Utah State University’s Science Unwrapped welcomes USU data scientist Kevin Moon as featured speaker, as the College of Science’s public outreach program kicks off the new series “Science on the Horizon” Friday, Sept. 17.
Inquiring minds of all ages are welcome to the talk, “Seeing Science: Using Machine Learning to Visualize Data,” which begins at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium, Room ESLC 130, of the Eccles Science Learning Center on campus. Admission is free.
“It’s easier to understand data, when you can see it,” says Moon, assistant professor in USU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “People are very visual. For scientists, having the ability to examine the structure of a complex dataset allows them to explore ideas and generate hypotheses.”
Moon’s talk marks Science Unwrapped first return to an in-person talk, since pandemic conditions caused a shift to online-only presentations in March 2020.
“We’re excited to bring people together, safely, to share in science learning,” says Greg Podgorski, Science Unwrapped chair and associate dean in the College of Science. “That said, we encourage our guests to wear masks and to observe socially distanced seating in the Emert Auditorium. Also, we’ll continue livestreaming of our talks from our website.”
As always, he adds, each talk will be recorded and posted to the Science Unwrapped website for continued viewing convenience.
What Science Unwrapped won’t offer during the new series, at least initially, is in-person learning activities following the talk.
“As we did during our 2020-21 series, we’ll offer video learning activities, created by our student and community volunteer groups, on our website,” Podgorski says. “Each month, we’ll assess conditions to determine whether or not it’s safe and possible to return to in-person activities.”
He cautions that, because pandemic conditions can change quickly, guests should visit the Science Unwrapped website prior to each event, to ensure in-person talks will continue as planned or if gatherings must return to online only.
The schedule for Science Unwrapped’s 2021-22 “Science on the Horizon” series is:
- Friday, Sept. 17: “Seeing Science: Using Machine Learning to Visualize Data,” Kevin Moon data scientist
- Friday, Oct. 22: “Making Use of the Great and Small: Tracking Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes with Satellites and Genetics,” Norah Saarman, evolutionary ecologist
- Friday, Nov. 12: “An In-COVID-ient Sleuth: Lifting Viral Fingerprints from Water and Air,” Keith Roper, biological engineer
- Friday, Jan. 28: “Hard Choices: Being a Robot in a Human World,” Mario Harper, computer scientist
- Friday, Feb. 25: “From Animals to Autism: The Science of Social Bonds,” Sara Freeman, neuroendocrinologist
- Friday, March 18: “What Goes Up, Must Come Down: Cleaning Up the Atmosphere with Geology,” Katie Potter, geoscientist
- Friday, April 1: “Electric Avenues: Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE),” Regan Zane, electrical engineer