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School of Science Colloquium – Dr. Robert Cunningham and Dr. Danielle Guarracino

The next School of Science Colloquium will be on Tuesday, March 18 at 4:00 in room P101 of the Science Complex.
Dr. Robert Cunningham from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics will be share his talk entitled “Transfers between Algebraic, Numeric, and Graphic Representations: A cautionary tale,” and Dr. Danielle Guarracino from the Department of Chemistry will be speaking about “Biochemical Mimicry: Imitating nature with peptidomimetics.”

Refreshments will be served!


Dr. Robert Cunningham, Department of Mathematics and Statistics “Transfers between Algebraic, Numeric, and
Graphic Representations: A cautionary tale”

For students to develop an understanding of functions, they must have opportunities to solve problems that require them to transfer between algebraic, numeric and graphic representations (transfer problems). Research has confirmed student difficulties with certain types of transfer problems and has suggested instructional factors as a possible cause. Teachers (n = 28) were surveyed to determine the amount of class time that they devote to different types of transfer problems and how many times these problems appear on their teacher-made assessments. Survey results will be presented, and cautions offered to experts whose ease in blending interpretations (representations) often mask subtle complexities associated with transfer problems and who present ideas wrung free of messiness.

Dr. Danielle Guarracino, Department of Chemistry ““Biochemical Mimicry: Imitating nature with peptidomimetics”

The macromolecular structure of biochemical compounds often plays a large role in their cellular function.  Unique cycles and helices can dictate the ability of a hormone, peptide or whole protein to perform its job inside and outside of the cell.  When the relationships between such compounds are implicated in the disease state, they can be traced to the interactions between the varying shapes of the compounds involved.  We have been working on synthesizing peptide-based compounds that imitate the structural features of naturally found peptides, but work to improve overall stability, maintenance of structure and hope to provide unique functionality.