At the Academy: A roundup of free events

At the Academy: Hands-free cars, a chamber concert and mental health in the aging

2013-10-24T00:00:00Z At the Academy: Hands-free cars, a chamber concert and mental health in the agingSubmitted by Mike Maharray Academy Village Volunteer Arizona Daily Star

Oct. 29

Vocalists will show diversity of Tucson Chamber Artists

Eight vocalist members of the Tucson Chamber Artists will present an 11:30 a.m. concert Tuesday at the Arizona Senior Academy.

They will sing American folk songs and spirituals, excerpts from masterworks including Mozart’s “C-minor Mass” and other choral chestnuts.

Founded 10 years ago by director Eric Holtan, Tucson Chamber Artists is a versatile ensemble of vocal and instrumental musicians that has attained prestige as a premier professional chamber choir and orchestra in Southern Arizona.

Tucson Chamber Artists includes artists from Arizona as well as across the country who present a season of performances in and around Tucson. Its instrumentalists have trained in some of the finest music schools in the world.

The ensemble specializes in performing choral masterworks and the diverse music of America.

Leslie Nitzberg

Oct. 30

Prof. to outline progress

in designing robotic cars

There’s a Mercedes that nearly drives itself, CNN recently reported. It has automatic parking, “hands off” steering that can keep the car in a designated highway lane, and crash avoidance that tracks what’s ahead and slows or brakes when necessary.

And Mercedes-Benz is not alone. Versions of Cadillac, Subaru, Volvo, Acura, Audi, Jeep, Lexus and Mazda all have significant automated control features in models available this year, with more to come.

In Tucson, University of Arizona  professor Jonathan Sprinkle and his team are hard at work on robotic automobiles that behave as if a human is at the wheel.

He’ll present a talk on the subject at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Arizona Senior Academy.

Several years ago Sprinkle and a colleague successfully tested a control system that can fly jet trainers. A veteran F-15 pilot said it acted like a recent flight school graduate was at the controls.

Much of Sprinkle’s research is based on predictive control techniques, which involve combining models of various behaviors (obstacle avoidance) with real-world data (cameras, laser range finders, GPS) to calculate future moves such as braking, turning or acceleration.

Stan Davis

Oct. 31

Professor to discuss mental health and the elderly

People over the age of 85 represent the fastest-growing segment of America’s elderly population, and their mental health problems will be discussed next Thursday in an “Update on Geriatric Psychiatry” at the Arizona Senior Academy.

The speaker will be Dr. Ole J. Thienhaus, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

In addition to his general topic of psychiatry for the aged, Thienhaus will emphasize the unique problems those over 85 pose not only to the medical community but also to their family and communities.

Topics to be covered in his 3:30 p.m. lecture include growing old in America, the psychiatric hazards of advancing age, depression and dementia.

Thienhaus also will discuss the treatment of disruptive behaviors in dementia, cognitive decline, cognitive enhancements and the use of pharmocotherapies.

In addition to his faculty duties, Thienhaus is a consultant to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Hospital Accreditation Program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is also a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Walter L. Freedman

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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