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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Twice a year, the Office of the Provost will host Mic/Nite, a “Pecha-Kucha Powered” social gathering in order to enhance the intellectual, interdisciplinary, and cultural life of the faculty and staff at UT Knoxville.

One of the challenges of a large university is working across the silos that often separate disciplines. Mic/Nite offers an opportunity to build bridges and foster a deeper appreciation of the many facets of a large, comprehensive university. Presentations will offer a cross section of the intellectual life of the campus and provide an opportunity for social interaction among faculty members who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.

Parking will be available behind Relix on Anderson
Avenue  and on surrounding streets. RSVP

Free pizza and cash bar; please RSVP.

David Golden
Mic/Nite Coordinator Email: Phone: 865-974-7247
Next Event: October 26, 2016
Social Hour: 5:30
Presentations: 6:30
Relix Variety Theatre
1208 N. Central St
Knoxville, TN 39717

 What is Pecha-Kucha?

Pecha-Kucha is a simple lecture format where presenters show and discuss twenty images for twenty seconds each. In this presentation format the images automatically forward while the presenter talks. To learn more, visit the Pecha-Kucha FAQ. Samples are posted on the Pecha-Kucha Presentations page.

The concept began in Tokyo, Japan, in 2003 and has spread to more than 400 cities around the world. The format allows presenters to show images and talk about everything from urban design or economic theory to a series of photographs. Mic/Nite is being held in cooperation with PechaKucha Night Knoxville, which was started in 2011 to encourage intellectual and cultural dialogue. Mic/Nites are special interdisciplinary events designed to foster dialogue between university faculty and staff.

Explore Pecha Kucha events from around the world: PechaKucha 20x20 - Official Site | PechaKucha 20x20 - Knoxville | PechaKucha 20x20 - FAQ

Recent Presentations

Exploring the Effects of Visual Appeals in an HPV Prevention Campaign: An Eye-Tracking StudyElizabeth (Beth) Avery Foster, Associate Professor of Public RelationsCollege of Communication and Information

Guided by Witte’s (1994) extended parallel process model, this eye-tracking experiment (N = 75) investigates the influence of different types of visuals (i.e., fear appeal, non-fear appeal, and text only) on visual attention, perceived threat, perceived efficacy, and behavioral intention. The results reveal that (1) visual attention (i.e., time spent on visual) is higher for the fear image than for the non-fear image; (2) both fear and non-fear visual appeals increase people's perceived threat, and this effect is partially mediated by their visual attention to the appeals; and (3) for two types of efficacy (perceived self-efficacy and perceived response efficacy), only perceived response efficacy moderates the strength of the mediated relationships between visual attention and behavioral intentions to vaccinate via perceived threat, such that the mediated relationship is stronger under high response efficacy than under low response efficacy.​ 

classroom with technology
Re:Learning, Technology, and College StudentsPatrick Biddix , Associate Professor of Higher EducationCollege of Education, Health, and Human Sciences

Two decades of research and anecdotal belief implies students are hyper-connected, faculty are dis-connected, and the inability of the two to resolve this digital divide limits learning potential. My research explores questions about how students use technology in their classroom and extended learning environments. Specifically, I have focused on how learners interact with technology and how their learning process is influenced (or not) by such interactions. In this presentation, I offer some considerations from my work in international contexts. The findings I share challenged my previous notions about technology, leading me to reconsider student learning in the “digital” era.

photo of Marx Durkheim and Weber
For a Strong Program of Theoretical Sociology in the 21st Century: How Marx, Durkheim, and Weber Continue to Be RelevantHarry F. Dahms, Associate Professor of SociologyArts and Sciences

​In the early 21st century, we are experiencing a proliferation of crises that the classics of social theory, especially Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, warned us about.  Their theories were concerned with the challenge of grasping how the nature of social life in modern societies is characterized at the same time by a bright side and a dark side.  Their theories continue to provide a common denominator for sociologists today who are working in diverse traditions -- theoretically, methodologically, and substantively -- to contribute to an up-to-date understanding of dilemmas modern societies, as part of human civilization, confront.  Under conditions of globalization, sociology as the social science of modern society is uniquely positioned to scrutinize such challenges as climate change, resource depletion, population growth and financial crises as symptomatic of an on-going process of creative destruction that manifests itself at all levels of social life, from the individual to human civilization.

Exploring Asteroids: A Window into Solar System HistoryJosh Emery, Assistant Professor in Earth and Planetary SciencesArts and Sciences

​Before the Earth formed, the Solar System swirled with a large number of small, rocky bodies that later grew into the planets we know today.  Most of those rocks were long ago ejected from the Solar System or swallowed by the Sun and planets.  A small fraction (but still more than a million) remains today, now known as asteroids, providing an important window through which we can view the earliest history of our planetary neighborhood.  Far from benign, however, asteroids have literally impacted the history of the planets, leaving their mark on the geology and biology of Earth.  Researchers at UT (faculty and students) are actively involved in remote characterization of asteroids and in NASA’s ongoing and upcoming spacecraft exploration of asteroids.  The OSIRIS-REx mission, scheduled to launch on Sept 8, will be NASA’s first attempt to bring samples from an asteroid back to Earth.​

Illustration of teddy bear poster
Response to the Unthinkable: Grief, Memorialization, & Violence Prevention Ashley Maynor, Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities LibrarianLibraries

From Columbine to Sandy Hook, individuals around the world have responded to violent mass shootings publicized in mainstream media by sending expressions of grief and sympathy—such as letters, flowers, and teddy bears—by the tens and even hundreds of thousands. Increasingly, there is an expectation that some, if not all, of the condolence items will be kept or saved. 

My research on this topic, which takes the form of traditional publications, a multimedia documentary, and a mobile-based web app, explores how this unusual and unexpected archival task often falls to libraries, what we can learn about our culture through what we choose to kept or discard following unthinkable tragedies, and how we can begin to prevent gun violence. 

Movement and Meaning, a Sculptural PursuitJohn Powers , Assistant Professor of SculptureArts and Sciences
Sculpture historically has been associated with statuary and architecture, though the last century and a half has seen rapid and extensive expansion of what art is, how it is made and what it can do. The discipline of sculpture in particular has grown, reaching beyond traditional materials like stone, wood and bronze to encompass virtually any physical material as well as “non-materials” like light, sound and motion. Considering the unique and special possibilities of time and literal physical movement as compositional elements, I will share both historical examples as well as my own work as we explore movement as a vehicle for meaning in sculpture.
two flexible wire platforms
Flexible, Multi-Legged RobotsCaleb Rucker, Assistant Professor of Mechanical EngineeringEngineering

The use of robotics in surgery has reduced patient recovery times, trauma, and cost for several types of procedures. However, the impact of this technology is limited by dexterity and size of current robotic tools, especially for procedures in confined spaces that are difficult to access. In the REACH robotics lab, we are creating smaller, stronger, and more dexterous robotic tools for minimally invasive surgery.  Manipulators that use multiple flexible legs which extend, bend, and twist can provide unique articulated motion through curved access pathways. Larger versions of these robots can also work alongside humans with inherent safety due to their lightweight, flexible structure. Demonstration videos of several robot prototypes will be shown, where student operators control robot motion remotely.

Epidemics of the Less Glamourous Marcy Souza, Associate Professor of Veterinary Public HealthVeterinary Medicine

Wildlife species are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate, and often these extinctions are at least in part due to the actions of humans.  Charismatic mega-fauna such as elephants, rhinos and polar bears often make the headlines, but many other less glamourous species are also facing serious threats.  Three infectious diseases, white nose syndrome, chytridiomycosis, and snake fungal disease, are currently affecting wildlife populations in North America.  However, the media has focused little to no attention on these problems when compared to the problems of more charismatic species.  Can humans appreciate the intrinsic value of all wildlife species?  Can we understand that the health of humans, animals and our ecosystems are intricately intertwined?       ​

flow chart
Employing Analytics to Configure New Product Supply ChainsSean Willems, Professor and Haslam Chair in Supply Chain AnaylticsHaslam College of Business

Companies constantly introduce new products in order to reach new customers and increase revenues.  The majority of these new products fail, exposing companies to significant costs for unsold product.  This research focuses on how best to design new product supply chains to minimize sourcing, production, transportation, and inventory costs.  The core idea is to synchronize the speed of the supply chain.  This optimized approach differs significantly from existing industrial practice which selects the cheapest supplier irrespective of speed.  

images of planes and cars
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…..and ??: Some Points to Ponder About TransportationShashi Nambisan, Professor of Civil EngineeringEngineering

Transportation systems are woven into the fabric of our daily lives - from meeting desires for individual mobility to serving trade and commerce related requirements.  We now are at a crossroads working with legacy systems while planning for uncertain future demands. We face numerous needs and wants, juxtaposed with opportunities afforded by technological advancements, all of which exist in a setting with a multitude of challenges and constraints. These include socio-political aspects, and considerations such as economics, energy, environment, efficiency, expediency, equity, and ethics (7 Es). This presentation will highlight these with reference to the elements that constitute transport systems:  users, vehicles, and networks while recognizing safety to be the prime focus. It will touch upon the balance between individual and societal optima, the potential role of emerging technologies (e.g., Google car, connected vehicles and infrastructure), and data-enabled decision support systems to guide policy and operational strategies for transport systems.​

View More Previous Presentations