The Columns

Second Annual Nobel Symposium at W&L

— by on October 31st, 2011

The Second Annual Nobel Prize Symposium at Washington and Lee University, coordinated this year by Wayne Dymacek, professor of mathematics, will feature presentations by W&L faculty who will give background on the individuals who have won this year’s Nobel Prizes and the activities that earned those honors. All sessions are open to the W&L community and the general public.

“These sessions by volunteer members of the W&L faculty will help educate all of us about the content and significance of the work that earned the 2011 Nobel Prize winners this high honor,” said Hank Dobin, dean of the college.

The first session was held Thursday, Oct. 20, with Maryanne Simurda, professor of biology, presenting on the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity” and to Ralph M. Steinman “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.”

Additional Nobel Prize presentations will be held as follows:

Turing Prize in Computer Science, Friday, Nov. 4, 12:30 p.m. in the Women’s Resource Room, Elrod Commons

Joshua Stough, assistant professor of computer science, will present on the prize awarded to Leslie G. Valiant, who teaches computer science and applied mathematics at Harvard University, “for his research that paved the way for computers that more closely mimic how humans think.” The Turing Award is considered the Nobel Prize of computing and is named after the famous British mathematician Alan M. Turing.

Nobel Peace Prize, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 12:30 p.m. in Hillel House                 

Dayo Abah, associate professor of journalism, will present on the prize awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

Nobel Prize in Physics, Thursday, Nov. 10, at 12:30 p.m. in the Women’s Resource Room, Elrod Commons

Bruce Boller, visiting professor of physics, will present on the prize awarded jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.”

Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 12: 30 p.m., in Hillel House

Mike Smitka, professor of economics, will present on the prize awarded jointly to Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims “for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.”

Abel Prize in Mathematics, Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 12:30 p.m. in Hillel house

Jacob Siehler, assistant professor of mathematics, will present on the prize awarded to John Milnor “for pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry and algebra.”

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 12:15 p.m. in Hillel House

Erich Uffelman, professor of chemistry, will present on the prize awarded to Dan Shechtman “for the discovery of quasicrystals.”

The presentation for the Nobel Prize in Literature has not yet been scheduled.

Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director
stschiggfrie@wlu.edu
540-458-8235