Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard University
Time and location TBD
Lars Chittka, MSc, PhD, Dr habil, FLS, FRES, FRSB
Professor in Sensory and Behavioural Ecology
Queen Mary University of London
Thursday, September 14, 2023
4:30-5:30 PM with reception afterwards
UW Biotechnology Center Auditorium, Rm. 1111
425 Henry Mall
Most of us are aware of the hive mind—the power of bees as an amazing collective. Lars Chittka argues that individual bees have remarkable cognitive abilities, have distinct personalities, can recognize flowers and human faces, exhibit basic emotions, count, use simple tools, solve problems, and learn by observing others. They may even possess consciousness. Chittka illustrates how bee brains are unparalleled in the animal kingdom in terms of how much sophisticated material is packed into their tiny nervous systems. Chittka also examines the ethical dilemmas that arise in conservation and laboratory settings because bees might feel and think.
MIT Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Mathematics
Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 4-5 PM
Reception before the lecture: 2:30-4 PM
1310 Sterling Hall
475 N. Charter Street
Professor Staffilani’s proposed Hilldale lecture will be about introducing us to the most recent discoveries in the very hot area of research of wave turbulence theory and has the working title ‘A small window in wave turbulence theory’. The theory has been applied to describe waves in the ocean, nonlinear optics, waves in magnetized fluids such as solar winds, and recently, gravitational waves in the early universe. Despite the wide range of applications, there remain many open questions regarding a rigorous mathematical foundation, and Professor Staffilani is a world leader in this effort.