Tuesday, May 24, 2016

University of Sydney

Today we headed to the University of Sydney, walked through the Royal Botanical Garden, and attended a concert.
Today we headed to the University of Sydney, a university with around 60,000 students. Our host, Dr. Chris Lawrance, took us on a tour of the grounds and through the beautiful historic buildings of the university.

We also sat in one a couple of lectures with students of University of Sydney. The first was by professor Alistair McEwan, who spoke to us about the occurrences of bioelectronics in the wild, and how the cell membranes in an organism are held together by electromagnetism. Due to these fundamental interactions, professor McEwan is looking into an imaging technique called Electrical Impedance Tomography, which is a radiation free, low cost, and suitable for children replacement for more classical types of imaging such as X-rays or MRIs.

After a brief lunch, we sat in on a lecture by Dr. Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi, who is creating computer chips that mimic the behavior of neurons. He is researching ways to make these circuits more and more like neurons in their learning ability.

After leaving the university, we went on a walk through the Royal Botanical Garden, where we got to see a beautiful collection of plants never seen in Minnesota.

We were invited by the University the join in a chamber string concert, performed by students, so after dinner near the Opera House, we headed to the Conservatorium of Music for the concert. We were introduced to a few University of Sydney students and were able to mingle with them before the show. The concert was of selections of compositions by Bruckner and Schubert, performed expertly by 15 students—a wonderful experience and a perfect last night in Sydney as tomorrow we head off to Brisbane.