Group Leader, Argonne National Laboratory
"Development of High-Energy Density Lithium-Ion Batteries"

March 3, 2018
Joseph DalSantoAssistant Professor of Astronomy, College of DuPage
"Extrasolar Planets"

February 23, 2018
Eric Earley, Ph.D. Student in Neural Engineering, Northwestern University
"Neural Engineering: Designing Bionic Limbs Controlled by the Brain"

November 3, 2017
Dr. Pauline Gagnon, Science Communicator
"Improbable Feats and Useless Discoveries"

October 6, 2017
Angel Price, Attractions Engineering Services Manager, Disney's Animal Kingdom
"Engineering My Dream: Redlines Included"

September 15, 2017
Neal Sales-Griffin, CEO of CodeNow
"Starting the First Coding Bootcamp"

March 17, 2017
Dr. Christina Dunbar-Hester, University of Southern California
"Low Power to the People! Media Activism, DIY, and the Challenge of Democratic Technology"

February 23, 2017
Dr. Amanda Petford-Long, Argonne Distinguished Fellow
"Understanding Nanomaterials: How Microscopy Can Help"

November 12, 2016
Prof. Joseph Orgel, PhD, Illinois Institute of Technology
"The Non-Conventional Approach to Science and Engineering"

October 15, 2016
Dr. Shane Larson, Northwestern University and Adler Planetarium
"Astronomy Frontiers: 25 Years Ago and 25 Years From Now"

September 17, 2016
Joseph DalSanto, College of DuPage
"Einstein's Theory of Relativity"



Contact Information

STEM Outreach Coordinator
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2H01B, (630) 942-3021

For College of DuPage Admissions inquiries, call (630) 942-2626 or email

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

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