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OHIO professor-daughter duo create virtual science series to keep youth engaged during pandemic

Marissa McDaid | Mar 23, 2020
chang liu lisa liu

OHIO professor-daughter duo create virtual science series to keep youth engaged during pandemic

Marissa McDaid | Mar 23, 2020

In late January, Wuhan, China, was under lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19. That’s when Ohio University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Chang Liu began looking for a way to connect his hometown residents and also engage the city’s young learners.

“It’s hard for adults, but it’s harder for kids,” Liu said, referring to virus-related quarantine orders.

As chair of the Region 2 West Area of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Liu reached out to colleagues to see who would be willing to film short educational presentations on a topic in their area of expertise.

Dubbed the “Fireside Science Chats,” the weekly talks are hosted by Liu’s daughter Lisa, a 10th grade Athens High School student. The livestreamed chats are hosted online and similar to the national Science Café series (find OHIO’s Science Café series here).

Volunteers like Russ College Multimedia Producer Qing Wang help promote the talks on the Chinese social media app WeChat. Wang has also helped edit the videos and social media graphics for the series. An 8th grade volunteer in Shanghai helps translate talks that are presented in English.

The first chat was streamed on Feb. 22. Since then, the series has consistently drawn an audience of approximately 100 people.

Watch previous chats here:

Feb. 22
Introduction to Natural Language Processing
Razvan Bunescu, Professor, School of EECS, Ohio University

Feb. 28
Using Neuroscience to Prevent Sport Injury: From Concussion to Ankle Sprains
Dustin Grooms, Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences and Professions, Ohio University

Feb. 29
Brief Introduction to biomedical sciences: stories in the history about plagues and disease-conquering in China and other countries that changed the world – from “Outlaws of the Marsh” to Newton
Xiaozhuo Chen, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University

March 8
What is life? – A Math Perspective
Qiliang Wu, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Ohio University

March 14
The ABCs of Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs)
Charles Cerny, IEEE Region 2 Dayton Section Chair

Look for upcoming Fireside Science Chats at this link.