Seeing Myself In Science Lectures

Established in Fall 2016 the lecture series  ‘Seeing Myself in Science (SMISe)’ features scientists from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds with various perspectives, who are the 'New Scientists' of today. 

Fall 2019

Thursday, September 26, 4-5PM: Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Ph.D.,  a Regents Professor, a Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology and a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University.

Carlos Castillo ChavezCarlos Castillo ChavezDr. Castillo-Chavez will discuss the transformative events in his life that drove him to become a mathematical scientist engaged in disease research and his commitment to addressing educational disparities and prejudice. Prof. Chavez is the  founding director of the Simon A. Levin Mathematical and Computational Modeling Sciences Center at Arizona State University. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM mentoring in 1997.

Fall 2018

Tuesday, October 30, 4-5 PM: Christina Paxson Ph.D, President, Brown University

We were excited to host President Paxson as the first SMISe lecture this year. She discussed her journey into the field of economics, some misconceptions about who should study economics and how that impacts representation, and her leadership of the university to address issues around inclusion and diversity on campus. The event was sponsored by The New Scientist Collective, who invited leaders from most student STEM groups across disciplines, to engage with the President in an ever-evolving conversation. Read more in the Brown Daily Herald article "Paxson P'19 discusses diversity in economics" .

Spring 2018

Wednesday, February 7,  4-5PM: James A. DeBardelaben, Ph.D. President and CEO of IvySys Technologies, LLC

J.A. DeBardelabenJ.A. DeBardelabenIn 2005, Dr. DeBardelaben founded IvySys, a boutique software company to deliver exceptional software solutions for big data, social network analysis, analytic workflow modernization, and interoperability to DoD, IC, and homeland security customers. Under his strategic direction and oversight, IvySys has become a leader in providing automated solutions for critical intelligence analysis and threat awareness problems using innovative advanced analytics capabilities. 

Dr. DeBardelaben serves on the Advisory Board of the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is a recipient of the Georgia Tech Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award. He is an honor graduate of Brown's Engineering Department. 

Wednesday, April 18, 4-5PM: Christina Rodriguez-Tapia '00, ExxonMobile

Christina Rodriguez-TapiaChristina Rodriguez-Tapia

Christina Rodriguez-Tapia began her academic journey at Brown University where she earned the Sc.B degree in geology-physics/mathematics in 2000.  She earned an M.S in geophysics at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2001.  She has been at ExxonMobil for 16 years. One of her passions is sharing her interest in the geosciences and promoting careers in STEM fields.  Christina was recently awarded the 2017 Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) President’s Award for her work with their Minority Scholarship; which provides scholarships for underrepresented female students majoring in the geosciences. 

Past Speakers

Spring 2017

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, February 14 at 5 PM, 85 Waterman Rm. 130

Dr. James West, Johns Hopkins University
Engineer, Member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame
Title: "Electet and Piezoelectric Polymer Transducers" Introduction by Dr. Barrett Hazeltine

James WestJames West

Dr. West is known worldwide as the co-inventor of the foil electret microphone. 

Come to hear him share his journey of becoming one of the world's most influential inventors of the 20th century.


Wednesday, February 15 at 5 PM, The Science Center, 3rd Floor Sciences Library, RM 315

 Panel Discussion: "How to grow a scientist?"

A panel of research scientists from some of our country's top institutions will discuss and address issues around mentorship, sponsorship, and inclusion in STEM fields. How do these influence training young scientists and building successful careers in STEM.

Dr. James West, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Benjamin Askew, SciFluor Life Sciences LLC 
Dr. Kaye Husbands Fealing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. William A. Massey, Princeton University
Dr. William L. Wilson, Harvard University

Fall 2016 

Tuesday, November 15, 4-5 pm: Jacqueline Faherty, Ph.D. Senior Scientist at American Museum of Natural History, "Exploring a Frozen Extrasolar World". 

Jackie FahertyJackie Faherty

For the past two decades, Astronomers have amassed a collection of several thousand exoplanets orbiting nearby stars.  Consequently, we are left with numerous open questions about what these planets might look like.  The second class of objects called brown dwarfs is critical to providing insights into giant planet atmospheres and interior composition.  Brown dwarfs form like stars but they do not have enough mass to ignite stable hydrogen burning so they cool throughout their lives.  They form in isolation, therefore, they are far easier to study then planets which require overcoming the glare of the host star in order to directly study them.  Recent work has uncovered a subpopulation of brown dwarfs with exceedingly small masses (3 - 10 x M-Jupiter).  One object in particular dubbed W0855 will be the subject of this talk where I will present direct evidence for features in its atmosphere including water ice clouds.  

 Monday, November  21, 4-5 pm:  Jelani Nelson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. "Sketching and Streaming Algorithms"

Jelani NelsonJelani Nelson

 In recent years, empirically the amount of new data created in the world has grown exponentially faster than both network bandwidth and available storage. To prevent being limited by the widening gap between these quantities, it is important to develop methods for producing short “sketches” of data whose size is substantially compressed. Access to the sketch alone should enable meaningful queries about the data, and sketches across data should be composable to compute aggregate statistics and distance and similarity measures. Furthermore, many applications require that these sketches be created by “streaming algorithms”, i.e. algorithms given only one (or few) passes over the data. 

Thursday, December 1, 4-5pm: Juanita Chinn '99, Ph.D., Senior Service Fellow at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “From STEM to Social Science: A trajectory from undeclared freshman to demographer studying racial disparities in health.”

Juanita ChinnJuanita ChinnDr. Juanita J. Chinn is a sociologist and demographer studying the complex relationship between race and health in the United States.  She received her Ph.D. in sociology with a specialization in demography from the University of Texas at Austin and trained for two years as a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.  Dr. Chinn is currently a Health Disparities Fellow at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Office of the Director, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH).  She holds a Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics: Psychology from Brown University.