biol 405w - first seminar

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Friday, February 10, 2017 Seminar Critiqued: Faculty Talks: Professor Robert Langer’s Professional Journey Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Date of seminar: 2015 Graded Seminar Areas  Organization (0 – 20 points): 19 o Started off by talking about his life, growing up in Albany, New York in a middle  class family. He talked about how his childhood was normal, played sports and  loved playing around wit
  Friday, February 10, 2017Seminar Critiqued: Faculty Talks: Professor Robert Langer’s Professional JourneyLocation: Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyDate of seminar: 2015 Graded Seminar Areas   Organization (0 – 20 points): 19 o Started off by talking about his life, growing up in Albany, New York in a middle class family. He talked about how his childhood was normal, played sports and loved playing around with a chemistry and microscopic biology set as a kid. Dr. Langer explained that in high school, he was great in math and science but was terrible with English and French. He applied to the engineering school in Cornell and struggled his first semester with classes except chemistry where he excelled. At the end of the first year of college, he chose chemical engineering. After Cornell, he applied to all six graduate school and got in and chose M.I.T. Dr. Langer discussed how classes at M.I.T. was difficult, taking only chemistry courses including on a Saturday. Dr. Langer worked on a research enzyme projectwith a professor at the school and what bothered him was he did not know why the research was important in 1971 and even in 2015, he did not know why it was important. As a graduate student, Dr. Langer wanted to make an impact as a graduate student and discussed this in his thesis statement for a PhD in 1974. Many people in his graduating class had jobs in the oil industry, and that is what he did getting 20 job offers, and four from Exxon. While working on his thesis, hewanted to teach for poor children. Robert Langer is an institute professor, which is the highest honor one can have at M.I.T. His research is at the interface of medicine, cancer particularly and material science and chemical engineer develops new nanoparticles to treat cancer and other diseases. Dr. Langer said he is a dreamer, and he does not give up easily. o The presentation was organized and well put together in regards to following a timeline of his life however, the graphics lacked organization. Once, the picture that Dr. Langer was referring to was not even on the screen provided and was once referring to a slide that was not on the screen. However pictures were not even needed due to the fact overall, the organization was fair. Content (0 - 20 points): 20 o Due to the fact that this seminar was about the journey of Robert Langer and how he was given the highest honor and became an institute professor at M.I.T., the content contained a history of his life from his childhood to who is he today. Dr. Langer explained how he loved teaching for the individuals who needed it – such as the poor or people that lack a good educational system. And as a young professor, Dr. Langer worked with various health companies in regards to research that provided annual funding and assistance. Dr. Langer is knowledgeable in all areas of heath – especially in regards to cancer.    Subject Knowledge (0 – 20 points): 20 o Dr. Langer is explaining the journey of his life and motivating the audience and watchers of his video therefore he is very knowledgeable of the topic of his life. He was also very informative about his time working with health companies, how he received funding and patents for his research that he conducted throughout his life. Dr. Langer was informing the individuals in the audience and to the world (via posted on YouTube) of who may want an idea or take a similar path that he took to get where he is today. Graphics (0 – 20 points): 19 o The graphics provided throughout the presentation was not organized. There was a PowerPoint slideshow that he clicked through, however Dr. Langer barely referred to the slides due to the fact that he was telling a story about his life. o The graphics ranged from pictures of himself as a child to informative slides and then to pictures of his wife images throughout his life that was relevant to the seminar. o However, once the picture that Dr. Langer was referring to was not even on the screen provided and was once referring to a slide that was not on the screen, which is critical due to the fact that since the seminar lacked pictures it was important that the few pictures reflected well with the presentation.   Eye Contact (0 – 5 points): 4 o Dr. Langer was explaining a story and one could tell he is used to speaking in front of audiences. He conducted the entire presentation from memory because hewas telling the story of his life. His eye contact shifted throughout the presentation when he was deep in thought and looked down to dig from his memory. However, direct eye contact was made throughout the audience and wasconsistent during majority of the seminar. Elocution (0 – 5 points) – 5 o Dr. Langer spoke in a very casual yet professional manner and I believe this is due to the audience being students and was trying to relate and talk in a way that was understandable compared to speaking very professionally. Every word was pronounced clearly and heard, no stuttering or pauses were present throughout theseminar. Everything discussed in the seminar was understanding and motivational. Enthusiasm (0 – 5 points): 5 o Dr. Langer was very enthusiastic about his life and to tell his story. He explained about the fact that he had parents that were hard working middle class Americans and he was very sheltered. He emphasized how he wanted to make an impact in the world and his enthusiasm rubbed off into the audience due to the amount of questions from the audience at the end.  ã Time (0 – 5 points): 5 o Dr. Langer’s presentation took around 45 minutes. Questions took around 15 minutes because people asked questions and the answers took around two or threeminutes. The answers were educational and useful to the audience and the individual who asked the question. ã Overall grade:  (0 – 100 points): 97 points Summarization   Strong Points of Presentation: o Dr. Langer’s seminar is about his journey and explaining his life. The strong points of his presentation was explaining his different stages in life and the thought process he had throughout each milestone in his life. From his childhood in Albany, New York to his high school days of being terrible in any subject not related to math or science. And how he got into Cornell and decided to take the chemical engineering road and his thought process through that. Dr. Langer explained to his audience how he never gave up on his dreams, and that resulted into who he is now – an institute professor at M.I.T. Dr. Langer has found aspectsto assist in the cure for cancer and helped teach students. Besides the lack of eye contact when going through a thought process, he maintained eye contact with everyone. Dr. Langer was very inspirational and motivational to his audience of what he was discussing. He also grasped the entire audience’s attention the whole hour he was speaking for.   Areas of Improvement o Dr. Langer’s presentation lacked graphics and could have used some in order to make his presentation more visual than story telling. And the graphics he did havesometimes did not correlate with what he was talking about at the time. Otherwise, areas of improvement were not needed. What I will take for my presentation: o I am a nervous wreck when I do presentations and tend to say “umm” or have pauses for when I’m gathering my thoughts. Dr. Langer did not have any awkward pauses or said words like “umm”. Everything flowed very nicely and I want a presentation that transitions from one topic to the next effortlessly. Even though Dr. Langer is an intelligent man with tons of knowledge, he did not bore anyone in the audience and I want that for my presentation due to the fact that not many individuals are interested in nanotechnology in regenerative dentistry.
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