Monte Vista High teacher to help kick off Lawrence Livermore Lab lecture series

Rodger Johnson to speak about exploring nature using computer simulation

A Monte Vista High teacher will help Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory welcome the return of its "Science on Saturday" lecture series this weekend.

Rodger Johnson, a science teacher and department chair at the Danville high school, will give a presentation with LLNL scientist Vic Castillo this Saturday (Feb. 1) about how scientists use computer simulation to explore nature.

The lecture by Johnson and Castillo will be the first of four "Science on Saturday" sessions offered in the coming weeks -- all with a theme of computational modeling.

Other upcoming presentations will focus on menacing microbes, fusion modeling and simulating the human heart on the world's fastest supercomputer.

Each lecture will be presented twice on its scheduled Saturday, once at 9:30 a.m. and again at 11:15 a.m. The events, free to the public, will be held in the Bankhead Theater at 2400 First St. in Livermore.

Sponsored by LLNL's Science Education Program, the lectures are geared toward middle and high school students. Seating is on a first-come basis, and there is no pre-registration.

This marks the 20th year of the "Science on Saturday" program.

The lecture schedule is:

* Feb. 1: "Computer Simulation: Exploring Nature With a Computer," by Johnson and Castillo.

* Feb. 8: "Fusion Modeling: Using Big Computers to Understand One of the Universe's Biggest Secrets," by LLNL scientist Frederico Fiuza and teacher Dan Burns of Los Gatos High School.

* Feb. 22: "Menacing Microbes: Protein Models Reveal Secrets," by LLNL scientist Beth Vitalis and teacher Dean Reese of Tracy High School.

* March 1: "The Cardioid Project: Simulating the Human Heart on the World's Fastest Supercomputer," by LLNL scientist David Richards and teacher Erin McKay of Tracy High School.

The lecture series will also be available via livestream. People will be able to pose questions to the presenters and live-chat with those at the event.

For more information about the series, visit the LLNL website or contact Richard Farnsworth at 422-5059 or


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