Holocaust survivor headlines Osher at ASU spring lineup

February 1, 2013

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Arizona State University is hosting a pair of lectures presented by Holocaust survivor Bernard Scheer, who will recount the true stories of great suffering, remarkable determination and many acts of heroism during the Nazi genocide of Jews.

Scheer will present “Personal Reflections on Surviving the Holocaust and Life After” at two Osher lectures in Februrary and March: Download Full Image

• 10:30 a.m. to noon, Feb. 19, Maravilla Scottsdale – The Lodge, 7325 E. Princess Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-538-5600

• 1:30 to 3 p.m., March 26, ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, Mercado, Building C, room C-300, 502 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, 602-496-1911

Registration is required at http://lifelonglearning.asu.edu">http://lifelonglearning.asu.edu/">http://lifelonglearning.asu.edu, or contact Shirley Talley at 602-496-1191.

“Mr. Scheer radiates a sparkle of life, vitality and purpose that has emerged from the enormity of human tragedy that can serve to inspire us all,” said Richard Knorpf, director of the OLLI at ASU. "I believe we all can find personal deep meaning in our own lives as we listen to what Mr. Scheer has done with his.”

Scheer was living an idyllic family life in Podhace, Poland, when Adolph Hitler’s Nazi soldiers invaded his native country in April of 1941. SS Troops held executions in the streets, burned down synagogues, destroyed cemeteries and rationed food and water for all local residents, recalls Scheer.

Scheer escaped and hid in a nearby forest, where he spent the next several years of his life until liberated by the American Army in May of 1945. He immigrated to New York City two years later and subsequently met Lillian, his wife of 50 years. They had two children.

“I try hard not to think about those days which were my life so many years ago,” Scheer says. “My survival is tempered with feelings of guilt, which is difficult to overcome. It is hard to accept one has survived, when one’s family and friends are dead. There is so much to remember and so much to tell.”

Approximately six million European Jews were killed during World War II under the state-sponsored extermination by Nazi Germany. Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the Nazi murders of ethnic Poles, Romanians, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other political and religious opponents. With this expanded definition, the total number of Holocaust victims is estimated between 11 and 17 million people.

Reporter , ASU Now


Workshop to explore rise of robotics in improving human health

February 4, 2013

Robotics technology is fast becoming more prevalent in health care and medical treatment. The potential for advances in the field to improve the quality of life will be explored as experts gather Feb. 22 and 23 in Tempe for the Piper Health Solutions Workshop on Rehabilitation Robotics.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Biomechatronics Lab Download Full Image

Workshop presenters will focus on “the roadmap for medical and health care robotics and the challenges of rehabilitation robotics for the next decade,” says Panagiotis Artemiadis, an ASU assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Artemiadis is one of several ASU faculty members leading robotics research. He directs the Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Laboratory, which is working on the use of robots for therapeutic devices designed for retraining and/or augmenting of human motor skills.

“We investigate the control interfaces between humans and robots, and the control of physical interaction between humans and robots, to help enable the seamless integration of robots into our everyday life,” he explains.

In his Neural Control of Movement Laboratory, biomedical engineering professor Marco Santello, director of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, studies how the brain controls complex movements to extract control features that can be used to improve human-robot interactions and rehabilitation devices.

The Biomechatronics Lab, directed by Veronica J. Santos, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is employing robotics technology to improve artificial hands via bio-inspired tactile sensors and control strategies.

Workshop reports will cover the current state-of-the-art technology in these areas, as well as open discussions about strategies and goals for achieving further advances.

The event is supported by a Piper Health Solutions grant, provided through a strategic investment fund established by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust to enable ASU to pursue improvement in all aspects of health care delivery.

There is no fee to attend the workshop, but registration is required by Feb. 15. Click here for a registration form. The workshop will be at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center, 2100 South Priest Dr., Tempe. For more information, visit the workshop website.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering