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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.

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Beauvais Lyons
Mic/Nite Coordinator Email: blyons@utk.edu Phone: 865-974-3202
Next Event: March 26, 2015
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

Upcoming Presentations on March 26, 2015

Everyday IdeatopiaLiz TestonCollege of Architecture and Design - Interior Design

Design is embedded in the everyday and has intrinsic value. This design theory contributes to interior design education by its early introduction. Studying the aesthetics of the mundane reveals to the student that everything has value: everyday objects, underserved populations, modestly detailed buildings. Design is for the masses. Interior design shapes lives in the most fundamental and personal way. Our collective memory is informed by the built environment, which gives ordinary objects, like a recycling center or a gallon of milk, a design status that is not always evident initially. As designers, we are responsible for explaining to the world the importance of good design, to promote access to good design as a basic human right. This studio is committed to reconsidering design through the lens of everyday, recyclable objects. These items are not collateral damage of an ideatopia; they are design tools for the future. Photo credit: Joanna Bernardini.

How is a Butterfly's **** Like a Novel? Nature and Art in Nabokov's ScientifStephen BlackwellCollege of Arts and Sciences - Modern Foreign Language and Literatures

In 6 years of laboratory work, Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov made at least 1,500 scientific drawings of butterfly genitalia and wings—mostly of the former.  In an upcoming book, co-editor Kurt Johnson and I are presenting 150 of these drawings along with several essays by various specialists.  Nabokov’s approach to studying butterfly anatomy was characterized by a fascination with the temporal depth of species, and he imagined using a time machine to describe the staggered arrival of various old-world species in North and South America.  He found that butterfly organs, like novels, make allusions to one another between species. He also showed that their microscopic genitalic structures include comically self-referential forms as well as allusions to entirely unrelated, radically different species. Nabokov’s literary art displays the same kinds of time-travel, structure and referentiality that he found in these highly adapted creatures.

Wie fliegt eine Federmaus? (How does a bat fly?)Gary McCrackenCollege of Arts and Sciences - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Powered flight evolved independently in three groups of vertebrates.  Unfortunately, the flying reptiles (Pterosaurs) are extinct.  Of the two living groups of flying vertebrates, birds are much better known than bats.  Birds are colorful, abundant, active in daytime, sing what we perceive of as pretty songs, and rank high in the popular perceptions of most people.  Bats, in contrast, inhabit the night, their songs are mostly beyond our hearing and, while they also are abundant, “bat watching” is not a common pastime. As a rule, bats do not share the “good press” enjoyed by birds.  So, what are bats doing up there?  How are they doing it? Why should we care?  This talk will address these questions with some of the latest information on the amazing and unique abilities of our flying mammals.

A Very Early Date for Prehistoric Cave Use in the Eastern WoodlandsJan F. SimekCollege of Arts and Sciences - Anthropology
Around 6,500 years ago (if not before), prehistoric Native Americans explored deep into the dark zone of Tennessee’s 49th Unnamed Cave, perhaps buried their dead in the mouth of the cave, and may have made petroglyphs on the cave wall.  This age is older by nearly 800 years than evidence previously identified as eastern North America’s earliest dark zone cave use.  The 49th Unnamed Cave has a checkered history of looting, reburial, and difficulties with resource protection, and these issues will be discussed in light of its archaeological record.

FORE!Andy PuckettCollege of Business - Finance

Whenever a company hires someone, there is always a risk that the person will not complete his/her tasks with the level of diligence originally anticipated. This idea, that delegated managers may shirk their duties and avoid the hard work required to do an excellent job, is as old as the discipline of economics itself. However, what has largely eluded financial economists to this point is a convincing way to measure the amount of leisure consumed by delegated managers. Using golf play as a measure of leisure, we document that Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) consume more leisure when they have lower equity-based incentives (i.e., less “skin” in the game). CEOs who golf frequently (i.e., those in the top quartile of golf play, who play at least 22 rounds per year) are also associated with firms that have lower operating performance and firm values. Overall, our analyses support a conclusion that a significant fraction of public company CEOs do not work as hard as they could to maximize returns to shareholders, and that the costs of their leisure consumption to shareholders is substantial.

Examining the Darker Sides of Interpersonal CommunicationCourtney N. WrightCollege of Communication and Information - Communication Studies

Conflict is a natural and inevitable event that contains the potential to produce both danger and opportunity. The catalysts for and implications of this paradox are at the core of the study of the dark side of interpersonal communication. Wright’s research interests in the positive and negative influences of relational communication and conflict on well-being have focused on the investigation of three communication behaviors through which the darker sides of interpersonal communication can manifest: social confrontation, social influence, and paradoxical forms of communication. This presentation provides an overview of her research of these phenomena in close relationships and instructor-student interactions about grades.

Blame It on My Gut Bacteria: How Microbe-Host Interactions Influence DiseaseDallas R. DonohoeCollege of Education, Health, and Human Sciences - Nutrition

Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and will result in over 50,000 deaths this year alone. Environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle play a major role in colorectal cancer susceptibility. Dietary fiber has been postulated to reduce colorectal cancer incidence. However, human epidemiological studies as to whether fiber protects against colorectal cancer have produced controversial results. These human studies have been confounded by genetic heterogeneity among participants that also results in different microbiomes and fiber fermentation properties.  Recently, we have found that butyrate, a product resulting from the bacterial fermentation of fiber in the colon, protects against the formation of colorectal tumors. Furthermore, we have observed that this protection provided through a high fiber diet and butyrate is regulated by the metabolism of the tumor cell. A high fiber dietary intervention represents a plausible, maintainable, and non-toxic approach to reducing colorectal cancer incidence.

Mission to Mars!: The UT Research Behind the QOA Microchip for NASA's CuriosBen BlalockCollege of Engineering - Analog Electronics

Along with two of my research students, Stephen Terry and Robert Greenwell, I partnered with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a NASA Center of Excellence for robotic space exploration, in the design and development of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Quad Operational Amplifier (QOA) microchip. This microchip is used in the Curiosity’s motor controller electronics for wheel motors, robotic arm actuator motors, camera positioning motors, and other functions. Over ninety copies of the QOA microchip are used on the MSL Mars rover, distributed on the periphery of the Curiosity. The QOA microchips are exposed to the ambient environment on the Mars surface, subjected daily to −120°C to +20°C temperature swings.  No commercially available electronic component could meet JPL’s rigorous requirements, including potential re-use for asteroid missions. This presentation provides an overview of the past research effort at UT behind the QOA chip for Mars…and beyond.

Electric-Powered Two-Wheelers: Kid Toys or Serious TransportationChris CherryCollege of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Low-speed, electric two-wheelers (e.g., e-bikes) have seen dramatic market growth in China. With about 150 million sold in the last decade, they are the largest and most rapid adoption of an alternative fuel vehicle in the history of motorization. They have disrupted traditional transportation pathways and provided efficient mobility solutions that are low-cost, emit little pollution, and displace more harmful motorized modes. This presentation will discuss the results of some of the research Dr. Cherry has conducted on the role of electric-powered two-wheelers in China’s transportation system, focusing on sustainability and safety. In the context of a resurgence in bicycling in the West, he will also discuss how e-bikes and their derivatives can influence more sustainable transportation for all in Europe and North America.

Lessons From Saturday Morning Cartoons: Wile E. Coyote and Computer-AssistedDavid P. AtkinsUniversity Libraries - Branch Libraries and Collection Logistics

Acme provided Wile E. Coyote with the tools and technology he applied in his pursuit of The Road Runner.  While at times these products failed, often times it was The Coyote’s own misuse that precipitated his regular Saturday morning mishaps. Qualitative researchers also use technology in the form of Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) to pursue their quarry. While the application of CAQDAS seldom results in qualitative disasters, the landscape of scholarly publications illustrates how little we really know about its use. Are scholars closing in on their objectives, or are they running off a cliff?  I will share the findings of a collaborative research study conducted with colleagues from the University of Georgia and the University of Tasmania, Australia, where we analyzed 763 journal articles to characterize both who is using two popular CAQDAS programs and how they are reporting this use.

The 2014 International Festival of Falconry and My Passion for Birds of PreyMichael P. JonesCollege of Veterinary Medicine - Avian and Zoological Medicine

From December 7-13, 2014, over 800 falconers from around the world descended upon the desert sands of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to participate in the 3rd International Festival of Falconry.  Recognized and inscribed by UNESCO as a living human heritage and as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, falconry set the stage for international falconers, researchers, journalists, photographers, exhibitors, raptor trainers, experts, and other raptor enthusiasts to share in their passion for this unique art and sport. Through the support of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, the festival served as a model of cultural tolerance and appreciation for our passion for falconry.

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