April 19, 2010 Meeting
As we enjoy our favorite ice cream on warm summer nights, very few of us stop and think about what ice cream really is and all that is involved in making it happen. Ice cream is a complex food. The co-existence of 3 phases (gas, liquid, solid) at freezing temperatures makes it a unique subject of study. Even the simplest formula is a challenge, because a change in one variable triggers a chain reaction of effects. Is it possible to visualize all of these cause-and-effect relationships at once? Psychologists tell us that external visual organizers enhance the ability to reason and perform in complex environments. One tool that enables such visualization is the knowledge map.
In this presentation, Cesar Vega, Sr. Scientist, Mars Botanical, and co-editor of the upcoming book, The Kitchen as a Laboratory: Science Reflections Inspired by the Kitchen, attempts to create a knowledge map for ice cream by isolating its building blocks (ice, foam, and unfrozen phase) and identifying the relevant relationships that can be manipulated to enhance the enjoyment of our favorite summer treat.