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Michael Falk Delivers Lecture on Disorder in Materials and Education
On April 1, 2014, Dr. Michael Falk, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, delivered a presentation entitled “Disordered Systems at the Breaking Point: Materials, Students, and Schools,” as part of the Whiting School of Engineering’s Donald P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture series.
Dr. Falk’s lecture focused on the importance of understanding how a system breaks down. This understanding tells us a great deal about how its structure dictates the rules it follows, be the system material or human. During the lecture, he addressed how he conceptualizes disorder and breakdown, and used it as a stepping-off point for discussing disorder and failure as they arise in educational contexts. The presentation was open to the entire Johns Hopkins community, and the audience filled Mason Hall.
Dr. Falk is widely recognized for the development of the Shear Transformation Zone theory of the response of non-crystalline solids to stress. In his work he deploys atomic scale computational methods to increase our understanding of the processes that govern deformation, failure, phase transitions and friction within and between materials. His education research focuses on integrating computation into the undergraduate core curriculum.