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Friday, November 17, 2017

No tickets Required!
Come learn about cutting-edge research from the graduate student community at UC Berkeley in a relaxed, sci-fi-themed cafe setting. This month features short talks by graduate students Pratima Satish and Zarek Brot-Goldberg

Chemistry done with computers - Pratima Satish
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.

How to Do Science Without Experimental Control (If You Must) - Zarek Brot-Goldberg
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.