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2013-2014 Seminar Series

From Odysseus to Caltech: How having (and being) a mentor can help you succeed

Candace Rypisi, Caltech Director of Student Faculty Programs (including SURF)

In 1978, the Harvard Business Review published the seminal article Everyone who makes it has a mentor, which highlighted the important role that mentoring plays in the experience of highly successful people. Since then the concept and reality of mentoring has changed to meet the changing landscapes of education and the workforce. This presentation will examine the current models and impact of mentoring and ways in which you can tap into this key to success.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Beckman Institute Auditorium


Changing the Brain: Insights from Cognitive Science about Effective Teaching and Learning

Carmel Levitan Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science at Occidental College

The process of learning involves changing the brain. Thus thinking about how to best engage the brain and build on existing neural connections can improve the effectiveness of teaching. This seminar will review some insights from cognitive science and explore teaching strategies that implement these insights.

Tuesday, March, 11, 2014 5:30 pm-6:30 pm

Beckman Institute Auditorium


Juggling Teaching at a Community College and Research at Caltech

Kaushiki Menon, Postdoctoral Scholar, Caltech; Biology Instructor, Mt. San Antonio College

In this talk, I will share my experiences teaching undergraduates at Mt. San Antonio College, a community college, while also doing research in neurobiology at Caltech. I will describe the diverse students and the classes that I have taught and go through the mostly rewarding and sometimes challenging aspects of teaching undergraduates at a community college. I will also discuss the processof finding such a job and how one can juggle life at the bench and teach.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 5:30 pm-6:30 pm

Beckman Institute Auditorium


The Art of Scientific Presentations

Professor Armand R. Tanguay, Jr., Professor of Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, and Physics and Astronomy and Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Southern California

            One's capability to make clear, concise, interesting, and in some cases inspiring presentations to a wide variety of audiences is of considerable (and increasing) importance in scientific and engineering careers.  These audiences are often friendly, in the sense that they are anxious to hear what you have to say (for example, when you present an invited paper at a scientific or technical conference).  However, audiences are sometimes neutral (for example, when you present a contributed paper at a scientific or technical conference, or when you present a research seminar during a job search), or even a bit negative or adversarial (for example, when you present research proposals to qualifying examination committees, research grant review committees, or funding agencies).  This seminar is focused on the key elements of highly successful scientific presentations, on the optimal design of visual aids, and on important presentation tips that can allow excellent results to be both understood and appreciated.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Beckman Institute Auditorium


Teaching Statement Workshop

Please indicate your intent to attend by clicking on the following link by April 28th to RSVP: Teaching Statement Workshop RSVP

Part 1: Teaching Statement Background: Monday, May 5th 4:00pm to 5:30pm, Moore 070

What is a teaching statement and why is it important? This interactive session will review teaching statement tips, provide examples, and set the stage for participants to write their own teaching statements.

Part 2: Teaching Statement Feedback: Monday, May 12th 4:00pm to 5:30pm, Moore 070

Participants will bring drafts of their teaching statements for peer review. Common themes and trends found in teaching statements will be discussed within the group.