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da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science

Leonardo da Vinci combined the practical and the beautiful, the mechanical and artistic. At the 2013 da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis, Oregon State University scientists, engineers and mathematicians shared their journeys under Antarctic sea ice, to an African village, to Mars and through a mathematical landscape.

Science Without Borders

Just as technology links the world economy and events echo within minutes across the globe, researchers collaborate across international boundaries in ways unimaginable only a generation ago.

X-ray vision

There’s nothing like a new pair of eyeglasses to bring fine details into sharp relief. For scientists who study the large molecules of life from proteins to DNA, the equivalent of new lenses has come in the form of an advanced method for analyzing data from X-ray crystallography experiments.

You don’t have to look like Einstein

The lecture hall overflows with middle-school girls and their parents one Saturday morning in February. Images flash across three big screens at the front of the room. Suddenly, a giant face of Albert Einstein pops up, filling the screens with the scientist’s wild white hair and huge, fuzzy mustache.

Pathfinders

Robert Johnson gets a lot of strange looks when he tells his friends what he does in Ken Hedberg’s lab. The senior from Salem and another student, Luke Costello from Corvallis, shoot beams of electrons through clouds of gasses and use the results to analyze molecular structure.

Wave Action!

Wave machines and miniature towns reveal secrets of tsunamis.