Pete Ludovice received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and MIT respectively. After postdoctoral studies at IBM, NASA and the Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule in Zürich, he learned many useful things including how to pronounce Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule. After several years in the simulation software industry he took a faculty position at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Georgia Tech professor by day and stand-up comedian by night, Pete also hosts a local radio show on science and technology called "Inside the Black Box". His research interests include the application of molecular simulation to elucidating structure-property relationships in synthetic and biological macromolecules. Pete tries to bring humor to the classroom and some technology to the comedy club stage to prove that chemical science professionals can be funny and not just funny-looking.
Applied Molecular Modeling--Not Just Video Games Anymore
Contrary to popular belief, molecular simulations can do much more than produce attractive images to enhance the lobby of the corporate headquarters. These simulations, carried out synergistically with existing experimental programs can produce significant insight into important structure property relationships in materials. The basics of molecular simulation and how it can predict important experimental results will be discussed. The practical approach to how such predictions can be used to produce insight into the rational design of materials with improved properties will also be illustrated through various examples. Molecular simulation examples include photoresist materials for photolithography, mesoporous silicates, and other engineering polymers. These examples are used to illustrate how molecular simulations can not only help interpret experimental results but suggest structural changes that can improve properties.
How to Engage People in Science
A number of societal factors are contributing to society’s decreasing interest in science and technology, despite its ubiquitous presence in modern society. These factors include everything from the failure of scientists and engineers to engage the public on these topics to poor policy choices in education and technology. Others contend that the blatant overuse of the vinyl pocket protectors in the 70s may also be a contributing factor. Pete will provide his humorous spin on efforts to engage both students and the general public on science and technology taken from his classroom experiences at Georgia Tech to his interaction with the public on his weekly radio show on science and technology.
Lab Coats and Other Fashion Statements
A humorous look inside the world of the chemical sciences from the world's only working stand-up comedian with a Ph.D. from MIT. Important topics that are covered include 1) how to tell if you are a chemistry nerd, 2) what to do about chemistry’s public relations problems and 3) how to properly accessorize your lab coat. This humorous look at the chemical science professional is appropriate for both, the American Chemical Society Member, or those that are not chemically inclined (or as we like to call them—normal people). Even Linus Pauling, who was obsessed with negativity his whole life, would be thrilled by this amalgam of science, musical theatre and humorous antics that confirm that those of us in the chemical sciences can be funny and not just funny-looking. This presentation will convince you that there are no such things as bad chemicals, just bad chemical names.