2010 Annual Science Report

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: Origins of Life Seminar Series

Project Progress

The weekly Origins of Life Seminar Series at RPI is a focal point for our Astrobiology community. As such, it serves multiple roles: it is a key component of our undergraduate curriculum, it provides opportunities for our students, postdocs and faculty to learn about the latest research from those engaged in it, and it also serves as a forum for our team to share ideas and discoveries. Finally, it provides a steady flow of interviewees for the series of Astrobiology segments recorded and broadcast by WAMC Northeast Public Radio (see separate section).
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A total of seven invited talks on current research were presented in the academic year 2009/10. The speakers included five members of our own and other NAI teams. A full list and schedule with links to on-line video recordings can be found at http://www.origins.rpi.edu/seminar.html.
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When no invited speaker is scheduled, the seminars is used for in-house discussion groups involving both students and other members of our NAI team, and for undergraduate student talks. A total of 54 RPI undergraduates attended the seminar as part of their formal plan of study in academic year 2009/10. Each enrolled student selected a research topic on which he/she prepared either a seminar talk or a poster presentation. A prize was awarded to the two students in the year who delivered the best seminar talks. The winning students were interviewed in the WAMC Astrobiology series on The Best of Our Knowledge (show number 1033).