President's Colloquia

The spring 2018 colloquia are scheduled from 4-6 p.m. at Westwood, located at 500 McCormick Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

Past Colloquia

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Alexandra Boltasseva

“Catching Light Rays: Making Light Work at the Nanoscale for Faster Communication, Denser Data Storage, Energy and Medical Applications”

Alexandra Boltasseva, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Optics has revolutionized how we communicate, harvest energy, do computation and diagnose illness. Novel optical technologies fueled by nanophotonics “squeeze” electromagnetic radiation into tiny areas much smaller than the wavelength of light. Explore “flatland” optics, on-chip nanocircuitry, medical diagnostics, and therapy and green energy with nanophotonics.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pedro Irazoqui

“Electroceuticals: How Electrical Therapies Improve on Pharmaceuticals with Better Efficacy and Fewer Side Effects”

Pedro Irazoqui, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Reilly Professor of Biomedical Engineering

In the fall of 2014, DARPA, the NIH and Glaxo-Smith Kline joined forces to fund three new programs in “electroceuticals.” Electroceuticals is a newly coined term referring to the substitution of electrical stimulation for pharmacological therapy. The Purdue Center for Implantable Devices in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering competed for all three funding opportunities: DARPA's ElectRx program, NIH's SPARC program and GSK's Innovation Challenge. The center was the only entity selected for funding by all three. Learn about the many electroceutical applications that Purdue is leading in this burgeoning field.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mark French

“Guitar Technology: What We Know and What We Don't”

Mark French, Professor, School of Engineering Technology

Stringed instruments are created at the touchpoint of art and engineering. While a great deal is understood about them, much is not quantified. For example, there is no mathematical description of sound quality. Instrument production, continuous improvement, and build-variation control are good and getting better. But to actually know how a guitar will sound, you have to build it first.

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Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

James Anderson

“Your Health Care May Kill You: Medical Errors”

Dr. James Anderson, Professor, Department of Sociology and Brian Lamb School of Communication

Dr. Anderson's research examines ways to detect and reduce medical errors that are estimated to account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the U.S., making medical errors the third-leading cause of death. He will also review the results of a series of studies utilizing structural equation modeling and computer simulation to shed light on ways that medical errors can be predicted and prevented.


Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

Alina Alexeenko
Guillermo Paniagua

“Hyperloop 101: Fundamentals of High-Speed Vacuum Tube Transportation”

Dr. Alina Alexeenko, Professor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Dr. Guillermo Paniagua, Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering

Drs. Alexeenko and Paniagua will share the story and evolution of the Purdue Hyperloop pod and review the key science and technology needs for enabling the new high-speed transportation system. They will also discuss the potential economic implications of the increased connectivity it may bring about in the future.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Erica Carlson

“Reductionism, Emergence, and Freedom: Are we bound by the laws of Physics?”

Dr. Erica Carlson, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Carlson's work explores human behavior and the laws of physics. In this talk, she will explain the idea of emergence and discuss some of the implications of the emergence paradigm for scientific progress and the question of whether human behavior can ever be captured by the laws of nature.


If you have any questions, please contact Robin D. French at 765-494-9708 or


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