The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday June 5th

2 UNC professors, 1 postdoctoral fellow to speak Saturday at TEDxDurham

The independently-organized event will give each speaker 18 minutes to present an idea or problem related to their field through the lens of its theme, centers and edges.

Ferris, a Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History, said his talk will focus on sense of place in the American South and how storytelling shaped the region.

“I’m speaking really about the heart of the South being in the story,” Ferris said. “That, if you want to really understand the other person you’re with, you ask them their favorite story. And embedded within that story is who they are — their fears, their loves. And embedded within an institution like the University of North Carolina, there is a story.

“So I’m gonna talk about something very basic to everyone, which are stories that we tell,” Ferris said. “And I’m going to accompany that talk with graphic images of people and places in which I’ve worked. So it’s a very emotional and visual engagement with the South...”

“Everyone is part of some community, of some family. And stories define how we relate to those people in those places,” Ferris said.

Ferris said the backdrop for his speech will be photographs from his upcoming book, The South in Color, that he took during the 50s, 60s and 70s in Mississippi.

Frohlich, a psychiatry professor, said he will talk about his work developing new methods for treating patients with psychiatric illnesses.

“We focus on something which is called non-invasive brain stimulation,” Frohlich said. “So that’s, in our case, the application of weak electric current in a smart way to interact with ongoing electric activity patterns in the brain.”

“We’re gonna talk about how we can shape brain activity patterns to help these patients,” he said. “...If you look at these electric activity patterns that we try to modulate and shape as a therapy, essentially, they exhibit a lot of rhythm...You can think of it like a sophisticated piece of music.

“Typically, universities have a very separated-by-discipline silo infrastructure,” Frohlich said. “UNC is very, very different. So our unique and innovative research is really enabled by the type of people at UNC and by how it emphasizes innovation and enables translational research.”

Mathews said she will discuss her development of the 2BeatHIV Project and the use of crowdsourcing as a way to improve community engagement for HIV research.

“I’m...using a bottom-up approach through crowdsourcing,” Mathews said. “Even the name, 2BeatHIV, and the logo...all came from community ideas. We asked (the crowd) about every aspect of this project.”

“Every speaker is equally incredible,” event organizer Jack Derbyshire said. “We’ve spent months and months and months vetting these guys and working with them. And I’m blown away by the quality of ideas and the variety of ideas.”


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