January 2019

Bob Palais - January 31, 1pm

From Spherical Triangles to Particle Physics and Computer Animation – Math in the Roots of Knowledge

Bingham Gallery

From the math of spherical triangles used in computer animation, robotics,and particle physics in the first panel, to the Kepler and Poincaré conjectures in the final panel, we explore how geometry helps us understand our world, from string theory to the structure of Cosmos. We even find connections to UVU!


Professor & Chair, Mathematics

Bob Palais currently serves as Chair of Mathematics at Utah Valley Universityand adjunct Research Professor at the University of Utah, Departments of Pathology and Mathematics. He received his B.S. from Harvard, and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, both in Mathematics, and moved to Utah after postdoctoral positions at Berkeley and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (NYU). His interests include scientific computation, mathematical visualization, PDEs, and algorithms for pattern recognition, geometry and dynamics.

Dr. Palais has been collaborating with Dr. Carl Wittwer, Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah, co-founder of Utah’s BioFirecompanies, on developing patented algorithms and software to maximize the effectiveness of high-resolution melting analysis ever since Carl's discovery of dyes that made this technology possible.

His passions are sharing the understanding and empowerment math can provide with our great UVU students, and climbing and other adventures with friends in Utah’s mountains, deserts, and canyons.

February 2019

John Hunt - February 7, 1pm

Workshop Virtuosity: Artisanal Knowledge and the Origins of Italian Renaissance Art

Bingham Gallery

Since the nineteenth century, the Italian Renaissance has been seen as the birthplace of modernity. According to the Swiss scholar, Jacob Burkhardt, who popularized this notion in 1860, Italians in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had thrown off the "childish veil of religion" to emerge as bold, secular individuals, masters of their world. One aspect of this Renaissance worldview was the transformation of painters and sculptures from anonymous artisans to celebrated geniuses, whose works still inspire their viewers today. This presentation will locate the genius of artists such as Leonardo da Vinci andRaphael in the knowledge and skills they gained in the workshops (botteghe) of the Renaissance city.


Assistant Professor, Department of History & Political Science

John M. Hunt's research focuses on popular culture, urban life, and gender in Renaissance Italy. He has written articles on diverse topics as betting on the outcomes of papal elections, the impact of the carriage on Renaissance streets, and protests against the rule of popes in Rome. His book, The Vacant See in Early Modern Rome: A Social History of the Papal Interregnum, was published in 2016. He is currently working on his book that examines gambling and street life in the Age of Caravaggio.

Jared Chapman - February 21, 1pm

Motivational Information Systems for Education - Part of the futuristic classroom where the rising generation is prepared

Bingham Gallery

The future is now! This presentation describes the research, theory, and practice of applying Motivational Information Systems in education to improve academic completion and performance.


Assistant Professor, Management

Dr. Jared R. Chapman is a faculty member in the UVU Woodbury School of Business with advanced degrees in Organizational Psychology, Educational Psychology, and BusinessAdministration. His passion is drawing upon bleeding edge educational technology to improve student success. He has been researching and publishing on Motivational Information Systems for over six years.

March 2019

Lyn Bennett and Scott Abbott - March 7, 1pm

Barbed Wire: A Cultural History

Bingham Gallery

Barbed wire fences are effective because they are dangerous. As creative advertisers in the last quarter of the 19th century sought ways to make the inherently dangerous product attractive to customers concerned about the welfare of their livestock, the fence accrued a fascinating and troubling range of meanings. In a talk drawn from their book The Perfect Fence: Untangling the Meanings of Barbed Wire(Texas A&M University Press, 2017), Lyn Bennett and Scott Abbott will explore what the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, religious, and raunchy advertising reveals about American values and desires of the time. The motif of barbed wire quickly enters literature as well: poems and novels by major writers (Twain, Steinbeck, O’Conner, Silko, etc.) use barbed wire as a metaphor to explore those same rapacious and controlling values and desires.


Lyn Ellen Bennett - Professor, History

Dr. Bennett's research focuses on the American West, gender, and material culture studies. She is co-author of the book The Perfect Fence: Untangling the Meanings of Barbed Wire (with Scott Abbott, Texas A&M University Press).

Scott Abbott - Professor, humanities, philosophy, & integrated studies

Dr. Abbott is the author of six books, most recently Wild Rides & Wildflowers: Philosophy and Botany with Bikes (with Sam Rushforth, Torrey House Press), Immortal for Quite Some Time (University of Utah Press), and The Perfect Fence: Untangling the Meanings of Barbed Wire (with Lyn Bennett, Texas A&M University Press).

Daniel Horns - March 28, 1pm

I Feel the Earth Move: Evolving Thoughts on the Dynamic Planet

Bingham Gallery

Throughout history, all societies that dealt with earthquakes and volcanoes knew that the earth was dynamic, but only to a point. Alfred Wegener famously hypothesized “continental drift” in 1912, but his proposed mechanism for movement of the continents was physically unrealistic. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, however, science reaped abundant data about the earth from two surprising sources: naval surveys that revealed the shapes of the ocean basins and the nature of the ocean floor, and a series of seismometers that were deployed to detect nuclear weapons testing. These data led to development of a theory by which the outer shell of the earth is composed of a series of plates that ride atop a ductile interior, and these plates move on the order of a few centimeters every year. The theory of plate tectonics rapidly became the single most important and unifying theory in the earth sciences. Recent technological advances in surveying, such as GPS, have allowed us to directly track the movement of the plates, elevating plate tectonics from scientific theory to observed fact.Plate tectonics impacts human society on many levels. The theory is crucial for any understanding of the great benefits we receive from the earth, such as the distribution of mineral and energy resources. A knowledge of tectonics is also essential for understanding the terrible threats posed by the dynamic planet, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


Professor, Geology & Associate Dean for College of Science

Dr. Horns earned a B.S. in Geophysics from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Geology from UC Davis. Dr. Horns’ scientific work focuses on assessment of geologic hazards. His administrative work focuses on increasing the numbers of students pursuing science majors and careers, with particular attention to students from groups that are underrepresented in the sciences. Before joining UVU in 1997, Dr. Horns worked as a consulting geologist for Kleinfelder Engineering, where he worked on projects related to geologic hazards, water resources, and water quality.



Kate McPherson - April 11, 1pm

Shakespeare: Soul of An Age

Bingham Gallery

This lecture will explore Shakespeare’s reputation in his own time and ours, as well as why Shakespeare matters now by exploring his engagement with topics ripped from our headlines: power-sharing, tyranny, sexual misconduct, anti-Semitism, and refugees.


Professor, English & Honors Program Director

Pursuing a focus on Shakespeare in performance, Kate participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, “Shakespeare’s Blackfriars: The Study, the Stage, the Classroom,” at the American Shakespeare Center in 2008. She also serves as Resident Scholar for the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, an original practices performance troupe begun by two UVU students. She currently serves as Play Seminar Director for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. As a scholar, she participates regularly in digital humanities projects, most prominently as co-editor for a full-scale revision of Shakespeare’s Life & Times for The Internet Shakespeare Editions with Dr. Kathryn M. Moncrief (Washington College), with publication of the new site expected in 2020. More than 75 undergraduates will contribute content to the new site. She and her students also co-wrote an article on The Curtain Theater for The Map of Early Modern London site.Dr. McPherson has published widely on the English early modern period, including commentary on Periclesand The Comedy of Errors(Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-edited four collections of scholarly essays including Stages of Engagement: Drama and Religion in Post-Reformation England(with James Mardock, Duquesne University Press, 2014); Shakespeare Expressed: Page, Stage, and Classroom in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (with Kathryn M. Moncrief and Sarah Enloe, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013); Performing Pedagogy in Early Modern England: Gender, Instruction, and Performance (with Kathryn M. Moncrief, Ashgate, 2011); and Performing Maternity in Early Modern England(with Kathryn M. Moncrief, Ashgate 2008). She has also published articles on digital humanities and early modern maternity in scholarly journals.

Past Events