The Kraw Lecture Series on Science and Technology

The Kraw Lecture Series in Silicon Valley is made possible by a generous gift from UC Santa Cruz alumnus George Kraw (Cowell '71, history and Russian literature). The lecture series features acclaimed UC Santa Cruz scientists and technologists who are grappling with some of the biggest questions of our time.

These talks are free and open to the public

Our Kraw Lecture Series is so fantastic, we want to bring it right to you via live streaming. If you aren't able to join us in person the night of the event, you can now stream the lectures and join in the conversation via online comments. Lecture and live stream typically begin at 7 p.m.


      • SAVE THE DATES

        February 25: Astrobiology with Natalie Batalha
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        March 19: Coastal Science with Anne Kapuscinski
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      • Nov 12, 2019
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        Marcella Gomez, Marco Rolandi, & Mircea Teodorescu
        Can we use artificial intelligence and bioelectronics to direct how cells grow into tissues and organs?

        The convergence of modern bioelectronics, artificial intelligence, and regenerative medicine are expanding the boundaries of what is possible in medical diagnostics and treatment, neuroscience, and prosthetics. Because cells are continuously adapting to their environment, it can be difficult to engineer new cells with predictable behavior. But advances in bioelectronics and machine learning can help program cells, with implications from cell regeneration to brain function. Together, professors Gomez, Rolandi, and Teodorescu manage an innovative project developing intelligent control of tissue regeneration.
         

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Oct 28, 2019
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        Adam Millard-Ball
        Unintended Consequences of Autonomous Vehicles

        Self-driving cars are poised to create the largest upheaval in transportation planning since the arrival of the automobile. Join the conversation on October 28.
         
        Self-driving cars are coming to your neighborhood, and your commute, but what are the downsides to this intersection of technology and human behavior? Adam Millard-Ball is at the forefront of efforts to identify problems before they hit our streets. His latest research reveals that autonomous vehicles will snarl inner-city traffic by "cruising" to avoid paying hefty fees to park. Previous work suggests that these risk-averse vehicles will create a pedestrian utopia that will slow urban traffic to a crawl.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • June 18, 2019
        Anthony Aguirre

        Anthony Aguirre
        Where Did it All Come From, and Where is it All Going?

        The physical universe, Aguirre will argue, is made of matter (or energy) and of order (or information). Aguirre will trace the 13.8 billion year history of this matter/energy told by modern cosmology, as it has developed into ever-more sophisticated order and structure: galaxies and their arrangement, stars, planets, life, and very recently and locally, civilization. The survival of civilization—and life itself—through the coming century is not assured, but if it continues, what could its future look like over thousands or millions of years? No one knows, but touring topics from fundamental physics to the nature of intelligence, Aguirre will lay out some of the possibilities.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • April 16, 2019
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        Daniel Costa & Caroline Casey
        From the Beach to the Sea: How Technology Enables Us to Understand Marine Mammals

        Daniel Costa, a pioneer in the development and use of electronic tags, will discuss how advances in technology that allow precise tracking of marine mammals’ movement leads to better understanding of their behavior and their response to climate impacts on habitats. Ph.D. candidate Caroline Casey studies the evolution of communication between male northern elephant seals. Vocalizations, which are used to drive off would-be rivals, have changed over generations from geographic dialects to individualized and more complex calls.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • March 19, 2019
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        Sandra Faber
        Cosmic Knowledge and the Future of the Human Race

        Modern astronomy is telling us the story of our cosmic origins—how the Galaxy was assembled, how the Sun and Earth were formed, and where the chemical elements came from that comprise our bodies. We can now use this knowledge of our cosmic past to predict our cosmic future, and it looks bright ahead. We humans have been given the most precious gift of all, cosmic time—nearly a billion years of it. The challenge is clear: what will we do with it? National Medal of Science winner Sandra Faber will describe how the profound insights of cosmology are shaping the new Earth Futures Institute at UC Santa Cruz, which is grappling with this cardinal question.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Feb 20, 2019
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        Angela Brooks
        New Approaches to Treating Cancer Through RNA Analysis

        Angela Brooks, an expert in the analysis of RNA sequencing data, is studying the role of RNA splicing aberrations in cancer. RNA splicing is an editing process that enables one gene to produce several different protein molecules. Mutations in the genes that regulate splicing are common in cancer cells. To investigate the effects of these mutations, Brooks and her team are developing the experimental and computational tools needed to directly assess the RNA output of cancer cells and understand how changes in RNA processing affect cell function. This research could lead to novel approaches for treating cancer and other diseases in which splicing is abnormal.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Jan 23, 2019
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        David Deamer
        Assembling Life: How Can Life Begin on Earth and Other Habitable Planets?

        Our knowledge of how life on Earth began is incomplete. While some pieces of the puzzle are firmly established by the laws of chemistry and physics, there is still conjecture about what the Earth was like four billion years ago, based on reasonable extrapolations from observing today's Earth. David Deamer's research tests the hypothesis that hydrothermal fresh water pools associated with volcanic land masses are a plausible site for life to begin. Deamer will discuss how conditions in volcanic regions like Kamchatka, Iceland and Hawaii could yield clues about the origin of life in a fresh water environment—and implications for the search for life on Mars and icy moons like Enceladus and Europa.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Dec 5, 2018
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        Roberto Manduchi and Jared Duval
        Universal Access & Serious Games—Technology, Disability, and Social Good

        Universal access is the goal of assistive technology, which seeks to enable everyone, disabled or not, to communicate and participate in society. By beginning with an understanding of the physiology, psychology, and sociology of disability, UC Santa Cruz researchers are developing technological solutions that are accessible, practical, and human-centered.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Oct 9, 2018
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        Ryan Foley
        Shining Light on Gravity: Sometimes All that Shimmers IS Gold

        In 1916, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, a radiant form of energy similar to light, but caused by gravity. On August 17, 2017, a new kind of gravitational wave source was detected—two colliding neutron stars. Professor Ryan Foley will tell the harrowing David vs. Goliath story of how his small team of young, diverse scientists using a tiny telescope beat bigger teams with larger telescopes to make this incredible discovery.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Sept 20, 2018
        Beth Shapiro

        Beth Shapiro
        Bugs, Bones, and Ancient DNA

        A leader in the field of ancient DNA, Shapiro uses genetic material recovered from the remains of plants and animals that lived long ago to study evolution and explore how species and ecosystems have changed over time. She isolated the oldest DNA yet recovered—from a 700,000-year-old horse bone—as well as the oldest viral DNA and RNA. By "sequencing the dead," we gain an understanding of how species, populations, and ecosystems changed, leading to better decisions about how to use limited resources to preserve and protect species and ecosystems in the face of current climate change.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • June 19, 2018
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        Data Security, Data Privacy, and You
        How UC Santa Cruz is Influencing Information Security for Companies and Consumers

        Our digital data—how it is kept safe, and who has access to it—is a topic of shared concern these days. From the latest security breach alert, to targeted Facebook ads, to the privacy updates flooding our inboxes, we’re inundated with news about our data security and privacy. Our panelists, including Aleatha Parker-Wood (Ph.D. '14) of Symantec, Assistant Professor Abhradeep Guha Thakurta—and recently added, Assistant Professor Benedict Paten, and graduate student James Hughes—will help us break down the issues and discuss what’s on the horizon in a conversation moderated by Alexander Wolf, Dean of the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Apr 3, 2018
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        Daniel Kim, Camilla Forsberg, and Lindsay Hinck
        Stem Cells–Friends or Foes? How Stem Cell Research Informs the Origins of Cancer

        Researchers at UC Santa Cruz are harnessing the power of stem cells to understand the molecular underpinnings of diseases such as cancer, ALS, autoimmune diseases, and anemia. While stem cells’ ability to regenerate tissues holds promise for breakthroughs, stem cell therapies also carry a risk of causing cancer. Join us for a discussion of how to balance the promise with the risk and a glimpse of what stem cell research offers the future.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Feb 27, 2018
        Terrie Williams

        Terrie Williams
        The Untamed Brain: Lessons in Human Cognitive Health from an Unexpected Teacher—Wild Whales

        Despite remarkable advances in medical technology, we are only beginning to understand how our brain works. By moving from clinical settings and traditional animal models and into the wild, Williams' lab is exploring how the mammalian brain is able to function flawlessly during variable stress and exercise levels, as well as during exposure to extreme environments. How diving dolphins and narwhals of the high Arctic avoid cerebral injury is changing our view of brain neuro-protection, and offering unique clues about preserving human cognition following stroke and concussive injuries, and indicating a potential neural basis for mass strandings by whales.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Jan 31, 2018
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        Hosted by Dean Alexander Wolf, Baskin School of Engineering and Assistant Vice Chancellor Mohamed Abousalem, Industry Alliances & Technology Commercialization: Innovators

        From research to patents and products: UC Santa Cruz faculty and students are an innovation powerhouse. Their inventions and research breakthroughs deliver social and economic benefits to our local—and global—communities. On January 31, we will hear from three professors whose research is driving real-world innovation in early-stage startups:

        Holger Schmidt, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Narinder Singh Kapany Chair of Optoelectronics and the Associate Dean for Research, Baskin School of Engineering
        Nader Pourmand, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering
        Richard E. Green, Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, Co-director of the Paleogenomics lab

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara


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      • Dec 5, 2017
        Treehouse Logo

        UC Santa Cruz Treehouse Cancer Initiative
        Making Precision Medicine Personal for Kids: How Researchers and Doctors are Giving New Hope to Kids with Cancer Using Big Data Genomics

        There are several truisms about childhood cancer: it tends to be aggressive, differs from adult cancers, and when treatments fail, time runs out quickly. Precision medicine powered by big data becomes personal when university researchers and doctors team up. The Treehouse Cancer Initiative at UC Santa Cruz uses comparative cancer genomic analysis to help doctors treat kids with few options. Learn more about how a new project partnering our Treehouse researchers with Stanford doctors is bringing new hope to families.

        Featuring members of the UC Santa Cruz Treehouse Cancer Initiative:
        Olena Morozova, co-founder
        David Haussler, co-founder
        Isabel Bjork, director
        Lauren Sanders, Ph.D. student

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Nov 1, 2017
        Carrie Partch

        Carrie Partch: Circadian Rhythms: When Our Biological Clocks Go Bad . . .

        Carrie Partch joined the UC Santa Cruz faculty in 2011. In her lab, Partch recently identified a gene that suppresses circadian rhythms in cancer, allowing tumor cells to escape daily controls on cellular growth. Now her lab is developing new therapeutic strategies that leverage circadian control over physiology to improve human health. She just received the 2018 Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award from the Biophysical Society for her ground-breaking combination of biophysics and cell biology.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Jun 22, 2017
        Harry Noller

        Exploring Biology’s Dark Matter: RNA
        Recognizing Harry Noller, winner of the 2017 Breakthrough Prize

        Noller, professor emeritus of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, recently received the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his discoveries about ribosomes, the tiny structures of the cell that Noller calls the “mothership of life.” His insights are taking us right to the brink of understanding the very origins of life on the planet.

        From his unexpected discovery of the role RNA plays in the functioning of the ribosome has grown the world’s premier center for RNA research. The 16 research labs that comprise the UC Santa Cruz Center of Molecular Biology of RNA are forging new discoveries in the treatment of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer and developing new technological tools to advance the sciences.

        Noller will be joined on stage by three Center researchers, Jeremy Sanford, Susan Carpenter, and Daniel Kim, who will discuss their work in the frontiers of molecular biology and the implications of RNA research on treating diseases and saving lives.

        Silicon Valley Capital Club
        50 W San Fernando Street, San Jose

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      • May 16, 2017
        Mark Akeson

        Mark Akeson: Sequencing DNA from Remote Villages to the Space Station: The Nanopore Revolution

        Akeson is a professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He earned his B.A. in History from UC San Diego, and his Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology from UC Davis, then came to UCSC following a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Akeson is one of the pioneers of nanopore sequencing and leads the UC Santa Cruz nanopore group. The nanopore group has made important advances in nanopore sequencing technology by analyzing DNA molecules directly from the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Nanopore technology brings modern genomics out of the lab and into the field—think Ebola or Zika outbreaks—with tremendous potential for human health.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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      • Mar 22, 2017
        Jonathan Fortney

        Jonathan Fortney: How Common is the Earth? The Discovery and Characterization of Rocky Planets Around Other Stars

        Fortney is an astrophysicist who focuses on understanding the structure and composition of planets in our solar system and "exoplanets" around other stars. He has been involved with NASA's Kepler spacecraft since its prime mission. He is also one of 15 principal investigators for a new NASA initiative, the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), which is a quest to find life on planets around other stars. Fortney is one of four new participating scientists NASA has chosen for the last phase of the Cassini Mission to Saturn, as the spacecraft dives between the planet's rings and its atmosphere to collect unprecedented data.

        UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
        3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara

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Each lecture will be videotaped and archived here.

Questions? Contact UC Santa Cruz Special Events specialevents@ucsc.edu or (831) 459-5003.