Connections- Tiffany Leung

Having James Gimzewski as our last guest lecturer of the class was a very good choice. As opposed to the last guest lectures who gave sort of ordinary, or such structured lectures, Gimzewski’s was much more enjoyable because he lectured in a way that kept us interested throughout, I think, because of how light hearted and numerous he was about his work, colleagues, and about science in general. I felt like before him, scientists I’ve usually heard talk about their work have always been very serious and a bit intimidating, so it was a little harder to follow their lectures. Gimzewski’s work with nanotechnology is definitely a great breakthrough for the world of science and it was fascinating to learn about the developments that are happening at this very second on OUR campus! I love UCLA! After looking up about more of the work that Gimzewski is involved in, the most recent is the discovery of a distinguishing texture of cancer cells and normal cells. http://www.chem.ucla.edu/dept/Faculty/gimzewski/ Work like this has a great potential to do wonders for the future treatment of cancer patients, and its very interesting to see where this will go throughout our lifetime. His other works, like the project about trying to record the sounds of a butterfly cocoon, really exemplifies the work that scientists do that also involve the arts. The meshing of Gimzewski’s work and Professor Vesna’s work shows just how much science and art correlate and how much they depend on each other for all sorts of projects now.

Another part of our lectures that week, which I found to be interesting as well, was the Mandela project that Professor Vesna had worked on with the Tibetan Monks. It is really intriguing to see the connection between religious practices and art. Even though art has always been a huge part of religion, seeing the ceremonies and practices that are linked to the creation of these mandalas shows how precise it all must be. The making of these mandalas also incorporates the use of technology, especially when we saw slides of large production it required to showcase these works of art. When we learn how monks, artists (Prf. Vesna), and scientists (Gimzewski), work together to create this nanomandala, we can really appreciate the relationship between those studies. I just found a few sites that had information of the project like this one, http://nano.arts.ucla.edu/mandala/mandala.php . I really wish we could have seen the video that Professor Vesna wanted to show us of the really cool zoom-out of the mandala because I haven’t been able to find it on the internet either.

For this week, the first half of the final presentations have been really cool since none of them overlapped too much. Even though the topic of water seems like there would not be that many things to talk about, the possibilities now seem limitless. I am looking forward to seeing what earth presentations will be about on Wednesday.

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