Category Archives: Tacny

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Virtual Reality For Real Life!”

Saturday – December 15, 2018, 9:30-11:00am
Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org
Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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Speaker: Amber Bartosh, RA, LEED AP BD+C, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture Syracuse University, and Co-Director, Interactive Design and Visualization Lab (IDVL)

Talk Overview: Have you seen the movie Ready Player One? Did you see how the characters co-exist in the physical environment and the virtual world? What if I told you that that future is already here? Come see how new hybrid reality technologies (which seem like video games!) are actually informing our everyday environments. Try on a Virtual Reality headset and witness how the virtual and physical are always intertwined. Energy and information flows are moving around us all the time. Plus, learn how you can create your own 360 degree virtual environments as well.

Biography: Amber Bartosh is a LEED-accredited architect and interior designer who has designed and managed award-winning projects in the United States, China, Kuwait, and the U.A.E.

She received her B.A. in Art and Architecture from Rice University and her M.Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Amber is currently an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University School of Architecture, a Syracuse Center of Excellence Faculty Fellow, and co-director of the Interactive Design and Visualization Lab (IDVL).

Her work focuses on the architectural application of emergent materials through physical prototyping and advanced visualization technologies including virtual reality simulation.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

Sweet Science Series – Serious Unseriousness: Exploring Games, Play, And Purpose

Thursday, 13 December 2018, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.; Refreshments at 5:30 p.m.
Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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With recent advancements in virtual reality, game design, and other technologies, games have come a long way from the early days of Monopoly or Battleship. Join Dr. Nathan Prestopnik (Ithaca College) to discuss how games and game technologies are being used to tell stories, teach students, and bring enjoyment in educational, corporate, and private contexts. Following the talk, join Dr. Prestopnik for a live demonstration of the Play|Write VR creative writing system, or challenge your friends at popular contemporary board games from the game library of Play the Game, Read the Story.

People interested in learning more about gaming are invited to attend the free Sweet Science Series presentation on Thursday, December 13th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Cafe at the Museum of Science & Technology in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Admission is free and open to the public. Light snacks will be served at 5:30pm. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP here by December 11th, 2018.

Presenter Information

Dr. Nathan Prestopnik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Ithaca College, where he teaches game design and human-computer interaction. Nathan’s research is about storytelling, motivation, and engagement in serious games and playful systems, and he is constantly working with his students on innovative and exciting game design research projects. To date, these have included Happy Match & Forgotten Island, citizen science adventure games focused on taxonomic species classification, Arena, a Spanish-language learning game, and (most recently) Play|Write, a playful creative writing system for virtual reality built in Unity with the HTC Vive and Leap Motion 2. Nathan earned his Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies in April 2013. He also holds dual bachelor degrees in film production and military history, an M.S. in New Media, and an M.Phil. in Information Science from Syracuse University. Before embarking on an academic career, Nathan was a UI/UX designer in various regions of the United States, including Los Angeles, CA, Clifton Park, NY, and Syracuse, NY. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, exploring, writing, and playing games.

Play the Game, Read the Story is the Syracuse area’s premier board game and comic store, with several locations throughout CNY.

TACNY John Edson Sweet Lecture Series

TACNY John Edson Sweet Lectures, a program founded in 1913, is now called the Sweet Science Series and features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere for adults of all levels of technical understanding. A minimum of six free and open to the public presentations are held each year.

About The MOST

The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) is a hands-on science and technology museum for all ages. The MOST hosts numerous STEM education programs and community outreach events annually and is home to 35,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, Silverman Planetarium, and Bristol IMAX® Omnitheater – the only domed IMAX theater in New York State. The MOST’s vision is to be a preeminent science and technology center, inspiring all generations through hands-on education and entertainment.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Mind, Body And Code: Two Students Talk Science”

Saturday – November 17, 2018, 9:30-11:00am

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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Talk 1: “You Are What You Eat”

Speaker: Rachel Elman, Senior at Fayetteville Manlius Senior High School, and Student Researcher, Department of Biology, Syracuse University

Talk Overview: We’ve all been told that unhealthy food makes for an unhealthy consumer. Decades of research has shown that the United States “western diet”, full of high fats and sugars, is detrimental to our health. This consumption has been linked to the development of metabolic syndrome, a collection of cardiovascular risk factors that serve as a precursor to type two diabetes, a life threatening disease that impacts synthesis and release of insulin. But what if our western diet wasn’t just bad for the health of our bodies, but was bad for the health of the brain as well? See how a fellow student aimed to answer this question, and explore a line of research that seeks to understand the complicated effects of our food on our brain.

Biography: Throughout her high school career, Rachel has worked as a student researcher in a neurobiology laboratory at Syracuse University. This SU lab’s research interests focus on the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, while her own research has centered on the cognitive effects of a “western” high fat diet through investigating synthesis of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the rat brain and body. Rachel entered her project into the Central New York science and engineering fair this past year and won the grand prize. Her more recent research focuses on BDNF function in female rats with variations of the val/met polymorphism of the BDNF gene. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys reading, travel with her family, and participating in special Olympics unified sports and volunteering in her school’s special education department.

Talk 2: “Cracking the Code of AI”

Speaker: Maximilian Du, Junior at Fayetteville-Manlius High school, and Student AI Researcher and Developer

Talk Overview: It seems that computers are now something that we can’t live without. From the smartphones in our pockets to the supercomputers that drive us ever closer to curing cancer, they have become more and more important in our daily lives. Unfortunately, because of their abundance, we often forget how incredibly complicated they really are. A lot goes into every “Ok Google”, every self-driving car’s turn, and every recommended video on YouTube, but as different as these tasks sound, they all have a singular driving force: Artificial Intelligence. Come learn about this concept that used to only belong on the pages of science fiction books and see what an aspiring AI researcher is doing to help expand this powerful tool to uncharted domains.

Biography: Always interested in science, Max has a home chemistry lab and electronics workbench, and enjoys tinkering around and fixing whatever is broken. Throughout his high school years, he has not only been fascinated with electrical engineering and chemistry, but also with artificial intelligence and its application towards real-life problems. Last year, Max designed a novel and non-invasive infant monitor that monitors breathing sounds from a baby using Recurrent Neural Networks, a form of artificial intelligence, to monitor for SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He entered this project into the CNYSEF this past March and won the grand prize along with two other contestants, and competed in Intel ISEF, winning two special awards. In his free time, Max enjoys playing tennis, gardening, and most of all, figuring out what fascinating and often profound thing he should do next for fun.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.