The Walker L. Cisler lecture series, which is free and open to the public, was founded at Lawrence Technological University with a generous gift from the Holley Foundation.
Well known for his leadership of the Detroit Edison Company from 1954 to 1971, Walker L. Cisler enjoyed a career that spanned a lifetime of personal, professional, civic, and business accomplishments. As an international ambassador for the American electric utility industry, he worked closely with heads of state both here and abroad. As a tireless, dedicated humanitarian, he strived to improve the quality of life for people everywhere.
Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m.
Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium
Science Building #7, S100
Presented by the College of Arts and Sciences
Grand Challenges in Science, Technology and Public Policy by
Gil Omenn, MD, PhD
Harold T. Shapiro Distinguished University Professor
Director, Center for Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics
Professor of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, Internal
Medicine, Human Genetics and Public Health
University of Michigan
Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn will discuss the concept of “grand challenges” and how it has proven to be a powerful tool to stimulate critical discoveries, create new technologies, and attract public attention to make policy decisions that enhance investment and accelerate innovation. Referencing the “23 Puzzles” given by David Hilbert at the 1900 lecture in Paris, Omenn will discuss the history of issuing challenges and the resulting ways that finding solutions can move society and policy forward.
Omenn will examine growth in the space program, astrophysics, computer sciences, life sciences, economic development, and multiple other fields and will call upon the audience to formulate bold challenge statements for their own fields of science, technology, and innovation.
When Cisler’s life and the aims of the Holley Foundation were considered, it seemed the best way to honor his memory would be to focus the Holley resources on the improvement of science education, especially in the pre-college years. In addition to his membership on the Foundation Board, Cisler was also director of the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation, an organization dedicated to inspiring and rewarding an interest in science among youth.
The focus on pre-college science education fits particularly well at Lawrence Tech. LTU's Marburger STEM Center provides a variety of programs for K-12 students to spark their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and nurture the success in these fields. Among them are eXtreme Science Saturdays, which offers hands-on workshops in chemistry, biology, and computer science; annual summer technology camps for high school students; Robofest, an annual international youth robotics competition; and the Blue Devil Scholars Program in partnership with the Detroit Public Schools Community District and Southfield Public Schools.
The University is also a strong supporter of the Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Association and numerous other activities that support science education.
If you are interested in supporting future Walker L. Cisler lectures, contact Lawrence Tech’s Office of University Advancement at 248.204.2300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Science, engineering, technology, and, accordingly, the country, cannot prosper until we once again produce a truly scientifically literate populace.”
– Walker L. Cisler
About Lawrence Tech
Lawrence Technological University is a private, accredited university focused on providing superior education through cutting-edge technology, small class sizes, and innovative programs. Lawrence Tech offers more than 100 degrees through Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Nearly 4,500 students are enrolled in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs conveniently offered for full- or part-time students, with day, evening, weekend, and online courses. Lawrence Tech’s wireless laptop campus offers a complete range of academic, residential, and recreational facilities.
CLICK ON DATES FOR INFO ON TALKS
2019 Dr. Sara A. Pozzi
Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan
Professor of Physics, University of Michigan
Consortium Director, Consortium for Verification Technology
2018 Dr. Peter Walter
Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Univ. of California, San Francisco
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2017 Dr. Mark Schlissel
President, University of Michigan
2016 Dr. Eva Feldman
Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology
Director, A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute
Director, Program for Neurology Research and Discovery
2015 Dr. Trachette Jackson
Professor of Mathematics, University of Michigan
2014 Dr. George Djorgovski
Professor of Astronomy,Co-Director, Center for Advanced Computing Research
California Institute of Technology
2013 Dr. Leigh Hochberg
Associate Professor of Engineering, Brown University
Vascular and critical care neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital,
Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
2012 Dr. Garrison Cottrell
Director, Computer Science and Engineering
Director, Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center
University of California, San Diego
Professor of Physics, West Virginia University
2010 Dr. Tyrone Hayes
Professor of Developmental Endocrinology, University of California, Berkeley
2009 Dr. Eric J. Heller
Professor of Physics and Chemistry, Harvard University
2008 John Noble Wilford
Science News Reporter, New York Times
2007 Dr. Alan Dale Poling
Professor of Psychology, Western Michigan University
2006 Dr. L. Dennis Smith
Former President, University of Nebraska (1994-2004)
2005 Dr. Robert Devaney
Professor of Mathematics, Boston University
2004 Dr. Ursula Goodenough
Professor of Biology, Washington University
2003 Dr. Isabel Hawkins
Director, Center for Science Education, University of California
Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory
2002 Dr. Dudley R. Herschbach
Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1986
Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science, Harvard University
2001 Dr. Francisco Ayala
Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of
Philosophy, University of California, Irvine
1999 Dr. Rodger W. Bybee
Executive Director, Center for Science, Mathematics, and
Engineering Education, National Research Council
1997 Dr. Lillian C. McDermott
Professor of Physics, University of Washington
1996 Dr. Uri Treisman
Director, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin
1995 Dr. Leon M. Lederman
Nobel Prize in Physics for 1988
Director Emeritus, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Dr. Sara Pozzi discussed the challenges of nuclear proliferation and the recent advances in science and technology that contribute to stopping the spread of overt and covert nuclear weapons programs. Part of her timely lecture will include findings from the Consortium for Verification Technology, a consortium of 12 universities and nine national laboratories working together on these issues. She described the Consortium’s studies on the fundamental emissions from nuclear fission, and the development of new detection systems for nuclear materials detection, localization, and characterization. Using the recent nuclear test events in North Korea, Dr. Pozzi also explored the detection and characterization of nuclear explosions. Watch the 2019 lecture here.
Dr. Peter Walter discussed how disappointments in one’s research can lead to unexpected
From the Discovery of DNA to the Modification of the Human Genome:
2005 - Dr. Robert Devaney
Professor of mathematics at Boston University and an expert in dynamical systems theory, Dr. Devaney received the Award for Distinguished University Teaching from the Northeastern section of the Mathematical Association of America in 1994. He produced the Mandelbrot Set Explorer, an online, interactive series of explorations designed to teach students at all levels about the mathematics behind the interesting images known as the Mandelbrot and Julia sets. In his lecture entitled "Chaos Games and Fractal Images" he described the beautiful images that arise from the “chaos game” and showed how the simple steps of this game produce the intricate images known as fractals. He also touched on the applications of this technique used in data compression as well as in Hollywood.
Dr. Ursula Goodenough is a renowned cell biologist, researcher and author who shared experiences of her travels in Tibet where she taught cell biology to exiled Tibetan monks that had no previous scientific education. Just prior to this, she had accepted an invitation to teach the Dalai Lama the principles of molecular evolution. She spoke of these experiences and how they resonated with her own deeply held beliefs about the relationship between spirituality and science. These experiences strengthened her conviction that the best way to teach science is through narrative - telling the science in story, a method she very effectively illustrated in this lecture.
Dr. Isabel Hawkins, Director of the Center for Science Education at the University of California, Berkley, Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL). Through examples of education and outreach programs with which she is actively involved, she shared her research experiences which ultimately led to a better understanding of the effects of the active sun, the sun-earth connection and "space weather".
Dr. Herschbach’s lecture was modeled around his reflections in teaching and learning science. He was a charismatic speaker who emphasized the critical role that individual teachers played in his education. Dr. Herschbach is renowned for his studies on energy redistribution and its exchange in chemical reactions.
Dr. Ayala, a world-renowned molecular geneticist and former priest, gave a fascinating talk to reveal how teachings in both evolution and religion can exist harmoniously. He is extremely emphatic about promoting the philosophical compatibility of scientific knowledge and methods and religious faith and has been described as the Renaissance man of evolutionary biology.
Dr. Bybee has been active in education for more than 30 years and has received awards for Leader of American Education and Outstanding Educator in America. Previously he served as principal investigator for several National Science Foundation (NSF) programs implemented in elementary, middle and high schools. His talk addressed how to effectively achieve scientific literacy and the challenges of content for the school curriculum.
Dr. McDermott is a recipient of the American Association of Physics Teachers’ Robert A. Millikan Lecture Award for “notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics.” Under her direction, the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington conducted research on the learning and teaching of physics. In her lecture, she used examples from this research to illustrate the frequent mismatch between how science is taught and how students learn.
Dr. Treisman, a MacArthur Fellow and Dana Award winner gave a talk on how schools at all levels can create the conditions for mathematics and science excellence in diverse student populations. His talk grew out of the highly successful programs he developed to improve minority achievement in mathematics and the sciences and described the special role that faculty members play in these programs.
Dr. Leon Lederman was LTU's inaugural Walker Cisler lecturer in 1995. Although he was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize for his work in physics, his talk was based on his pioneering work in reforming science education in the Chicago schools. He presented his vision of new ways to teach science to a rapt audience.
The annual Walker L. Cisler Science Lecture is generously supported by The Holley Foundation.
George M. Holley, was a pioneer in the automotive industry. The company he founded, The Holley Carburetor Company, is a world leader in the development of fuel and ignition control systems. He lived in and centered his company operations in the Detroit Metro area. He established the foundation in 1944. His expressed interest was "in helping young men and women who are 'up against it' to obtain an education."
The Holley Foundation's mission is to support educational and family initiatives for youth, mainly in Southeastern Michigan, through innovative, well-structured programs that demonstrate positive outcomes.
See the Holley Foundation's website for more information on its history and supported efforts.