TOMs Ubben Lecture out, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku will speak at DePauw


Theoretical physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku will be filling the last spot in this year's Ubben Lecture series.
Kaku will replace original lecturer Blake Mycoskie of TOMs after what was at first a postponment due to weather. Mycoskie later cancelled completely.
"I knew the risk with Blake was that running a company, that's priority one," said Ken Owen, director of media relations. "[Coming to speak] is always going to take the back seat."
Owen gave Mycoskie a series of eight to 10 dates to make a second attempt to speak at DePauw University, but Mycoskie's schedule did not permit a visit to DePauw this spring.
Although the university had already made a down payment to Mycoskie, they were able to get a full refund. The refund could go toward a different Ubben Lecture speaker.
"It's unfortunate because there was a lot of work that went into planning [Mycoskie's visit]," Owen said. "We wanted it to coincide with the Honors Weekend, but Mother Nature and logistics made it impossible."
Although Owen was working with another unnamed individual after Mycoskie fell through, that individual could also not find a time to visit the University, which ended in Kaku being the last Ubben Lecture at the University this spring.
"Dr. Kaku was our next option," Owen said. "He is filling college auditoriums around the country. He has had book signings after the event that go on for a couple hours and people really like the guy. He is funny and able to communicate science to non-scientists."
First-year Andrew Quinn was disappointed that Mycoskie would not be coming to DePauw.
"I'm not a big science person," Quinn said, "but [Kaku] sounds like he will be interesting."
Owen sees Kaku's visit as timely due to his new book 'The Future of the Mind." The book is number two on this week's New York Times' list of bestsellers.
DePauw University President Brian Casey listed some of Kaku's accomplishments Wednesday in an email that announced Kaku's vist. The list includes graduating summa cum laude and first in his physics class from Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley, holding the Henry Semat Chair in theoretical physics at the City University of New York and serving as the science correspondent for CBS This Morning.
Although the majority of students at DePauw are not physics majors, many faculty, staff and students are excited for Kaku to speak at DePauw.
"I have watched [Kaku's] videos. The most fascinating one that I've found was 'The Universe in a nutshell,'" said Rohit Singh, physics and astronomy faculty member and lab supervisor. "He explains about fundamental physics from A, B, C, D of physics to string theory so that a very lay man can understand it. Even someone like me who has a PhD in Physics, [Kaku makes it] easy to understand the String Theory."
Singh thinks it is important for everyone to attend to see how physics affects our daily lives.
"[Kaku] explains physics math equations and all other physics equations and how they are applied in real life, and how physics plays an important role in our daily life," Singh said.
Kaku's Ubben Lecture will take place on May 5 in the Green Center for the Performing Arts' Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.