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University Scholar Series

Spring 2024 University Scholar Series

Hosted by the Office of the Provost, this series provides a unique opportunity

to showcase the important research and scholarly activities of SJSU faculty members.

Watch Previous Lectures

Please register for the upcoming University Scholar Series presentations below.

Photo of Binh Danh

To Photograph Is to Archive


Presented by Binh Danh, Department of Art & Art History

Binh Danh emerged as an artist of national importance with work investigating his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war. His technique incorporates his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through photosynthesis. His newer work focuses on nineteenth-century photographic processes, applying them to investigate battlefield landscapes and contemporary memorials. A recent series of daguerreotypes celebrated the United States National Park system during its anniversary year. In this talk, he will discuss artists' crucial role in society as makers and memorialists, including his own work.

Binh Danh (Master of Fine Arts, Stanford; Bachelor of Fine Arts, San José State University) reconfigures traditional photographic techniques and processes in unconventional ways to delve into the connection between history, identity, and place. His work has been collected by the DeYoung Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the San José Museum of Art, among others. "Binh Danh: The Enigma of Belonging" was the inaugural recipient of the Minami Book Grant for Asian American Visual Artists at Radius Books in 2023.

Shayan Shams

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science in Healthcare

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 @ 12- P.M. 
*This presentation was not recorded. 
Presented by Shayan Shams, Department of Applied Data Science 

While the ubiquitous utilization of Artificial intelligence in healthcare applications has been expected for half a century, most of the dominating approaches of AI in healthcare have relied on expert knowledge, handcrafted feature selection, and rule fit algorithms. The emergence of the Data Science field and advances in Deep Learning and their impressive success in various fields such as speech recognition, image interpretation, and language translation have consequently led to a radical shift in the utilization of AI in healthcare.

Furthermore, with the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR), it is feasible to access and analyze data from millions of patients, detect patterns, and provide smarter healthcare. Advances in computational power paired with massive amounts of data make many clinical problems great candidates for developing innovative Deep Learning models to solve real-world problems in medicine. In this presentation, Dr. Shams will go over some of his current projects involving the utilization of Deep Learning techniques in various healthcare domains and demonstrate how Data Science and AI can improve patient care and healthcare delivery in rehabilitation and cancer prevention and therapy.

Dr. Shams is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Data Science, at San José State University. Dr. Shams is a computer scientist with extensive experience in Artificial Intelligence, and image and signal processing. His group has developed new machine learning-based methodologies to discover computational biomarkers from patterns in biomedical data.

Dr. Shams has successfully led multidisciplinary grant applications in developing new biomedical technologies with multiple collaborators. Currently, Dr. Shams is serving as the PI on a $900,000 multidisciplinary grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance to develop an AI framework for predicting efficacy of therapy in ovarian cancer.

Katy Kao

Microbial Evolution: Opportunities and Challenges

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 @ 12-1 P.M. 
Rm. 225, SJSU King Library / via Zoom*


Presented by Katy Kao, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering 

*This presentation will not be recorded.

Biological systems are complex, and we currently lack a full understanding of the rules of life, which limits our ability to design strains for biomanufacturing and to develop drugs. Nature can help to fill in the gaps. The process of evolution involves the selection of mutants that are fitter in their environment. Thus, if the desired properties can be coupled with cell growth or survival, evolution can be a tool for strain engineering and provide a knowledge base. The process of evolution is also important in diseases; antibiotic drug resistance, cancer, and the emergence of COVID-19 variants are all processes of adaptation and evolution.

Katy Kao is a Professor in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department. Prior to joining SJSU, she was an Associate Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. She received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from UC Irvine, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Her work focuses on understanding microbial adaptation for strain development and biofilm formation and drug resistance in human fungal pathogens. She was awarded the National Research Service Award by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and several college-level awards.



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SJSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members, are invited to attend.

Co-Sponsored By:

Office of the Provost
SJSU King Library
Division of Research and Innovation