Yearly Archives: 2014

Chemistry Seminar: Xiaotai Wang

CSM was honored to hear from Dr. Xiaotai Wang on Friday in his lecture on computational mechanistic studies of transitional metal-catalyzed synthetically useful organic reactions. Dr. Xiaotai Wang has been a professor at the University of Colorado, Denver, since 1997. His last lecture at Mines was over 10 years ago on the synthesis of metal frameworks. Since then, Dr. Wang has been attracted to the field of computational chemistry. Dr. Wang said that he was drawn to this field because of its utility in providing insights into the designing of new molecules. He is currently researching the synthesis and of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with newer structures and a whole host of useful properties. Dr. Wang worked in a field called computational chemistry, a branch of chemistry involving computer simulations of chemical structures to assist in solving different chemical questions. Dr. Wang noted that there are two main divisions of computational quantum chemistry: wave function based and density function based.

Campus Research: Geophysics Senior Design

For Mines seniors, their final year at Mines can be a stressful time. Not only are students trying to figure out what to do upon graduation, but they are also usually in the middle of senior design projects. In the geophysics department, students choose their own projects to research for one or two semesters and, while geophysics is usually concerned with what is beneath the earth, the students are allowed to explore different fields and research what interests them. The Oredigger sat down with geophysics student Katerina Gonzales to ask her about her research.

Treasure Island: An Ironic Experience at Engineering School

“Colorado School of Mines” and “theater productions” are two phrases not frequently found in the same sentence, but avoid telling that to the members of Mines Little Theater. Amidst Calculus class, Physics homework, and plenty of Engineering Design, students involved in Mines Theater wholeheartedly performed the classic play “Treasure Island” last weekend. While the performance was far from a Broadway production, the enthusiasm of the actors made the experience light-hearted and humorous for all involved.

“Tech Transfer:” A witty tale of deceit

When the beloved president of Kershaw University died, the faculty fell into a state of worry. Their pet projects were coming under more scrutiny than they had ever imagined. From the secret army project to create soldiers who did not need sleep to research in the lifestyle of laboratory rats, no laboratory was safe from the prying eyes of newly-instituted president Mark Winner. However, this is only the beginning of the problems at Kershaw. Scheming professors, a scandal that nearly closed the medical school, and so much more have the potential to damage the reputation of a university that is only beginning to turn itself around.

Scientific Discoveries this Week – 11/02/14

California, USA: Researchers at University of California, San Francisco have found new genes that play a role in causing autism. Scientists identified 60 genes with a greater than 90% chance of increasing a child’s autism risk. The researchers say these genes appear to be clustering around three sets of key biological functions: development of synapses in the brain, creation of genetic instructions, and DNA packaging within cells. Dr. Matthew State, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, believes that the most important thing to take away from the studies is a new knowledge base. Instead of focusing on environmental factors, he says these studies are focusing on what happens inside of the brain.

Neighbors

“Neighbors” cannot be described as anything short of terrible. The acting was bad and the script was worse. Seth Rogen was not any better than usual, and yes, Zac Efron has a nice face, but this movie did not do much for his acting career. Rose Byrne and Dave Franco also appear, but they do little for the movie. The plot, two new parents move in next to a frat house, was questionable to begin with and did not do the movie any favors. Like a lot of movies these days, the trailer pretty much included all of the remotely funny parts, which meant the actual movie was quite disappointing.

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Lordi – Scare Force One

SCARE FORCE ONE: The title track, “Scare Force One,” is a fast blend of classic metal and Halloween, perfect for a band like Lordi, who don bloody masks, horns, and chains on stage. “Scare Force One” relies on a creepy, unique riff to blend each section, though it sticks to its classic metal roots: straight, driving chords; synth backings; full, stadium vocals on the chorus. While the chorus has a happy tinge, the rest of the song makes up for it with a creepy, “scary” vibe, which seems to be Lordi’s forté.

Is Algae the New Fuel of the Future?

What does one think of when he hears the word, “algae”? Many people think of how algae grows in aquatic environments and cause the many pool/pond owners problems. Those people have to encounter the problem of trying to remove algae from their aquatic environments. Pool owners are constantly frustrated about the large amounts of algae in their pools. However, this amount of algae may actually benefit society when looking at it from a different perspective.

How to Ace Every Test

One of the top reasons why students do poorly on tests and exams is because of test anxiety and stress. Being stressed and going into an exam knowing that one will not do well is a one-way road to failure. According to Megan Harris, Academic Advising Coordinator for CASA at Colorado School of Mines, there are a few test taking strategies that can help cope with that anxiety before and during the test.

Headlines from Around the World: 11/02/14

Nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned to the US after treating Ebola patients, went on a bike ride while being followed by a police cruiser and a group of journalists watching her every move. Maine Governor Paul LePage said that he would “exercise the full extent of his authority allowable by law to keep her away from public places.” The governor has not set a court order for a quarantine, which is causing some people living in her neighborhood to panic. However, Hickox insisted that she was healthy. The government has yet to announce actions to be taken.

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