Explore UAlbany

Begin Your UAlbany Academic Journey!

August 23, 2013

Explore UAlbany is your opportunity to investigate a topic of interest while connecting with some of UAlbany's most outstanding faculty! The topic you choose does not have to be related to your intended major. To prepare for your journey on August 23, review the sessions listed below and choose the TOP 3 sessions that interest you the most. You will only attend one session but if your first choice gets closed out it is important to have a backup chosen.

All students that participate in Explore UAlbany will be automatically entered to win $500 worth of textbooks from the University Bookstore, courtesy of SEFCU. Three winners will be chosen!

Explore UAlbany Faculty Sessions to choose from:


Keeping it Real: Photographic Veracity in the Age of the Post-Photographic
Danny Goodwin, M.F.A.

Lecture Center 3B
Since its invention in 1839, the term "photography" has been expanded to encompass a staggering array of technologies, techniques and media. The digital (especially cell-phone) camera/Photoshop/YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Flickr/ Tumblr, et al. era has been described by many critics and theorists as "post-photographic". But what does that mean? And beyond the technical and technological shifts in the ways we capture, curate, distribute and consume post-photographic images, what is really at stake for practitioners in the coming years? How have those artists who are working at the "bleeding edge" of photographic theory and technique informed and been informed by the digital (r)evolution?

Atmospheric Science

NASA's search for life beyond the Earth
John Delano, Ph.D.

Lecture Center 18
With the discovery of nearly 1600 planets orbiting nearby stars, and the likelihood of additional Earth-like planets being found within the next few months, the stage is being set for learning about Humanity's context in the galaxy. Will complex life on other planets be common? Or, will it be rare? Is complex life elsewhere in the galaxy likely to have a humanoid appearance? Could the abundance of intelligent, humanoid-like beings on 'Star Trek' be exaggerated?

Climate Change-Is it really happening?
Mathias Vuille, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 6
Climate Change has become a very divisive topic in the public arena, used by different interest groups to advance their particular agendas. So let’s focus on the scientific aspects of climate change, separate fact from fiction and clarify myths and misconceptions. Come and hear about how climate change might affect you living in the northeastern US, and why this topic is too important to be left to lobbyists and politicians.


Think Globally, Eat Locally: The impact of the decisions you make about your food
Gary Kleppel, Ph.D.

Lecture Center 24
Students, faculty and administrators have made UAlbany a national leader in sustainable practices. We have been especially effective in supporting New York's family farms by purchasing much of our food from local sources. In 2008, barely 8% of UAlbany's food came from local sources. Today, nearly 30% of our food is purchased locally. Local food tends to be nutritious and safe (much of America's food supply is not safe). It also helps keep our state's farms profitable and our beautiful agricultural landscapes productive. Finally, local sourcing of food supports our local and regional economies. At our current level of local sourcing, UAlbany helps create nearly $9 million of economic development in our state annually. Most important, the movement ("50 by '15", meaning that our goal is 50% local food by 2015) is driven by UAlbany students! Come learn how you and UAlbany are making a difference!


Unraveling the secret lives of apes using DNA
Katy Gonder, Ph.D.

Lecture Center 25
What can chimpanzees tell us about our past? How can we use genetics to trace the sex lives of chimpanzees and to track international wildlife crime? What can chimpanzees in Cameroon tell us about HIV-AIDS? Explore the secret lives of chimpanzees using genetic data from dung collected in tropical forests across Cameroon and Nigeria.



Double-Tap for Future
Suraj Commuri, Ph.D.

Lecture Center 7
As the next generation of consumers is growing up relying on smartphones and social networks, marketing has rapidly evolved to make room. Today's marketing-on-demand bears little resemblance to anything we have seen before. Learn in this lecture what marketing is in the age of social media and smartphones and why the recipe for success is not a lot of money, but a simple idea.


You couldn't Make This Stuff Up! Life Lessons Learned from the Bench

Hon. Joseph W. Sheehan, J.D.
Lecture Center 1
Law Professor and City Court Judge JosephSheehan brings his court room experiences to life in business law discussions. Learn how to make good everyday life decisions by learning from other people's mistakes rather than making them yourself!


Computer Science

You ain't see nothing yet: How cheap robots, cameras, and computers are radically changing our lives.
George Berg, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 21
Many people think that personal computers linked together via the internet have changed the world. The real changes have barely started. Digital electronics have become increasingly small and inexpensive. This is leading to the use of cameras and sensors in ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago. We are starting to see practical robotic vehicles that can explore land, sea and air. In addition, inexpensive computing power and the ability to store truly amazing amounts of data mean that the data gathered by these devices, as well as just about anything else known about us, can be analyzed and scrutinized. We'll look at several aspects of this. What are the technologies underlying these changes? What is driving the use of these systems? What are the implications for our safety and privacy?


Criminal Justice

Whither (Wither) Capital Punishment: Is (and should) the Death Penalty in America be Dying?
James Acker, JD, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 5
The death penalty has been a staple of American culture since colonial days. Despite its august history, the past decade has brought such profound changes--in public attitudes, law, and practice--that many have begun to question whether capital punishment is a dying institution. We will explore the changing death-penalty landscape, identify the factors that appear to be responsible, and discuss--and all opinions are welcome--whether capital punishment should or should not continue to be a part of America's legal and social fabric.



Ten Things You Thought You Knew About Crime (and Were Wrong)?
Jamie Fader, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 4
Does increased immigration bring higher rates of crime and violence? Do harsh sentences make offenders think twice before committing crime? Does owning a handgun reduce your chance of being a burglary victim (and if not, what does)? Are sex offenders likely to be repeat offenders? Explore leading myths propagated by news coverage and crime dramas.




What Successful College Students Know that They Didn't Teach You in High School: Self-regulated Learning and Academic Success
Heidi Andrade, Ph.D
Lecture Center 22
If you take two college freshmen who are identical in terms of intelligence but differ in terms of their ability to manage their own thinking and learning (one does, the other doesn't), the one who manages effectively will do well in school while the other one struggles.  This is a no-brainer, but what exactly does the successful student do, and how can you do it too? This session will introduce fascinating research on self-regulated learning, guide you in taking simple yet powerful steps towards academic success, and put you in touch with UA resources that can support you in doing your best the entire time you are here.





Knowing Your Place at UAlbany
Kendra Smith-Howard, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 20
Feeling out of place? It’s only natural to feel a bit disoriented at the start of a new adventure, like beginning college. This session seeks to put you on more stable footing, inviting you to embark on an environmental history tour of campus. Why is this uptown campus located here, and what came before it? What critters once loomed in this space, and why is their presence significant? What do the mix of poured cement structures and deciduous trees tell us about America’s reach into the broader world? Leave this session armed with secrets about your physical surroundings on campus that even the savviest UA tour guide doesn’t know.


Nanoscale Science & Engineering

A new frontier of medical research: Nanobiology
Scott Tenenbaum, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 19
Nanobioscience represents the new frontier that will shape life-science and human health. It is being used to study, diagnose and cure cancer, study the human genome, develop better drug delivery systems and understand how the brain works! Come learn about this new and exciting frontier.




Changing Habits, Changing Behaviors
Drew Anderson, Ph.D.

Lecture Center 23
Success in life is largely about doing the right things- that is, it's about your behavior. But as you probably know, doing the right thing can be difficult. Throughout history, humans have struggled to change their habits and behavior, but modern research has given us clues about what strategies work best. Learn some of these strategies and discuss ways to use them in your own life.



Welcome to Your Brain
Christine Wagner
Lecture Center 2
You use your brain 24/7… all day, every day. Did you ever wonder what’s really going on in there? We take for granted how this amazing “stuff” in our heads mediates everything we do… from basics like sleeping and eating to how we perceive our environment, feel emotion and learn something new. What happens in the brain when things go awry in disorders like depression, schizophrenia, drug addiction? By exploring how the brain functions, we’ll discuss what neuroscientists know about how the brain controls behavior. We will also see just how much we have yet to learn about this remarkable “stuff” that allows us to do what we do.


Social Welfare

What do social work, health disparities and Ethiopia have to do with being a UAlbany freshman?
Robert Miller Jr., Ph.D.
Lecture Center 3C
Congratulations! You've chosen to come to UAlbany- a University whose brand includes: "A World Within Reach." International education within a social work context has core elements of self-determination, advocacy, social justice and a real sense of loving great food that has a spicy kick. What are your core identities? What are your experiences with health outcomes of your family and your community? How do you juxtapose those ideas with a plan to make a difference in "the world within reach?" This interactive lecture will invite you to think about how you got here and what you will do with the opportunity you've been afforded.



Location, Location, Location: It's Not Just Good Advice for Buying a Home
Glenn Deane, Ph.D.
Lecture Center 3A
What is special about spatial data? Everyone has heard of cholera, but few people know that in the mid-nineteenth century a British physician, John Snow, determined how the disease is transmitted by using a map to show that cholera deaths had clustered around London’s Broad Street pump. Snow solved London's deadly cholera epidemic by simply removing a pump handle. Come find out how you can learn to use a geographic information system (GIS) like the police to identify “hot spots” of crimes; like epidemiologists to collect evidence of disease contagion; like retailers to use socio-economic data, made available for small areas by the US Census Bureau, to assess the likely demand for their products; and like urban sociologists to understand how spatial inequality in a metropolis can translate into local inequalities for American children.