Five Scholars to speak at Annual Symposium

  • May 20, 2014
Five Scholars to speak at Annual Symposium

Five Gates Cambridge Scholars will present their research, covering Mozart, pregnancy diabetes, complex systems, conflict and cooperation between ancient Greece and Thrace and the new post-Higgs Boson era in physics this week.

Five Gates Cambridge Scholars will discuss their research, covering gender and sexuality in Mozart, pregnancy diabetes, the foundations of complex systems, conflict and cooperation between ancient Greece and Thrace and the new post-Higgs Boson era in physics at this week’s special Scholars’ Symposium.

The presentations will be made on Thursday at the Annual Symposium with the Gates Cambridge Trust and Trustees.

Ilana Walder-Biesanz [2013], who is doing an MPhil in European Literature and Culture,  will summarise the complicated web of gender and sexuality in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito,  where two of the principals are ‘breeches roles’ (male characters sung by women). She says: “My goal is to highlight opera’s status as an unusually rich space for gender play and deconstruction.”

Zoe Stewart [2013], who is a doing a PhD in Clinical Biochemistry, will talk about her research on diabetes in pregnant women. Diabetes is the most common medical condition in pregnancy, affecting up to 7% of pregnant women and potentially resulting in maternal death, major congenital anomaly, pre-term birth, miscarriage and stillbirth. Current attempts to control blood sugar levels are not working, with women with type 1 diabetes spending 10-12 hrs daily with sugars outside the normal range. A team at Cambridge have pioneered technological advances using algorithms that link real-time continuous glucose monitoring with continuous insulin infusion (closed-loop insulin delivery or ‘artificial pancreas’), resulting in more time at near-normal glucose levels. Zoe’s PhD comprises the first home trials of this technology in pregnant women and the first continuous glucose measurements of the offspring of women with diabetes. She will discuss her findings to date.

Stefano Martiniani [2013], who is doing a PhD in Chemistry, will discuss the methodology for counting potential energy states in physics and the applications for mapping out arrangements in complex systems.

Bela Dimova [2011], who is doing a PhD in Archaeology, will shed new light on received ideas that conflict has always been part of the southern Balkan region. She says: “The long-term history of Thrace is one of fluid movement of people, goods, technologies and ideas. I will examine several examples which show the variety of forms which interactions between Thrace and Greece took in the first millennium BC. These include individuals who migrated to/through Thrace and hybrid objects which testify to exchange between craftspeople and creative traditions coming together.”

Kelvin Mei [2013], who is doing an MPhil in Physics, will talk about the post-Higgs Boson era in physics. He says: “This past November, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, which is currently the last of the fundamental particles found in the overarching theory known as the Standard Model. For all physicists, this marks an end of an era dominated by theories formulated in the early 1960s, but it also means the beginning of an era of searching for new particles beyond the Standard Model.” He will discuss potential theories beyond the Standard Model, the methods he is using for detection of particles which are beyond the Standard Model and what this may mean for the physics community, the global community and the universe.

The Symposium will take place from 2.30-3.30pm on 22nd May in the Gates Cambridge Scholars Common Room.

Picture credit: Victor Habbick and www.freedigitalphotos.net

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