Back in April, an unusual mix of scientists, artists, and magicians met in Atlanta for the 14th Gathering for Gardner (G4G14), a biennial conference inspired by the late Martin Gardner, who wrote the Recreational Mathematics column for Scientific American from 1957-1981. The emphasis is on mixing fun and science, and speakers must stick to six minute time limits during their stage presentations. One of those presenting was mathematician Lew Lefton, College of Sciences assistant dean of information technology and associate vice president for research computing, who spent his time onstage telling math/science jokes. Example: “You either believe in the law of the excluded middle or you don’t.” (The law of the excluded middle: a statement is either true or false.) Lew's follow-up: "That's the only time that joke has ever got a laugh."
Physics World , Aug 3, 2022
Scientists at Georgia Tech and Clark University have developed robotic lizards in a collaboration combining robotics, math, biology, and artificial intelligence. The robots helped solve an evolutionary puzzle and could be the first step towards a new generation of wiggling robots. The team used artificial intelligence to study the movement of various lizard species. “We were interested in why and how these intermediate lizards use their bodies and limbs to move around in different terrestrial environments,” says one of the study’s authors, Daniel Goldman, Dunn Family Professor in the School of Physics. “This is a fundamental question in locomotion biology and can inspire more capable wiggling robots.” Other School of Physics scientists involved in the research include Ph.D. students Baxi Chong and Tianyu Wang, and Eva Erickson (B.S. PHYS '22).
Nerdist , Aug 1, 2022
Lew Lefton, College of Sciences assistant dean for information technology, associate vice president for research computing, and a mathematician, receives lots of media calls whenever a national lottery approaches record-breaking numbers. This time he was interviewed by NewsNation about the odds of winning the recent $1.337 billion-dollar Mega Millions jackpot, won by one person in Illinois during the July 30th drawing. Lefton explains that those who bought tickets and didn't win shouldn't take it personally; it's simply math. "That’s just the reality. The numbers are only going to pick 1 in 300 million,” he said. “A lot of people have no idea what that really looks like.”
NewsNation , Jul 30, 2022
Elisabetta Matsumoto, an assistant professor in the School of Physics, is featured in a documentary directed by Shruti Mandhani, a research fellow for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the United Kingdom, and a Ph.D. student at Sheffield Hallam University. The documentary focuses on imposter syndrome, a psychological condition in which individuals doubt their skills and abilities, and fear being discovered as frauds. Mandhani interviewed other women in STEM (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering) disciplines for the documentary, which is shortlisted for the Bristol Science Film Festival in August.
YouTube, Jul 19, 2022
Has this summer felt hotter than usual? Atlanta has experienced once-in-a-century heat over the past six months. However, as the world battles rising sea levels and increasing CO2 emissions, the Supreme Court limited the power of the EPA to regulate industry into addressing climate change. This climate episode of Georgia Public Broadcasting's Political Rewind podcast includes the UrbanHeatATL project and other Georgia Tech-related climate research, and features Marilyn A. Brown, Regents' and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy. Brown is also co-founder of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
Georgia Public Broadcasting (via Apple Podcasts), Jul 18, 2022
New research from the University of Texas and Georgia Tech has revealed humans are likely responsible for rapidly melting glaciers. The study, published July 13 in the journal The Cryosphere, used computer models to test how global warming impacted glaciers. The team said its research could help predict when major ice loss would occur and the impact it could have on Earth’s oceans and climate. The Georgia Tech researchers from the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences include John Christian, postdoctoral fellow, and Alex Robel, assistant professor. (The study was also covered at Phys.org.)
KXAN-TV , Jul 14, 2022
We know that water is the key to life on Earth, but there are countless mysteries lurking in its depths. This "Oceans" episode of The Weather Channel's series The Earth Unlocked features an interview with Susan Lozier, Dean of the College of Sciences, Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair, and professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. (This video is a preview for the episode, which can be accessed via a TV-only streaming platform that has an on-demand feature.)
The Weather Channel , Jul 3, 2022
New research in psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and other fields is published every day, but the gap between what is known and the capacity to act on that knowledge has never been larger. Scholars and non-scholars alike face the problem of how to organize knowledge and to integrate new observations with what is already known. Ontologies — formal, explicit specifications of the meaning of the concepts and entities that scientists study — provide a way to address this and other challenges, and thus to accelerate progress in behavioral research and its application. A new consensus study on the matter from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, includes contributions from NAS member Randall Engle, professor in the School of Psychology and principal investigator of Georgia Tech's Attention and Working Memory Lab.
National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Jun 30, 2022
Small robots that have two flapping arms and can’t move around on their own can spontaneously link up and glide together instead. This self-organization may be related to how complex structures arise from simple building blocks in nature. Daniel Goldman, professor in the School of Physics, and his colleagues used small robots called smarticles — short for “smart active particles” — to observe self-organization in the lab.
New Scientist (subscription required), Jun 23, 2022
Why so anxious? Return-to-office uncertainties are stressing us all out, but experts say there’s a simple fix
American workers are anxious, and navigating the ongoing uncertainty around management’s return-to-office expectations is only making things worse. As more Americans establish a hybrid work routine, many are struggling to understand employer expectations in this new working world order. What relics from our past work lives remain? And what is thrown out in the rebooting process? It’s confusing — and at times anxiety-inducing. Adding to the uncertainty is the argument some CEOs keep making that workers absolutely need to be in the office to recapture the same level of productivity as before the pandemic. “That’s just not true,” says Kimberly French, assistant professor in the School of Psychology.
Yahoo!Finance via Fortune, Jun 23, 2022