Lecture Series in 2018-2019

Unless otherwise noted all lectures will be in Psychology 1312 on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.


Oct 18, 2018
Reining in Online Abuses: From Fake News to Extremism and Child Exploitation

Hany Farid is the Albert Bradley 1915 Third Century Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Dartmouth. Dr. Farid received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth in 1999. Dr. Farid’s research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception, and he has been called the "father" of digital image forensics by the PBS science program NOVA scienceNOW. He has consulted for intelligence agencies, news organizations, courts, and scientific journals seeking to authenticate the validity of images. Dr. Farid is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is also the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Fourandsix Technologies. In June 2016, Dr. Farid, as a Senior Advisor to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), unveiled a software tool for use by Internet and social media companies to quickly find and eliminate extremist content used to spread and incite violence and attacks.

Nov 08, 2018
What’s the Purpose of Having More Than One Neuron?

Saul Kato is director of the Foundations of Cognition Laboratory and assistant professor of neurology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Kato has a background in neurobiology, theoretical physics, mathematics, computer science and hardware and software. After studying many-body quantum mechanics with Nobelist Bob Laughlin as an undergraduate at Stanford University, Dr. Kato spent a decade as an engineer and tech entrepreneur before returning to science; he founded, financed, built, and sold two technology companies: Sven Technologies, which developed software algorithms and applications for 3D graphics rendering, and WideRay Corp., which pioneered the idea of local ad-hoc wireless content delivery, manufacturing and building a network of several thousand local content delivery points in fifteen countries. After earning his PhD from Columbia University in 2013–a computational-experimental project determining the signal processing properties of the nematode C. elegans neurons–Dr. Kato became an EMBO Long-Term Fellow in the lab of Manuel Zimmer at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Kato and his team study the relationship between the dynamics of brain-wide activity and behavior in C. elegans in search of basic principles and building blocks of neural computation and cognitive function.


Nov 15, 2018
Music in the Brain: How Neural Circuits in the Songbird Learn to Sing

Michale Fee is the Glen V. and Phyllis F. Dorflinger Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1992. Before moving to MIT, he was a principal investigator in the Biological Computation Research Department at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. Dr. Fee joined the McGovern Institute in 2003. His research studies how the brain learns and generates complex sequential behaviors, with a focus on the songbird as a model system. Birdsong is a complex behavior that young birds learn from their fathers and it provides an ideal system to study the neural basis of learned behavior. Because the parts of the bird's brain that control song learning are closely related to human circuits that are disrupted in brain disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, Dr. Fee hopes the lessons learned from birdsong will provide new clues to the causes and possible treatment of these conditions. He was awarded the 2012 Lawrence C. Katz Prize for Innovative Research in Neuroscience and was a Dart Scholar. He is co-director of the Methods in Computational Neuroscience at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He is supported by grants from the NIH, NIMH, NSF, the Mathers Foundation, CHDI and the Simons Center for the Social Brain.

Dec 06, 2018
Small Brains, Smart Minds: From Bees and Birds to UAVs

Mandyam V. Srinivasan’s research focuses on the principles of visual processing, perception and cognition in simple natural systems—in particular, bees and birds—and on the application of these principles to machine vision and robotics. He is a professor at the Queensland Brain Institute and the School of ITEE at the University of Queensland. Srinivasan holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Bangalore University, an M.E. in Electronics from the Indian Institute of Science, a Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University, a D.Sc. in Neuroethology from the Australian National University, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Zürich. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2006, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, of the World Academy of Sciences, of the Royal Society of London, and of the German Academy of Science, Leopoldina.

Jan 17, 18, 2019
SAGE Center lecture and demonstration by Charles Spence and Jozef Youssef

Charles Spence is Professor of Experimental Psychology, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory and Fellow of Somerville College at the University of Oxford, UK. Dr. Spence received his PhD from Cambridge University, where he was also a Junior Research Fellow. In 1997, Dr. Spence joined the faculty at Oxford University, where he has remained. His research focuses on how a better understanding of the human mind will lead to the better design of multisensory foods, products, interfaces, and environments in the future. His research calls for a radical new way of examining and understanding the senses that has major implications for the way in which we design everything from household products to mobile phones, and from the food we eat to the places in which we work and live. Dr. Spence has co-edited a number of publications related to multisensory perception, and his books include The Multisensory Driver: Implications for Ergonomic Car Interface Design (2008, With Cristy Ho), In Touch with the Future: The Sense of Touch from Cognitive Neuroscience to Virtual Reality (2014, With Alberto Gallace), The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining (2014, with Betina Piqueras-Fiszman), and Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating (2017, with John Sackville). His awards and honors include the 10th Experimental Psychology Society Prize (2003), Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2005), and the Prose Prize for Popular Science Book of the Year awarded for The Perfect Meal (2015).

Chef Jozef Youssef is the creative force behind Kitchen Theory, the gastronomy experience design lab which is home to the Gastrophysics Chef’s Table. Chef Jozef’s years of experience in London’s most highly acclaimed Michelin star restaurants and hotels coupled with his academic interest in gastronomy, art and science all led to him establishing Kitchen Theory in 2010. Jozef has established himself as an authority in the field of multisensory gastronomy and gastrophysics, with ongoing research in this subject carried out in collaboration with Professor Charles Spence of Oxford University. He has published several peer-reviewed papers as well as his first book, Molecular Gastronomy at Home. He is currently an associate editor at the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science and a public speaker on multisensory experience design, innovation and gastronomy, including having recently shared this research as a speaker for the TEDxLSE Annual Conference 2018.

Feb 21, 2019
A Taste for the Beautiful, The Evolution of Attraction

Michael J. Ryan is the Clark Hubbs Regents Professor in Zoology at The University of Texas at Austin and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama since 1982. He received his PhD in Neurobiology & Behavior from Cornell University and was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley before beginning a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, where he has remained since 1984. Dr. Ryan’s primary research interests are in the evolution and mechanisms of animal behavior, especially animal communication and sexual selection. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin. His honors and awards include the Exemplar Award from the Center for Integrative Studies in Animal Behavior (2007), the Joseph Grinnell Medal, from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (2008), the E.O. Wilson Naturalist Award from the American Society of Naturalists (2010), and the Distinguished Career Award from the Animal Behavior Society (2017). He was also selected as one of the 25 Leaders in Animal Behavior (book published 2010, Cambridge Univ. Press). Ryan has presented hundreds of invited lectures and published more than 300 scientific papers, many in the highest-impact journals. His 1985 book The Túngara Frog, A Study in Sexual Selection and Communication is considered a classic in its field, and A Taste for the Beautiful, the Evolution of Attraction (2018) aims to explain sexual selection and mate choice to the general public. Dr. Ryan is currently on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science and chairman of the Advisory Board for the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.

Mar 14, 2019
SAGE Center lecture by Daphna Shohamy

Daphna Shohamy is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Learning Lab at the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University. After receiving her PhD from Rutgers University, Dr. Shohamy was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. She joined the faculty at Columbia in 2007. Dr. Shohamy’s research is focused on the intersection between learning, memory and decision making. How are decisions shaped by past experience? When are decisions guided by explicit knowledge, and when by implicitly learned associations or biases? Are explicit and implicit memories supported by independent cognitive and neural systems (as popular view suggests)? Or, is there some form of cross-talk between them? If so, do the underlying systems cooperate or compete? To answer these questions, she adopts an integrative approach that draws broadly on neuroscience to make predictions about cognition. Predictions are tested in behavioral and neuroimaging studies in healthy individuals, and in patients with isolated damage to specific brain systems. Dr. Shohamy’s awards and honors include the Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award from the McKnight Foundation, Young Investigator Awards from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the Society for Neuroeconomics, the Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science and the National Science Foundation’s Career Development Award.

May 16, 2019
SAGE Center lecture by Michel Maharbiz

Michel Maharbiz is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and a Co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Maharbiz's research interests include building micro/nano interfaces to cells and organisms and exploring bio-deprived fabrication methods. His long term goal is to understand developmental mechanisms as a way to engineer and fabricate machines. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, Professor Maharbiz’s work on microbioreactor systems under Professor Roger T. Howe (EECS) and Professor Jay D. Keasling (ChemE) led to the foundation of Microreactor Technologies, Inc., which was acquired by Pall Corporation in 2009. He is the co-founder of Tweedle Technologies and served as Vice President of Product Development at Quswami, Inc. from July 2010 to June 2011. Dr. Maharbiz was the recipient of a 2009 NSF Career Award for research into developing microfabricated interfaces for synthetic biology. In 2013, he received an Excellence in Engineering Education Award from National Instruments. He has been a GE Scholar and an Intel IMAP Fellow. His group is also known for developing the world’s first remotely radio-controlled cyborg beetles. This was named one of the top ten emerging technologies of 2009 by MIT’s Technology Review (TR10) and was in Time Magazine’s Top 50 Inventions of 2009. In 2017 Dr. Maharbiz and his colleague Jose Carmena shared the prestigious McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award. Dr. Maharbiz received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jun 06, 2019
SAGE Center lecture by Iain Couzin

Iain Couzin is the Chair of Biodiversity and Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz, Germany and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Collective Behaviour. Previously he was a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, and prior to that a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, and a Junior Research Fellow in the Sciences at Balliol College, Oxford. His work aims to reveal the fundamental principles that underlie evolved collective behavior, and consequently his research includes the study of a wide range of biological systems, from insect swarms to fish schools and primate groups. In recognition of his research he has been recipient of the Searle Scholar Award in 2008, top 5 most cited papers of the decade in animal behavior research 1999-2010, the Mohammed Dahleh Award in 2009, Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10” Award in 2010, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award in 2012 and the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London in 2013.

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