Archive 2012

Click on the show title below to access the show archive stored on the Georgia Tech SMARTECH system.

Wednesday Dec. 26th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
Please enjoy an encore presentation of Inside the Black Box while we take a brief break over the holidays.
Wednesday Dec. 5th, 2012 noon-1pm Cancer: Beyond the Cells
Michelle Dawson from the Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering joins us to discuss how understanding and curing cancer requires an understanding of more than just the cancer cell type. The properties of these cells and how this effects movement of the cells and transport into the cells is critical to understanding how to defeat the cancer.
Wednesday Nov. 28th, 2012 noon-1pm Are we gellin yet
Today we examine the chemistry and physics behind a phenomena that is common in our lives: the gel. Polymeric gels are a very diverse material system with applications from cooking to shoe insoles.
Wednesday Nov. 21st, 2012 noon-1pm It’s All in the Interpretation
We often see disparate interpretations in language and politics, but the same is true in science expriments. This is particularly true in chemistry where one cannot see the molecules directly. Laren Tolbert of the Georgia Tech School of Chemistry & Biochemistry joins us to discusses challenges in interpreting such experiments.
Wednesday Nov. 14th, 2012 noon-1pm Nanotechnology: Let’s Get Small
Mike Filler from the Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomomolecular Engineering joins us to talk about the new paradigm of nanotechnology which builds molecular structures in a systematic way from the bottom up, instead of a more empirical approach from the top down. This approach allows the production of specific structures that occur in a variety of important applications.
Wednesday Nov. 7th, 2012 noon-1pm Quantum Computing
Ken Brown from the Georgia Tech School of Chemistry and Biochemistry will join us to discuss current research and future applications of using controlled quantum states to significantly improve the current state of computing
Wednesday Oct. 31st, 2012 noon-1pm Nobel Pursuits 2012
As we have done in the past we will discuss the amazing impact that this years Nobel-Prize-winning research may have on our World. We’ll discuss the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine or Physiology.
Wednesday Oct. 24th, 2012 noon-1pm Inflammation and Depression
Andrew Miller from the Emory University Medical College Psychiatry, and Hemotology and Oncology faculty join us to discuss the recently discovered connection between depression and inflammation. This new Emory study illustrates the connections in complex biological systems we often discuss on the show and suggests new treatment options for people with depression that is resistant to typical treatments.
Wednesday Oct. 17th, 2012 noon-1pm A New Bag of Chips
Cliff Henderson from the Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering joins us again to discuss the latest techniques to produce integrated circuits for microelectronic devices.
Wednesday Oct. 10th, 2012 noon-1pm Deep Blue Nitrogen
Joseph Montoya, from the Georgia Tech School of Biology, joins us to talk about the Nitrogen Cycle in the World’s oceans and what can be learned about how the growth of biological life occurs in various parts of the ocean.
Wednesday Oct. 3rd, 2012 noon-1pm God’s Particle
This term is the most intriguing and misleading name for a sub-atomic particle. Co-founder of the Atlanta Science Tavern, Marc Merlin will reprise part of his lecture on the Higgs Boson and discuss the significance of discovery of the Higgs Boson.
Wednesday Sept. 26th, 2012 noon-1pm Models – off the runway
One of the most useful tools in science is the model. While many of these are quantitatively written as mathematical equations, it is often their qualitative form that is most useful in understanding scientific phenomena. We explore various models in science and how this concept is useful in many ways outside of its traditional science applications.
Wednesday Sept. 19th, 2012 noon-1pm Drugs are only skin-deep
Not really, but delivery of drugs through the skin is a rapidly growing approach to drug delivery. Mark Prausnitz, from the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech will join us to discuss drug delivery and some new methods he is working on for transdermal drug delivery.
Wednesday Sept. 12th, 2012 noon-1pm TBA
Wednesday Sept. 5th, 2012 noon-1pm TBA
Wednesday August 29th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
Pete is out of town so please enjoy this previously aired episode of Inside the Black Box
Wednesday August 22nd, 2012 noon-1pm Updates on the Origin of Life
Loren Williams from the Georgia Tech Center for Wednesday August 15th, 2012 noon-1pm
Science in the Time of Cholera
Brian Hammer from the Georgia Tech School of Biology joins us to talk about the fascinating behavior of bacteria. While he specifically studies the bacteria the causes cholera, we will learn about how variations in your own bacteria populations can affect your health and how bacteria can change their own gene expression in response to their local population.
Wednesday August 8th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
Pete is on vacation so we will play an encore presentation of Inside the Black Box.
Wednesday August 1st, 2012 noon-1pm The Science & Technology of Storms
We are joined by professional storm chaser and Professor of Natural Science Paul Sirvatka to discuss the science and technology of storms.
Wednesday July 25th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
Pete is grading senior design project oral presentations today, so we are playing a classic rewind.
Wednesday July 18th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
Trent went out of town at the last minute so we are playing a classic rewind.
Wednesday July 11th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
Pete is in Boston talking about some NSF-sponsored research, and doing a free performance of his one-man show Feel the Power of the Dork Side at the Thirsty Ear Pub on the MIT campus at 8pm on Tuesday July 10th. If you are a member of the MIT community or an MIT Alumnus, and are 21 or over (sorry, its in a pub) come on by for Pete’s own humorous take on science and technology.
Wednesday July 4th, 2012 noon-1pm Classic Rewind
We are celebrating Independence day, so enjoy this previous episode of Inside the Black Box.
Wednesday June 27th, 2012 noon-1pm All Machines, Great & Small
Peter Hesketh, from the Georgia Tech School of Mechanical Engineering, joins us to discuss the manufacture and application of micro- and nano-electromechanical systems. Such systems have advantages over purely electronic devices, and their application in a variety of areas is increasing rapidly.
Wednesday June 13th, 2012 noon-1pm The Republican Brain
Chris Mooney joins us to discuss his latest book The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality. Chris uses modern psychological evidence to show that conservatives and liberals are not as logical as we might think, and this makes the jobs of science educators that much more difficult.
Wednesday June 6th, 2012 noon-1pm Serendipity in Science
Our favorite guest co-host, Charlie Bennett of the Georgia Tech Library, joins us to discuss the role of serendipity in science and take calls from our loyal listeners.
Wednesday May 30th, 2012 noon-1pm The Greatest Show on Earth
Today we review Richard Dawkins latest book on Evolution entitled “The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution. An amazing volume sure to be educational regardless of your knowledge level of evolutions
Wednesday May 23rd, 2012 noon-1pm ACC Baseball Tournament
We were bumped due to the ACC baseball tournament this week.
Wednesday May 16th, 2012 noon-1pm Aerosols in the Air
While most people are familiar with greenhouse gases and their potential effect on climate, they are unfamiliar with aerosols in the atmosphere. Sally Ng of the Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering joins us to discuss her research on this phenomenon and its relation to the global climate.
Wednesday May 9th, 2012 noon-1pm The Math behind March Madness
Joel Sokol, of the Georgia Tech School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, joins us to illustrate the predictive power of math and probability by picking to top finishers in the NCAA basketball tournament each year.
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 noon-1pm The Great America Love Affair with Electric Vehicles
Polymath and former WREK engineer Chris Campbell joins us to talk about his passion for electric vehicles. Chris has done a lot of different types of engineering and owned the first Chevy Volt in Georgia.
April 25th, 2012
Classic Rewind
Pete is grading Senior Design presentations so we are playing a rerun of Inside the Black Box.
Wednesday April 18th, 2012 noon-1pm ET’s Hood
Because the 2012 Astrobiology Science Conference is in Atlanta, Midtown looks like the set of the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Some of its attendees, Michael New of NASA, Rory Barnes of the University of Washington, and Kate Follette of the University of Arizona will join us to talk about the exploration of planets outside our solar system and what might make them habitable for ET or other forms of life. We will be joined in studio, via teleconference, by a H.S. class from Camden County, GA.
April 11th, 2012
Classic Rewind
We had a last minute guest cancellation, but we will be back next week with an all new show.
Wednesday April 4th, 2012 noon-1pm Improvisational Innovation
One of Pete’s collaborators, Lew Lefton of the Georgia Tech Math faculty, joins us to discuss their work with Richard Catrambone that uses humorous improvisation to catalyze technical innovation. Humorous Improvisation has been used in innovation for quite some time, but this project, Improvisational Design of Engineering Alternatives (IDEA), adapts this approach specifically for technical innovation.
Wednesday March 28th, 2012 noon-1pm The Flame Challenge
After last week’s show cast doubt on whether any scientist can explain phenomena effectively without jargon, we are refocusing on The Flame Challenge, a contest sponsored by actor Alan Alda and the Center for Communicating Science that challenges scientists to explain how a flame works to an 11 year old. Can we even explain this simple phenomenon? We will find out today.
Wednesday March 21st, 2012 noon-1pm The Shadow of the Dork Side
What started out as a show based on listener calls, turned into a maelstrom of doubt when Pete tried to answer a listener call about the shape of proteins, and guest co-host Charlie Bennett turned on him like a pack of dingos. This show was good illustration of how difficult it is to explain complex concepts at the appropriate level for a non-experts who are intelligent educated people without using jargon. Pete considering scrapping the entire program after this particular episode. However, because this episode was funny we decided to keep going.
Wednesday March 14th, 2012 noon-1pm Neuro Humanities
Barbara Stafford, a distiguished visiting professor at Georgia Tech, will discuss this fascinating field and some of her recent work that explores the edge of neuroscience and the humanities. Recent discoveries in both these fields allow neuroscience to help explain what it is to persuade or move people with activities usually reserved for the humanities. We will also discuss the upcoming Neuro Salon and the Neuro Humanities Entanglement Conference at Georgia Tech this April.
Wednesday March 7th, 2012 noon-1pm Pocket Protectors & Other Fashion Statements
John Pojman of the chemistry department at Louisiana State University joins us to discuss his amazing collection of pocket protectors and other peculiarities of the nerd class.
Wednesday Feb. 29th, 2012 noon-1pm The Miscibility of Science & Music
Steve Everett, Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence at Emory and Nick Hud, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Chemical Evolution at Georgia Tech join use to discuss a unique collaboration between music and science. Entitled “First Life“, this program is a combination of music and a multimedia presentation that explores the chemical origins of life at Emory University on Sunday March 4th at 7pm.
Wednesday Feb. 22nd, 2012 noon-1pm Cancer Therapy: William Tell Style
Like William Tell targeting the proverbial apple atop his son, many modern cancer therapies target tumors to avoid the side effects of more systemic chemotherapy approaches. Lakeshia Taite from the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech joins us to discuss this approach and some of her recent work in the area.
Wednesday Feb. 15th, 2012 noon-1pm Dodos and Sizzle
Of course we could have called it Evolution and Global Warming, but our guest Randy Olsen might night think it was as engaging. Harvard-trained biology professor turned film director, Randy will chat about his films “Flock of Dodos” and “Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy” and how film can be used to better engage the public in a discussion of controversial science topics.
Wednesday Feb. 8th, 2012 noon-1pm JROTC, but with Science
The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) attempts to recruit military officers from High Schools by having them interact with military officers. Ed Morrison from Barrow County Schools, and Warren Matthews from Georgia Tech will talk to us about using a Race to the Top Grant to use scientists and engineers to recruit students into the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The main difference as that this program uses more interactive video conferences with scientists and fewer pushups. Georgia Tech Biomedial Engineering student Katelyn Roberts also explains how this Direct to Discovery program in Barrow county motivated her current educational path.
Wednesday Feb. 1st, 2012 noon-1pm Deciphering Our Digital World
Justin Romberg, from the Georgia Tech School of Electrical & Computer Engineering will join us to talk about digital signal processing and how advanced mathematical algorithms help interpret and manipulate vast amounts of digital data. Applications from data compression to image analysis will be discussed, as well as Justin’s consultant work for the television series Numb3rs.
Jan. 25th, 2011
Volcanology: Geology, not Spock
Josef Dufek, from the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences will join us to talk about the baddest geological event on the planet: Volcanoes.
Jan. 18th, 2011
When Hollywood Goes Boom
We’ll chat with special effects and stunt rigger Casey Noel of NAC Effects & Prop Animation on the technology and logistics behind explosions and other movie effects. Casey has worked on a number of movies from the Transformers movies to Iron Man 2.
Jan. 11th, 2012
Classic Rewind
Sorry, Pete is out of town again, but we will be back next week with a brand new show.
Jan. 4th, 2012
The Year in Science: 2011
We’ll take listener calls as we discuss the big science stories of 2011 from Discover Magazine