On Friday, I went to the Turing symposium and heard the talk from Jon Beaupre. The title is “Some Speculations on the Effects of Machine Language on News Delivery Credibility.” Beaupre first introduced us the concept of avatar, which is a virtual representation of the user. Avatar can be two dimensional in online communities or three dimensional in online gaming. Avatars can also be embodied with artificial intelligence. For instance, many websites provide customers with services from artificial assistant with AI.
Alan Turing was the first scientist to use computer simulation to study the mechanisms behind the development of pattern in living organisms.
Lejla Kucukalic talked about biopunk and different types of science fictions on Thursday. The illustration on the Genetics and Society website is from Wildseed by Wayne Barlowe. Science fictions reflect the popular interested in biotechnology and biomedicine. At the same time, science fictions also have influenced biomedical research. One of the earliest science fictions is Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley in 1818. Kuckalic discussed about Frankenstein, and she believed that it represented a tormented scientist and the rewards and dangers resulted from science.
Kathy Brew’s exhibit challenges the social attitude towards aging. She started to dye her hair since when her hair first started to go gray. She accepted aging and stopped dying her hair when she was 50. Although most people would admit that dying hair is time consuming and the chemicals are carcinogenic, people would still do it since they live in an ageist society. People have come up with all types of “euphemisms” to refer to old people, such as old goat, fossil, and past one’s prime. These words are full of humiliations. Our society is an ageist society.
Noa Kaplan’s work explores the relationship between texture and structure. Her works also involve the relationship between nanoscale images and macroscopic images. I think the most interesting piece is “Pollen.” The part that stands on the ground is an enlarged sculpture of a grain of pollen. I like the idea that she did not simple take a picture of a grain of pollen and let the computer do all the work. She created several pieces of the pollen and put them together by herself.
Although I have never had any pets, I have worked with lab rats when I volunteered in a research lab. To handle the lab rats (just handle, not performing surgeries, injections, or any procedures), I had to take a few trainings. The lab focused on the study of traumatic brain injury, so I had to say that the treatment to those lab rats were very invasive. I would help the researchers transport the lab rats to the lab and hold the lab rat while they injecting anesthetic into the rat abdomen (surgical procedures must be performed on anesthetized animals).
My family moved to San Francisco after I graduated from high school in China. My diet used to consist of my grandmother’s Chinese cooking. I am not picky about what I eat, so now I only have Chinese food when I go home. The staple food in a Chinese meal is rice, and it is commonly eaten as steamed rice. Rice is also a common material in many dishes. I want to discuss rice in this blog.
Hello, my name is Shiwei Huang. I am a fourth year biochemistry major, and I entered UCLA as a transfer student. I am determined to become a doctor since high school, so I have been focused on science and put all my effort into it even since. I learned the violin for eight years and the flute for one year, so I can confidently say that I love art and enjoy it. However, I have never thought about the relationship between art and science, or if there was a relationship at all. By taking this class, I hope I can see how art and science can influence each other.