STEM Speaker Series and Events

2018-2019 STEM Speaker Series

Oakton Affiliate of Society of Women Engineers (Oakton SWE)

Join Oakton Society of Women Engineers to learn how to start a career in engineering and support women in engineering. Fill out the Oakton SWE membership form to begin receiving news and announcements of next meeting and events. Contact for more information.

Oakton Math Club
Des Plaines

Join other Oakton students to talk about the beauty of mathematics on Mondays 12:30 for math help and 1:30 for a club meeting in the Center for Campus Inclusion and Diversity Room 1433. Contact for more information.

Oakton IEEE
Des Plaines

A club for engineering students interested in making friends and robots. Currently seeking new members and officers. No experience necessary. Passion required. Contact for more information or to join Oakton IEEE. 

Of Mice, Men, and Monkeys: Using a comparative Approach to Improve Our Understanding of the Human Gut Microbiome
RESCHEDULED Tue., Apr. 23 at 2 p.m., Room 210 Lee Center Des Plaines

Katherine Amato, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology Northwestern University

Given the ethical and logistical challenges associated with studying humans, animal models are essential for developing and testing hypotheses in many fields, including microbiome research. While ease of manipulation and short generation times have made germ-free mice a ‘go-to’ tool for establishing causation in human gut microbiome studies, basic physiological differences between humans and mice should not be overlooked. Complementary work using non-human primates that share more physiological traits with humans is essential. Here Amato presents comparative data from across the order Primates that provides insights into the evolution of the human gut microbiome. This information is invaluable for understanding human-gut microbe interactions and, ultimately, developing more effective microbial interventions and therapies for a range of diseases.   

Medical Apartheid
Fri., Apr. 26 at 2 p.m., Room 1604-1606 Des Plaines 

Harriet Washington speaks on the history of exploitation and abuse of black people in American medicine and how that has shaped difference in care as well as the rust between people of color and the medical community. 

The Art of Logic: in an Illogical World
Tue., Apr. 30 at 2 p.m., Room 1625 Des Plaines (simulcast Room C240 Skokie)

For thousands of years, mathematicians have used the timeless art of logic to see the world more clearly. Today, truth is buried under soundbites, spin, memes, divisive arguments and "fake news."
Seeing clearly is more important than ever!
• Learn how to think like a mathematician to understand what people are really telling you.
• Learn to dissect politics, privilege, sexism, and dozens of other real-world situations.
• Discover how math is not just about numbers and equations, but about thinking better.
• Find out how math can help us find clarity without losing nuance in this complex world of ours.

Eugenia Cheng, Ph.D. is Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cheng won tenure in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she is now an Honorary Fellow. She has previously taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Chicago, and Nice and holds a Ph.D. in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. She is also a math columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a concert pianist.

Preorder a copy of her book by April 23. 

2019-2020 STEM Speaker Series

Dates, times, and location will be announced for the following upcoming STEM Speakers/Events:

  • Maria Chan, PhD, Argonne National Laboratory (fall semester)
  • Lise Elliot, PhD, Northwestern University (February)
  • Branimir Jovancicevic, PhD, University of Belgrade (September)
  • Engineering PIzza Night with Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (March 11, 2020)
  • AMATYC Math Competition for college students (October and February)
  • AMC math competition for middle school and high school students (November and February)
  • F=ma physics competition (January)
  • Training for Science Olympiad Event Supervisors (Sept. 24, 2019, 2 p.m.)

Many Thanks to:

Oakton's Student Government Association who voted to support the 2018-2019 STEM Speaker Series. This will allow CP-STEM to bring STEM speakers to campus and offer hands-on workshops.

Oakton's Educational Foundation who awarded the Center for Promoting STEM a grant in 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 to provide an internship stipend to students who successfully complete STEM research course, present their findings, and spend a minimum number of hours on the project.

STEM Events

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