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Every year the EYH organizers invite a prominent woman scientist or engineer to share her experiences and interest in science/engineering with the participants of the EYH Conference. This year, we are featuring talks from scientists and researchers all across the country, covering a variety of topics: robotics, polymer science, x-ray analysis, planetary geology, and more! Many of our speakers are prominent and decorated leaders in the fields and all of them are working to solve and understand fascinating questions in new ways! Each talk will also have plenty of time for live audience questions and participation.


Measuring Things You Can't See with Your Eyes

Lois Pollack: Professor, Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University

How can we measure things we can’t see? In this talk, I’ll tell you what scientific research is and how it’s done. I’ll explain some of the mysterious, and recently discovered properties of some of the molecules inside your cells.


Journey to Venus: Earth's Sister Unveiled

Vicki Hansen: Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Unviersity of Minnesota

We will journey to Earth’s sister Venus and experience visual delights of massive volcanic mountains, huge lava flows, pristine impact craters, deep curving canyons, unique features called ‘corona’, and landscapes that rival anything on Earth. Although Earth and Venus were likely very similar planetary worlds some 4.5 billion years ago, these sister planets ultimately followed different evolutionary paths (as siblings sometimes do). NASA Magellan Mission radar data allow us spectacular views of Venus’ surface, providing an incredible record of Venus’ evolution stretching from present day all the way back to those first billion years. Unlike Earth, Venus preserves pages of her ‘baby book’ which can potentially provide glimpses of Earth’s first billion years as well.


Solving Life's Mysteries with X-ray Biology

Andrea Katz: Postdoctoral Researcher, Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University

Biomolecules like proteins and nucleic acids enable life as we know it, carrying out essential functions inside of our bodies. How can we study these biomolecules, and in doing so, learn more about biology and develop better treatments for disease? In this talk, we will learn how X-rays are used to study these remarkable little molecules.


Robots: Sense, Think, and Act!

Deanna Kocker: Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University

What makes a robot different from a blender? What types of things do robots do in the real world? In this talk, we'll explore what makes robots different than machines, and we'll "spend a day in the life of a robot". We'll wrap up with some common challenges of building your own robots!


The 3rd R: Recycling and How it Works

Shelby Shankel and Luis Melecio-Zambrano: Graduate Students, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University

Have you ever wondered what should go into your recycling bin or what happens after it gets picked up? Bring out your recycling bin and learn in this interactive workshop.


How to Make a (Really) Tiny Robot

Samantha Norris: Graduate Student, Physics, Cornell University

The same tools that we use to make circuits (like computer chips) can be used to make tiny robots by the millions! They can sense their environment, transmit information, and move - all while being about the size of a cell.


Sensors: Where Learning Begins

Joshua Tropp: Postdoctoral Researcher, Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Southern Mississippi

Over the course of history, sensing technologies enabled by STEM disciplines have enriched our lives. As we incorporate more elaborate sensors into our daily routines, we lose our understanding of how we know so much about the world. “Sensors: Where Learning Begins” is a brief talk geared toward young scientists exploring the history, science, and future of sensing technologies.


Functional Polymers and Bacteria: An Evolving Conversation

Rong Yang: Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University

Polymer, the large molecule composed of many repeat units, is considered the most prevalent material of the modern age. The interactions between functional polymers and a highly ubiquitous biological system – bacteria, are of great interest in applications ranging from biomaterials and drug delivery to fouling control in membrane separation processes. Recent advances in polymer research have enabled nanoscale control of the synthesis, processing/assembly, and characterization of polymers. That molecular-level control is crucial for understanding the details of their interactions with the sub-micron-scale microbes, while enhancing the material performance in the aforementioned applications.