With the advent of large-scale biobanks, there are multiple “layers” of big data available (e.g., genomics, imaging, electronic health records). What are the most effective ways of integrating these layers to understand patterns among human diseases, especially when not all layers are measured on the same set of samples? Can we use the information gleaned to better predict risk of disease?

Presenter: Sudha Veturi  |  Biobehavioral Health and Statistics


Due to unforeseen complications, there will not be a Millennium Café. We will return next Tuesday, April 25.

Energy is at the core of human activity and development. Solar energy from traditionally established technologies, such as Si photovoltaics (PV), has played a crucial role in the energy mix for decades: they are resilient, offer about 25 years of service, and do not contaminate water or generate waste. However, the new-generation energy-harvesting technologies suffer from severe degradation, leading to low long-term stability and lifetime. These challenges for organic and perovskite PVs, and efforts to understand and mitigate them, will be highlighted.

Presenter: Nutifafa Y. Doumon  |  Materials Science and Engineering

Suppose there is something you need to estimate or a hypothesis you need to test but due to ethical, technological, or practical limitations, you simply cannot collect the data you need. Let’s be honest, it’s probably because your paper is held up in peer review because a reviewer is asking about some potentially confounding factor that is impossible to measure. Regardless of why, what can you do about it? Besides giving up or making some unverifiable assumptions, are there rigorous solutions for statistical inference with limited data?

Presenter: Justin Silverman  |  College of IST

Minerals are a finite resource which is central to human welfare and economic development. The extraction of minerals is inherently unsustainable; destructive to the biophysical environment, and its contributions to human wellbeing are uneven. Despite this, minerals can bridge to sustainable development by providing essential raw materials for cleaner, more efficient, and more prosperous human societies.  Therefore, mining or the extraction of mineral resources presents a potentially transformative opportunity to support sustainable development while also posing challenges and risks to achieving it. Additionally, there is also significant attention paid to the reclaiming of metal from secondary sources, which are complex and do not necessarily subscribe to traditional process flowsheets.


The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute integrates research at the interface of earth, land, air, water, and human systems. Our researchers are at the cutting edge of understanding Earth's past, its current state, and its future. In this talk, I will highlight EESI's research portfolio and future vision. My goal is to solicit opportunities for engagement with the life sciences as we collectively address some of Earth's greatest challenges.  P.S. my 10 y.o. crafted this title, so if we don't do it FTK (for the kids), what are we doing?

Presenter: Erica Smithwick  |  Director, Earth & Environmental Systems Institute