LLNL's Saturday lectures explore computational modeling

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's popular lecture series, "Science on Saturday," returns Feb. 1 and runs through March 1. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the program. The series will offer four lectures with a theme of computational modeling.

Topics include exploring nature via computer simulation; fusion modeling; menacing microbes; and simulating the human heart on the world's fastest supercomputer. The lectures are free and will be held in the Bankhead Theater, located at 2400 First St. in Livermore. Two presentations are offered at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.

Each lecture highlights cutting-edge Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) science presented by leading Lab researchers who are joined by master high school science teachers.

Kicking off the series of four Saturday sessions is: "Computer Simulation: Exploring Nature With a Computer," by LLNL scientist Vic Castillo and teacher Rodger Johnson of Monte Vista High School.

In this series kickoff, participants will learn how computer simulation is used by LLNL scientists on the world's fastest computers. Computer simulation reproduces the behavior of natural and manmade systems to help understand, predict and communicate. Castillo and Johnson will show how to do computer simulations with free, open-source tools for class projects or just for fun.

Here is the complete schedule of lectures:
Lectures and demonstrations are targeted to middle and high school students. The lectures are sponsored by LLNL's Science Education Program. Seating is on a first-come basis. There is no pre-registration.

The lecture series also will be available via livestream. You will be able to pose questions to the presenters and engage in chat live with the event. A student worksheet outlining each talk will soon be available on the Science on Saturday website.

For more information about Science on Saturday, directions and a map, go to the Science on Saturday website or contact Richard Farnsworth at (925) 422-5059, or farnsworth1 [at] (e-mail).