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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News: September 2010
CAS Doctoral Programs Make Major Gains in NRC Assessment

Boston University’s research doctoral programs have shown significant and widespread improvement over the past 15 years, according to an assessment released today by the National Research Council. The new report does not rank programs, but measures the quality of specific aspects of them, such as faculty research productivity, institutional support for students, and the diversity of faculty and students. It shows significant advancement in 11 of 24 BU programs that were assessed in both the current study and a previous study, published in 1995. Most of the programs showing significant improvement were CAS programs. Programs that showed comprehensive advancement include physics, philosophy, psychology, electrical engineering, and mathematics. Biomedical engineering, geography, economics, and religion were also highly placed.

Learn More CAS Faculty Awarded Grants for Linguistics Research

Associate Professor of Romance Studies Jonathan Barnes and Professor of Romance Studies Carol Neidle recently received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to do cutting-edge linguistics research.

Learn More BU Scientists Probe Secrets Left in Mercury's Wake

Boston University scientists working on the STEREO (Solar TErrestrial REelations Observatory) mission presented at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) meeting in Rome, Italy, in September. They have found that the STEREO satellites—designed to view atmosphere escaping from the sun—show new revelations about the "tail" of gases emitting from Mercury.

Learn More Faculty Invited to Join Students at CAS Café October 4

The CAS Café series, which unites first-year students and faculty in intellectual exploration, continues with CAS Café II, scheduled for October 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Trustee Ballroom, One Silber Way, Ninth Floor. Participants will discuss C. P. Taylor's play Good. Set in Germany just after Hitler has come into power, the play takes place partly inside the mind of a "good" man, Professor Halder. Unconsciously, this well-meaning scholar is led into participation in the Third Reich, raising questions regarding the concept of "good." Please read the play before the discussion. Click here for the PDF version of Good.

Learn More

CAS Façade Gets a Makeover

To protect the CAS building's exterior and repair water damage, masons from Monaco Historical Restoration have been hired to patch up the main steps at 685 Comm. Ave. as well as other damaged areas along the Comm. Ave. façade. The water damage occurs when rain water gets behind the limestone tiles, then freezes and expands. This creates an even bigger gap for water to enter, and the process repeats itself. Limestone patches are being applied to damaged areas along the lower façade. The caulking in between the main steps was replaced with much sturdier limestone grout. The walls have also been given a power wash.

Learn More CAS Welcomes David Frankfurter as the New William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of the Appreciation of Scripture

Educated at Wesleyan, Harvard Divinity School, and Princeton, David Frankfurter comes to Boston University as a visiting professor from the University of New Hampshire. As the new William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of the Appreciation of Scripture at the College of Arts & Sciences, Frankfurter is less interested in grand theological ideas than in the way religion is popularly practiced. Frankfurter studies rituals, belief in magic (asking saints' intercessions for earthly goals, for example), "religious kitsch" (such as action figures), and, more somberly, the link between religion and violence. His book Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History (Princeton University Press, 2006) won an American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion.

Learn More BU Poised to Impact Cancer Research

The National Cancer Institute's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer has tapped a multidisciplinary research team, comprising members of the Charles River and Medical campuses, to launch a training center to help grow the next generation of nanomedicine researchers in cancer. The announcement comes with a five-year, $2 million grant. Bennett Goldberg, a College of Arts & Sciences physics professor, is one of the grant's primary investigators.

Learn More Living Green: CAS Professor Melds Personal, Professional Passions

Nathan Phillips, a College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of geography and environment, is a somewhat reluctant poster boy for green living. "I don't claim to be fully free of all energy sources in the office at all times," he says. His office's heating and cooling are of course regulated building-wide. But Phillips, who is also director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Studies, is a model for those who aspire to a lifestyle that takes less and gives more back to the Earth.

Learn More

At Your Service: CAS Communications and Media Relations

The Communications Office provides comprehensive media relations services to all CAS faculty and staff members. We encourage you to tell us about research, grants, book publications, and any other news you have to share. If you're not sure how to move forward with a story idea, please feel free to contact us. We'll work with you to find the appropriate news channel, whether that involves drafting and distributing a media release or working with our colleagues at BU Public Relations and BU Today. To discuss a potential news item or to learn more about the media services available through the CAS Communications Office, please call or email Patrick Farrell (617-358-1185/ pmfarrel@bu.edu) or Jeremy Schwab (617-358-1056/ jschwab@bu.edu).


Newsletter Archives

Accolades

Assistant Professor SIGRUN OLAFSDOTTIR (along with Jason Beckfield, Harvard University) has received an R03 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled: A Comparative Approach to Social Inequalities in Health. Building on their previous research, they will explore the role of cross-national institutional differences in accounting for variation in health disparities across countries. The project will contribute to our understanding of how changes in income inequality, institutional arrangements, and policy configurations within a society shape patterns of health inequality.


Associate Professor of International Relations KEVIN GALLAGHER has been appointed to the U.S. Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (subcommittee on investment) for 2010. He has also been appointed to the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mexico programs.


Professor of Physics KENNETH LANE has been awarded the 2011 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics of the American Physical Society, sponsored by the family and friends of J. J. Sakurai. He will share the prize with Drs. Estia Eichten of Fermilab, Ian Hinchliffe of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Chris Quigg of Fermilab. The prize was established to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in particle theory. The citation will read: "For their work, separately and collectively, to chart a course for the exploration of TeV-scale physics using multi-TeV hadron colliders." The J. J. Sakurai Prize will be presented at the APS April 2011 meeting in Anaheim, California, April 30–May 3, 2011, at a special ceremony.

Faculty Meetings and Deadlines

OCTOBER 6
Council of Chairs and Directors Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 313

OCTOBER 8
Due date for academic planning self-studies, budget requests, class-scheduling data, TF assignments: due to CAS Dean's Office

OCTOBER 8
New CAS Faculty Orientation (by invitation)
8 a.m., The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

OCTOBER 13
Arts & Sciences Faculty Meeting
4 p.m., Location TBD
Agenda and materials here
5:30 Sherry Hour, CAS 106

OCTOBER 15
Junior Faculty Fellowship and Henderson Senior Research Fellowship Deadline All applications should be sent as a single PDF file to the Humanities Foundation.

OCTOBER 20
Social Sciences Chairs and Directors Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 132

OCTOBER 20
Academic Planning Committee Meeting
4 p.m., Location TBD

OCTOBER 22
Parents Weekend Begins
Parents Weekend Reception (faculty invited)
4 p.m., Tsai Lobby

OCTOBER 25
College Scholars Reception
5 p.m., Trustee Ballroom, One Silber Way, Ninth Floor

OCTOBER 27
Faculty Assembly (all-BU)
3 p.m., Tsai Center Auditorium

OCTOBER 29
Alumni Weekend begins

NOVEMBER 3
Council of Chairs and Directors Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 313

NOVEMBER 10
Arts & Sciences Faculty Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 522
Agenda and materials here
5:30 Sherry Hour, CAS 106

NOVEMBER 17
Natural & Computational Sciences CCD Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 132

NOVEMBER 17
Academic Planning Committee Meeting
4 p.m., Location TBD

NOVEMBER 17
Humanities CCD Meeting
4 p.m., Location TBD

Chairs' Calendar

Lectures and Events

OCTOBER 4
CAS Café II
The first of a four-part series on the play Good; discussion of the play (later installments will include viewing a rehearsal, watching a performance, and an after-show discussion)
4–6 p.m., Trustee Ballroom, One Silber Way, Ninth Floor

OCTOBER 4
Romare Bearden: Black Odyssey—A Search for Home
Author Robert O'Meally will speak about his book
5:30 p.m., The Castle, 225 Bay State Road
Learn more

OCTOBER 7
Discoveries Lecture: The New Deal—75 Years Later
Bruce Schulman
7 p.m., College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 101
Learn more

OCTOBER 12
African American Studies Program presents:
Living through the Hoop: High School Basketball, Race, and the American Dream
Reuben A. Buford May, MIT, Texas A&M
4 p.m., George Sherman Union, Howard Thurman Center, Lower Level
Learn more

OCTOBER 14
American & New England Studies Program presents
House and Home in American Culture: "Fragile Dwelling"
Margaret Morton, The Cooper Union School of Art
5:30 p.m., CAS 200
Learn more

OCTOBER 19
African American Studies presents:
Remapping Resistance: Anti-Colonialism in the United States, 1945–1960
John Munro, Harvard University
4 p.m., 138 Mountfort Street, Brookline
Learn more

OCTOBER 25
Maternal Effects and the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding
Andy Russell, University of Sheffield
12 p.m., BRB 113 (5 Cummington St.)

OCTOBER 27
Discussion: Ground Zero Mosque Controversy
Stephen Prothero and Andrew Bacevich
7 p.m., George Sherman Union, Conference Auditorium, Second Floor
Learn more

OCTOBER 29
Howard Zinn Lecture Series Featuring Bill Moyers
7 p.m., GSU Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor
Learn more

NOVEMBER 2
African American Studies presents:
Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects
Christina Sharpe, Tufts University
4 p.m., 138 Mountfort Street, Brookline
Learn more

NOVEMBER 4
The Alloy Orchestra presents
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)
7:30 p.m., Tsai Auditorium
Learn more

NOVEMBER 8
Packing Inferno: The Unmaking of a Marine
Author Tyler E. Boudreau will speak about his book
6 p.m., The Castle, 225 Bay State Road
Learn more

NOVEMBER 15
How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity
Eric Chivian, Harvard Medical School
12 p.m., LSEB B01
Learn more


Full calendar

Keep Us in the Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Please send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Patrick Farrell at 617-358-1185. Announcements about upcoming events can also be submitted online. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kirsten Lundeen at 617-358-5525 or Alumni Relations Coordinator Lauren Hall at 617-353-1060.



Boston University


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Arts & Sciences
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Boston, MA 02215
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