Just a Possibility – Farid Shirinfar

Wednesday’s lecture starting with Feynman’s quote was interesting.  Like many others, I have great respect for him and think highly of him.  He had mentioned that the gathering of scientists at the conference was just one configuration that the millions of atoms making up the audience could have at that particular time.  His quantum mechanical view of people is quite unique and mind stimulating.   Viewing what we see as a mere possibility out of millions of configurations can significantly free us from our routine based lives.

Victoria’s Mandela project was a good example for the merge of science and art to produce a thought-provoking piece.  I think it showed that the beauty of Mandela, or any object for that manner, is not confined within the boundaries set by the limitations of our senses to perceive, but goes far beyond them.   Thus comes the necessity for the merge of science and art to gain a better and deeper understating of each.

I enjoyed James Gimzewski’s talk.  His Scottish accent and his astute way of conveying concepts were very entertaining.  I liked his personality and can’t imagine getting bored working with him.  His view about the underlying social aspects in the scientific community with regard to recognition and publication was eye-opening.  I think he clearly reflected upon the gap between the scientific and artistic community when he talked about his initial thoughts when asked to give a talk to artists at UCLA for the first time.  Having attended nanotech lectures, I was familiar with some of the concepts that he mentioned and enjoyed listening to him explain them in a more well-rounded format in terms of content and entertainment.

The first day of presentations was informative, entertaining, and encouraging.  I really liked the format of midterm and final and definitely prefer it over writing an essay.  In particular, I liked the project that used alternative names of water, e.g. oxygen hydride, to raise awareness about ignorance.  I think it conveys its point effectively while providing a good mean for entertainment.


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