Lecture Explores Opportunities in Interdisciplinary Science

| April 1, 2009

Sweet Briar’s math sciences department is hosting a lecture by Brett Tyler of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 6 in Guion Room 202.

Tyler, a professor of plant pathology and physiology, chairs the Admissions Committee for the Virginia Tech interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (GBCB). He will discuss the program during his talk at Sweet Briar.

The lecture will be of interest to science faculty with broad interdisciplinary interests and to students wishing to pursue graduate degrees or employment in interdisciplinary science, said associate math professor Raina Robeva, who organized the lecture. Tyler’s visit also is part of an initiative she is working on with Jill Granger, a professor in the chemistry department.

“Jill Granger and I would like to propose that we use the event as an opportunity to initiate a discussion among our departments on the value of interdisciplinary breadth in contemporary science,” Robeva wrote in an invitation to Tyler’s lecture addressed to her science colleagues at Sweet Briar.

“We are already doing more and fare a lot better than many other institutions in our peer group, but there are always ways to make our interdepartmental connections stronger to the benefit of our students,” she said.

Robeva also notes that Sweet Briar has an exchange agreement with Virginia Tech that allows students to take courses at the partner school that are not available at their home institutions. Sweet Briar students can take advantage of advanced research courses and internships at Tech.

Robeva sees the exchange program as a way to provide Sweet Briar students with even more opportunities in interdisciplinary science.

For more information about the Bioinformatics Institute and the GBCB program, visit the Web site at vbi.vt.edu. Those interested in attending the lecture should contact Robeva atRobeva@sbc.edu or (434) 381-6233.

Jennifer McManamay

Category: Academics, Biology, Mathematical Science