Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The UCLA NanoSystems Seminar Series Resumes..

After a bit of a hiatus, the CNSI NanoSystems Seminar Series resumes this week with a lecture by Prof. Ron Naaman from The Weizmann Institute of Science.  This lecture is co-sponsored by the Division of Physical Chemistry and acts as a breath of fresh air as the newly revamped series is introduced to our CNSI Members & the UCLA Campus.  Those who are familiar with the lecture series might be aware that there have been over a decade of activities surrounding this staple of the CNSI community since 2002. 

In the early days, these lectures were held in La Kretz Hall next door to what would soon become the CNSI Building.  At the time, there might have been the beginnings of a large excavated hole in the ground that participants curiously walked by to reach the talks and the question of "What is nano?" could be heard frequently around south campus.  Receptions were held in the nearby Life Sciences building, in a somewhat hidden location that gave way to long lines and hours of friendly chatter nonetheless.  This was a time when hopes were high, interests in nano research were just peaking, and a small group of faculty was just beginning to form what would become the first generation of CNSI members.

While the CNSI construction site was in full swing, students and their professors would look through mysterious fencing and scaffolding at the new building's construction, and the talks became more notable with Nobel laureates and well known researchers making frequent appearances.  At one point in 2007, the quarterly poster for the series was spotted by the art department for a then little known television series, "The Big Bang Theory" and still appears during each episode today.  A few months later, CNSI's doors finally opened and the buzz of research began.

Through many changes over the years and the inevitable growing pains that come with, the Series reflected these evolving courses of direction in research in the way of talk topics.  As nano research evolved, so did the institute and, with a faltering state budget in the background, there were unfortunately some tough days on the horizon.  In the midst of financial crises, the series fell silent in late 2011 due to a lack of resources and staffing, but with the helpful and constant encouragement of those same CNSI Members who gathered so many years ago, along with several of their newer colleagues - the series starts anew this Winter.

The lectures will take place on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, and will feature external speakers as well as talks from CNSI Members.  The intention is to create opportunities for member engagement once again, and to create a collaborative dialogue.  As well, we hope to increase awareness of the evolving capabilities of the CNSI Core Labs, and the growing collaborations amongst our members and partners.

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