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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 4, 2008

'How the Mind Tricks Us' is subject of free, public lecture Sept. 9

"How the Mind Tricks Us: Visualization and Visual Illusions" is the title of a free, public lecture to be delivered from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Room 2520-D of the University Capitol Centre (UCC), in Old Capitol Mall, downtown Iowa City.

The lecturer will be Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and renowned science educator at Harvard University, who is visiting the UI campus Sept. 8-9 as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor. A public reception beginning at 7 p.m. in Room 2520-D of UCC will precede his public talk.

The public lecture is aimed at science educators, students and members of the general public interested in science and education. The resulting better view and improved understanding of electron behavior in solids is important for both microelectronics and micromachining applications.

In addition, Mazur will deliver departmental lectures during his visit. Further information is available at the Center for Teaching Web site

Mazur's research group uses ultrashort laser pulses to study ultrafast dynamics in physical systems and to create extreme non-equilibrium conditions in matter. Regarding teaching, he will describe and demonstrate how he teaches introductory, large-enrollment classes interactively. His entertaining and engaging presentations draw on his personal experience as a renowned educator as well as his research on teaching and learning, particularly verifiable ways to improve science education.

His UI visit is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with ITS-Instructional Services.

The UI established the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program in 1978-79 based on a bequest from the late Ida Beam of Vinton, Iowa, who willed her family farm to the UI Foundation. The proceeds from the farm's sale enabled the UI to establish a fund that brings top scholars in a variety of fields to the university for lectures and discussions.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation in order to participate should contact in advance the UI Center for Teaching at 319-335-6048.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,