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November 17th, 2017 – Impossible experiments for extreme scales

Grounds for Science

 

with Pratima Satish and Zarek Brot-Goldberg

Friday, November 17, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Scarlet City Espresso Bar

Chemistry done with computers

Tiny molecules form all things around us – natural and man-made. In order to understand how these big objects we see behave on the large scale, we need a better understanding of what happens at the molecular level. Fortunately, we can come up with mathematical models that approximate microscopic behavior of, say, a water molecule, and use this to make predictions of properties of bigger things, like a block of ice. In this talk, we will together learn how to describe molecules using computers and a technique called molecular dynamics.

The Edison super-computer at NERSC

Pratima Satish

Pratima Satish

Pratima Satish is a 4th year PhD student in the physical chemistry department at UC Berkeley, researching self-assembly of nanoparticles by understanding how molecules attached to their surfaces behave. Most evenings, you can find her at the gym, where she enjoys working out, but also teaches cardio kickboxing to Cal students. Like all Bay Area people, she also really likes the outdoors.

How to Do Science Without Experimental Control (If You Must)

The word ‘science’ typically conjures up the image of a scientist carefully executing a controlled experiment in a sterile laboratory. However, many important questions cannot be studied in a lab setting. In this talk, we first explore why having experimental control is often considered the gold standard for science. We will then discuss how researchers who cannot run controlled experiments–including economists, epidemiologists, and astronomers–use alternative methods to understand phenomena in their fields.

 

Causal inference in a messy world

Zarek Brot-Goldberg

Zarek Brot-Goldberg

is a 5th year PhD student in the economics department at UC Berkeley. His research is focused on the economics of health care, including such topics as how people use high-deductible health insurance plans, how hospitals respond to quality incentive programs, and what drives physician referral networks.

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