Calendar of Events

The International Year of Glass

The International Year of Glass

The United Nations declared 2022 the International Year of Glass to celebrate “the essential role glass has and will continue to have in society,” including its tremendous technological, scientific, economic, historical and artistic importance. This four-week forum will showcase the myriad cultural and practical forms of glass and the glass research of the Coe Physics Department. In week one, Assistant Professor of Physics Caio Bragatto will explain what defines a glass, why it is a special material suited to particular applications, how it is variously prepared for artistic, scientific or industrial purposes and how glass plays an important role in countless aspects of our daily lives. During the second session, Assistant Professor of Physics Firdevs Duru and Associate Professor of Physics Ugur Akgun will offer an overview of the history of glass, which dates back to 3400 BC. Week three will focus on the use of glass in art, with Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics Mario Affatigato exploring how glass was originally a medium for artistic expression as well as a functional material. This presentation will highlight examples of glass art from across time and place and discuss how light interacts with glass to create the wonder that inspires great art. In the final session, B.D. Silliman Professor of Physics Steve Feller will provide a live glassmaking demonstration and discuss modern glass research, including work at Coe that has innovated new aspects and applications of glass research.

Thursday Forum will resume in-person lectures during the 2021-2022 season.* In-person forum sessions are held in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45-9:15 AM, followed by the class until 11:30 AM. The sessions blend lecture, media and discussion. In the event of inclement weather, consult local media outlets to find out if the day’s forum will take place.

Admission to each four-week course can be purchased for $30 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $10 per week. Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or personal check. Credit card payments can be processed by registering online in advance. For more information about registering in advance, paying by credit card or ordering gift certificates, call 319.399.8523 or visit

*Thursday Forum will follow Coe's Safe Campus Initiative guidelines for in-person gatherings. Thursday Forum programs may pivot to an online format should campus or community health conditions require. Any such changes would be announced on the Thursday Forum website.