California Fires, Nuclear Energy, Secure Design, American Math
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- Nov 19, 2018 10:00 pm
- 1:44:43 mins
Why the Camp Fire in California is so Destructive and Deadly Guest: Christopher Dicus, Professor of Wildland Fire & Fuels Management, California Polytechnic State University, President of the Association for Fire Ecology The Camp Fire in Northern California is already the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, and it continues to burn. At least 77 people are confirmed dead and hundreds more are missing. Many of them are from the city of Paradise, which was entirely destroyed when the fire quickly overwhelmed it a week and a half ago. Why was this fire so fast moving and fatal? The Future is Looking a Bit Hazy and Nuclear Guest: Allison M. Macfarlane, Professor of Science Policy and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, George Washington University Nuclear power is fading in the US. Most of the nation’s 100 or so nuclear reactors are near the end of their 40-year-life-span initially approved by regulators. More than a dozen have become so expensive to maintain they are slated to be shut down permanently. The nation’s oldest commercial nuclear plant was 49-years-old – and it just closed down for good in Lacey, New Jersey. Meanwhile only one new nuclear power plant is currently under construction in the US. But America’s nuclear safety rules and regulations were designed for building and maintaining plants, not tearing them down. Designing Crisis-Proof Buildings Guest: Jay Brotman, Partner, Svigals + Partners After a mass shooting with a high number of casualties in America – whether in a school or a church or a club – there are calls for gun control, but also for making our public places more secure. Armed guards. Bulletproof glass. Locked doors. Is it possible to design a building so secure it will prevent a mass shooting? Something Isn’t Adding Up: Why Americans are Bad at Math Guest: James W. Stigler, Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles Compared to many other wealthy countries, America’s 15-year-old rank near the bottom on math achievement. And the problem clearly starts earlier: just a third of eighth graders tested proficient at their grade level on math last year, according to US Department of Education. BYU Professor’s Census Tree links families together through generations Guest: Joseph Price, Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University, Director of the BYU Record Linking Lab Finding your roots through DNA tests is a lucrative industry that has enabled many, many people to find relatives or distant ancestors. But there’s still a lot of manual work involved to flesh out the details of your family tree beyond the first few generations. US Census records are a key source for that, but anyone who has searched them knows how tricky it is to connect ancestors from decade to decade. BYU’s record linking lab is working to automate the process drawing from more than a hundred million US Census records now available online. Decision-Based Learning Guests: Ken Plummer, Consultant, Center for Teaching and Learning, BYU; Morgan Busch, Center for Teaching and Learning, BYU; Mike Alder, director of BYU Technology Transfer Office We talked about the shortcomings of math instruction in the US – too much attention on memorization and practice equations, too little actual problem solving. A team here at BYU is developing a system to help instructors create lessons that train students to think the way experts think.