Learn about brain-computer interfaces at Lawrence Tech April 3: “Mind over Matter: Empowering the Paralyzed through Brain-Computer Interfaces” is the topic for the 2013 Walker L. Cisler Lecture, which will be delivered by Brown University neurologist and engineer Leigh Hochberg on Wednesday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Lawrence Technological University, 21000 West 10 Mile Road, Southfield. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium in the Science Building. A dessert reception will follow. Activities like sending emails, playing computer games, and drinking coffee have been impossible for people who are “locked in” their bodies — awake and alert, but unable to move or communicate due to brainstem injuries, strokes, or illnesses like ALS. Until now. Hochberg, who has a PhD as well as a medical degree, is co-director of BrainGate at Brown University. He and his fellow researchers are developing brain-machine interfaces that allow paralyzed people to accomplish these feats and much more. They have found that even though the pathways connecting the brain to the rest of the body, such as the spinal cord, have been broken, the brain can still send the signals that control movement. They developed BrainGate, a neural interface system that plugs into the brain, picks up those signals, and sends them to a computer that translates them into moving a cursor or controlling a computer keyboard or robot arm. Paralyzed people can literally move objects by thinking about them. Find out how this groundbreaking research could revolutionize the lives of the disabled. LTU’s annual Walker L. Cisler Lecture is dedicated to the improvement of science education and is generously supported by the Holley Foundation. For more information, call (248) 204-3500. Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Bloomberg Businessweek lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 20 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area. Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.
Wayne State To Host Science Lecture on Art: Wayne State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will host the 2013 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture on April 4 at 4 p.m. in the Law School’s Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium. Guest speaker Charles M. Falco, professor of optical sciences and physics and chair of condensed matter physics in the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, will present “The Science of Optics: The History of Art.” Renowned artist David Hockney made the revolutionary claim that artists of the prominence of van Eyck and Bellini must have used optical aids to create their paintings. In a long and productive collaboration between a scientist and an artist, Falco and Hockney discovered a wealth of information to support this claim. The Hockney-Falco thesis recognized that certain elements in specific paintings were the result of the artist using concave mirrors or refractive lenses to project images onto the canvases. Manipulation of light allowed the artist to capture elements of realism in their paintings. Falco discusses the imaging properties of the “mirror lens” and the implications this work has for the history of science and the history of art, along with the modern fields of machine vision and computerized image analysis. Reserve your seat for a fascinating look into how scientific tools of the present help decipher the artistic works of the past. The Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public, however, registration is required. To register, please visit