Interdisciplinary sessions

Due to Covid19, the Pacific Division was unable to hold our annual meetings in 2020 or 2021. However, here are some examples of interdisciplinary events from our last annual meeting in 2019.  

Character, Illusion, Lighting, Sound and Madness as Viewed by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. What is the science, engineering and psychology that contributes to dramatic success. Actors and artists associated with Ashland’s world-famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival will consider with research neurobiologists how   choreography, voice, text, light and sound affect and manipulate audience perception.   

Interventions in Aging.  In Act III scene 2 of Richard II, Shakespeare penned: “Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay; The worst is death, and death will have his day.” What is the state of development of several modern interventions in aging intended to at least reduce the Woe, destruction, ruin and decay and perhaps eventually deny death its day altogether?  What should be the overall objectives of the increasingly interdisciplinary research into aging interventions, and what are its likely limitations and societal consequences? 

Opportunities and Challenges for Large Data Sets and their Analysis in Contemporary and Future Science. It is easy to argue that the growth of computational power combined with the ability to acquire and store massive amounts of data has turned all fields of science into a branch of data science. What then is the role of data and its analysis applied across a broad range of scientific disciplines and technological applications from complex biological systems, to the technical challenge presented by building truly autonomous vehicles. 

Symposium: Boise Extravaganza in Set Theory (BEST). This symposium is a regular feature of the Pacific Division meeting, organized around the well-known Boise Extravaganza in Set Theory (BEST) conference. BEST focuses on the mathematical discipline called Set Theory, exploring its applications in other disciplines in Mathematics. 

The Future of Precision Medicine.  With the development of new molecular methodologies, evidence based medicine began enabling patients to get more individualized care. Clearly individual variation including genetic differences and environmental exposures play a role in disease risk, progression and also in treatment response. Technology now enables precise genomic assessment and mass spectrometry based assay measurements of drugs, proteins and endogenous metabolites with high sensitivity and specificity. How will knowledge from biomedical research likely be used, not only to discover and develop new biomarkers and treatments, but also to identify patients most likely to benefit from intervention and for longitudinal monitoring of responses?

Different Styles, Different Insights,Different Science: Using Maker Tech to Teach STEM.  Maker Fairs have been drawing huge crowds worldwide as people flock to explore how they can learn subjects ranging across electronics, 3D printing, coding as well as traditional do-it-yourself trades and hobbies. Yet this energy has been slow to penetrate traditional STEM teaching even though there are significant overlaps. How might this cross over between Making and Teaching be accomplished and what are its opportunities and limitations?

Seeing with New Eyes: The Role of New Scientific Techniques and Perspective in Revolutionizing the Search for the First Americans.  The geographic origins and initial travel routes of the first human communities to migrate from the Old World into the twin continents of North and South America have been subject to intense interest by scholars around the world for over 500 years.  However new scientific technology and analysis has recently resulted in game-changing discoveries which are forcing a fundamental change in perspective.  How is the increasingly multi-disciplinary context for this question now changing decades old thinking about this interesting and important question? 

Artists and Scientists Respond to Climate Change with Science-Themed Works in Art, Literature, and the HumanitiesPublic acceptance of human-caused climate change has increased by direct and indirect experience of well-publicized calamities throughout the nation. Fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, debris flows, excessive heat and cold have alerted people to the radically changed conditions on the planet. Yet, many in the arts and humanities have continued to depict the physical world in general and nature in particular in traditional ways. Landscapes, nature poems, novels often avoid the new harsh realities that would undermine the use of nature as a background setting rather than a dangerous protagonist in the current human drama. Even the familiar calendar art of environmental organizations stays focused on glorious, almost pristine images of nature. As radical as climate disturbance has become, the underlying western paradigm in the arts and humanities of a beneficent and supportive nature is hard to change. How might the Arts and Humanities, working with multiple scientific disciplines help humanity better understand the reality and consequences of climate change?