New PhD and graduate course: Science and technology of self-replicating systems and unconventional computing Description This course provides an introduction to the physics, (bio)chemistry and computational science of self-replicating systems. It is designed for PhD students and advanced MS students e.g. from physics, chemistry, nanobioscience, synthetic biology, molecular biology, pharmacy, robotics as well as computer, electrical and mechanical engineering. The course consists of hands-on: chemistry labs (assembly and characterization of simple protocell components), electronics, software and mechanics workshop (3D printer assembly) computer simulations (molecular aggregate simulations and evolutionary experimental planning using machine learning) tutorials (lectures) on theory and methods for involved key issues. Besides providing the necessary introductions to the basic science, the course also introduces the students to do-it-yourself (DIY) open source hardware. The course concludes with a discussion of case studies on how to write scientific grant applications as well as how to address the press and the general public regarding complex scientific issues (and how these two issues are connected). Since some of the teachers also have their own businesses within this rapidly growing area, this PhD course may also be of interest for potential entrepreneurs. Course Credit 5 ECTS, needs to be approved at the students home institutions and the estimated time and effort is 125-150 hours, with about 45 hours of lectures and labs. Minimum attendance of 5 out of 6 days of the course. Mandatory participation in the public outreach event. In order to get credits for the course, every student has to be present at all the other students’ talks. Evaluation (Exam) evaluation is pass / non-pass and it consists of three parts: (i) Active participating in the six course days. The last days of the course, students give a ten minutes presentation (a few slides) that suggests how the concepts and methods encompassed in this course could be a valuable inclusion in the project they are already involved in (personal / Ph.D. project). After each presentation a short discussion with questions and suggestion follows. All participants have to be present during the presentations and actively participate in the discussions. (ii) Oral examination on elected topic (~ 30 mins), final date to be determined. For the evaluation the participants have to choose between two types of oral presentations: The participant gives a 15-20 minutes presentation about a topic or technique related to the course curriculum (e.g. a paper). Importantly, the presentation should not be related to the student's own PhD project. Participants team up in groups of two persons and give a presentation on a hypothetical project/paper that combines the competences that each student has. The students should not already be working on closely related projects in the same group. Ideas for projects could e.g. come from the student presentation day. (Each student from the two person team does the oral examination separately). (iii) Short public presentation: A short talk (5-10 mins, TED style presentation) on a your PhD (or related) topic where you frame your work in a larger scientific picture, in societal issues and if it makes sense how it relates to the overarching course theme. This short talk will be part of a larger public event on unconventional computing and self-replicating systems. Dates and venue: March 2-7, 2015, lectures and labs, University of Southern Denmark April 22, 20151, oral exam, University of Southern Denmark April 23, 20152, short public lecture in Odense and/or Copenhagen, times and location(s) to be determined. Registration: Send email to all organizers (see below) with your student status and area of expertise. Please sign up as soon as possible, and no later than February 15, 2015, as we need to order 3D printer kits to participants (no charge to students) and plan the labs. Organizers: Steen Rasmussen, FLinT, [email protected], +45-6011-2507, main coordinator. Aleksandra Amaladass, FLinT, [email protected], +45-5018-0038 3 Lene Andersen, FLinT, [email protected], outreach planning. Teachers include: Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark & Santa Fe Institute, USA Pierre-Alain Monnard, University of Southern Denmark Carsten Svaneborg, University of Southern Denmark Norman Packard, ProtoLife Inc., USA & Ca’Foscari University, Italy Masayuki Imai, Sendai University, Japan Clements Yanev, Future Bits Open-Tech UG, Germany Venue: Fundamental Living Technology (FLinT) Department for Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy University of Southern Denmark Odense 5230, Denmark http://flint.sdu.dk +45-6550-2507 lab / 4436 sec Cost: The course is free of charge for the registered and accepted students. Expenses for the experimental labs as well as the 3D printer are paid by the course. Thus, the students may bring their 3D printer home after completion of the course. Accommodation and travel costs are expected paid by the students (or their home institutions). 1 Tentative date. The date and location for the outreach presentation are still tentative. 3 Main point of contact for registration and practical information. 2 Detailed (tentative4) schedule: Monday, March 2, 2015 10:00-10:15 Welcome and introduction to the course on self-replicating systems and unconventional computing Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark & Santa Fe Institute, USA 10:15-12:15 Minimal living and intelligent processes: self-replicating protocells, self-replicating machines printers, machine learning and personal fabricators Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark & Santa Fe Institute, USA. 12:00-13:00 Lunch 13:00-15:00 Soft-matter physics and protocells: experimental and theoretical tutorial Masayuki Imai, Sendai University, Japan 15:00-17:00 Biochemistry of protocells, tutorial of experimental bottom up & top down approaches Pierre-Alain Monnard, University of Southern Denmark Tuesday, March 3, 2015 8:00 – 17:00 Hands-on laboratory on the assembly and characterization of fatty acid vesicles, investigation of droplet motility and division, minimal metabolic reactions (details depend on number of course participants) Pierre-Alain Monnard, Masayuki Imai & Steen Rasmussen Wednesday, March 4, 2015 9:00-10:30 Introduction to computer simulation of mesoscopic molecular aggregates Carsten Svaneborg, University of Southern Denmark 10:30-12:00 Hands-on computer simulation labs Norman Packard, ProtoLife Inc., USA & Ca’Foscari University, Italy 12:00-13:00 Lunch 13:00-14:30 Evolutionary search and experimental planning 4 Minor changes in the program may occur, e.g. teachers and times might change during the six day course period. Norman Packard, ProtoLife Inc., USA & Ca’Foscari University, Italy 14:30-17:00 Hands-on computer demonstrations of evolutionary search and continuation of molecular simulations from the morning. Carsten Svaneborg & Norman Packard Thursday, March 5, 2015 8:00 -17:00 Assembly of your own 3D printer, hands-on (limited to 10 participants) Clements Yanev, Futute Bits, Open-Tech UG, Germany Friday, March 6, 2015 8:00 – 17:00 Assembly of your own 3D printer, hands-on activities (limited to 10 participants) Clements Yanev, Future Bits Open-Tech UG, Germany Saturday, March 7, 2015 9:00-10:00 Different funding agencies, case studies on grant writing, application composition: scientific content, technological impact and societal narratives. Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark & Santa Fe Institute, USA 10:00-11:00 Addressing the press, the general public and the composition of short public lectures on (complex) scientific issues Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark & Santa Fe Institute, USA 11:00-12:00 Student presentations (ten minutes and a few slides) that suggest how the concepts and methods encompassed in this course could be a valuable inclusion in the project they are already involved in (personal / Ph.D. project). After each presentation a short discussion with questions and suggestion follows. 12:00-13:00 Lunch. 13:00-14:00 Student presentations continued. 14:00-16:00 Student teamwork on preparation for oral exam and short public lecture, which is scheduled approximately a month and a half later, April 22 and 23, 20155. 16:00 Departure 5 Tentative dates for the public outreach.
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