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2011 Lectures

Robert Rodriguez and Me
Featuring Professor Charles Ramírez Berg, Department of Radio-Television-Film
Monday, September 12, 2011

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Professor Charles Ramírez Berg of the Department of Radio-TV-Film tells the story of his two-decade-long relationship with director Robert Rodriguez. Beginning with Robert’s first student film (Bedhead), he discusses how he went on to make his first feature, El Mariachi, for $7,000 in the summer of his junior year, and how those two films got him a contract with Columbia Pictures. Ramírez Berg also discusses the lessons he learned from his celebrated student and concludes with the secrets of Robert’s success, which students can use during their careers here at UT Austin.

Research that Changes the World
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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The Study of Early Child Care Effects on Kids
Prof. Robert Crosnoe, Departments of Sociology & Psychology
with Natalie Raff, Graduate Student, University of Houston (former UT Austin undergraduate)

Professor Robert Crosnoe and former undergraduate researcher Natalie Raff discuss new data that has been collected to add to the NICHD Study of Child Care and Youth Development, a national study of children born in 1991 who were followed over time to determine what the effects of non-parent child care on children are—is it bad, good, or somewhere in between? The children are now in their early 20s, and new data is being collected about their school, work, and romantic lives to determine how they are doing and whether any effects of child care are long-lasting. The presenters have also been tracking the extensive media coverage of this high-profile study over the last two decades to get a sense of whether the media got the story right or wrong.

Snake Bites, Sled Dogs, and Curing Anthrax
Prof. Brent Iverson, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
with Prof. Jennifer Maynard, Department of Chemical Engineering (former UT Austin graduate student)

Professors Brent Iverson and Jennifer Maynard have developed a cure for anthrax that is based on an engineered antitoxin antibody. In particular, they used a relatively new technology to create an antibody molecule powerful enough to defeat the deadly toxin released during an anthrax infection. The basic approach, related to way the venomous snake bites are treated, dates back about 100 years and was even featured in the “Balto” Disney video. The work serves as a vivid reminder that combining modern technology with important ideas from the past can lead to powerful solutions for today’s problems.

Discovery through Performance
Prof. James Loehlin, Department of English
with Isto Barton, Senior, Department of English

Professor James Loehlin and senior English major Isto Barton explore how performance provides an illuminating approach to Shakespeare’s plays. Drawing on their work together in the Shakespeare at Winedale program, Loehlin and Barton will investigate the character of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, one of Shakespeare’s most complex and fascinating villains. Through analysis of a speech from Henry VI, Part 3, they discuss and demonstrate the discoveries that performing Shakespeare can produce for actors and audiences.