Interactive Sessions - Kids' Tech University (KTU) at SWVAC    
Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher October 27, 2012
Patterns are Everywhere! How and Why?

An interactive session led by Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher

Professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and of the Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech

Flock of starlings' dazzling aerial ballet captured on video

Did you know that we are surrounded by patterns--everywhere? For example, farmers need to understand weather patterns to plan their harvests. Your parents need to understand traffic patterns to drive you to school safely. Music and dance excite us through patterns of sounds and movement. Some patterns are pretty easy to spot, like the pattern on a seashell, or the pattern on a snowflake. However, other patterns around us aren’t so easy to see, like the patterns on a pine cone, or the patterns of ocean waves. I’ll bet you wouldn’t guess patterns exist in clouds! To discover some of these patterns, we need to be very, very observant. So join me and together we’ll hunt down some patterns in the world around us--and as we investigate how these patterns form and why they’re there, the answers may surprise you!

Dr. Laubenbacher has been a Professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Virginia Tech since 2001. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem (NC) and Affiliate Faculty in the Virginia Tech Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Prior to these appointments Dr. Laubenbacher was Professor of Mathematics at New Mexico State University. He has served as Visiting Faculty at Los Alamos National Laboratories, was a member of the Mathematical Science Research Institute at Berkeley in 1998, and was a Visiting Associate Professor at Cornell University in 1990 and 1993. Current interests in Dr. Laubenbacher’s research group include the development of mathematical algorithms and their application to problems in systems biology, in particular the modeling and simulation of molecular networks. An application area of particular interest is cancer systems biology, especially the role of iron metabolism in breast cancer.

October 2012 - Hands-On Exhibits
After the interactive session the students will be escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students will enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Abingdon, VA community.