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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News
Of Rats and Robots

The U.S. Office of Naval Research would like to make robots that could figure out where they are within a building. So, the agency funded a $7.5 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), with CAS Professor of Psychology Michael Hasselmo as the principal investigator. Hasselmo and his colleagues plan to use the spatial location strategies of rats to improve the way that robots navigate. Hasselmo, who is the associate director of the Center for Memory & Brain, is working with center director Howard Eichenbaum, a CAS professor of psychology, and Chantal Stern, a CAS professor of psychology and director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory.

Learn More Remembering English Professor Burton Cooper

Burton L. Cooper enjoyed a long and productive career in the Department of English, from his time as a CLA undergraduate (BA 1953) through his ascent up the professorial ranks, to his retirement in 1999. After BU, Burt went on to earn his MA and PhD at the University of Michigan. He returned to BU as an instructor in 1961.

Learn More New Space Weather Forecasting Model Going Operational

Through an unprecedented research-operations partnership, the Boston University-based Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center are transitioning the first large-scale, physics-based space weather prediction model from research into operations. National Weather Service (NWS) scientists affiliated with CISM reported the news in January at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in Seattle, Washington. CISM is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center.

Learn More Neuroscience Launches High School Outreach Program with $1.5 Million Grant

The Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience is launching a new high school outreach program this semester thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) through their Undergraduate Science Education Initiative. The brainchild of two undergraduate students, Matthew Cobb and Dana Gannon, the program includes a semester-long course, paid summer lab experience, and visits from area high school science classes.

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Pardee Center Director Invited to Serve on Advisory Panel for 2011 Human Development Report

Professor Adil Najam, the Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and CAS Professor of International Relations and of Geography & Environment, has been invited to join the Advisory Panel for the 2011 Human Development Report, produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Learn More BU Women in Chemistry (BUWIC) Join with Women Chemists from Around the World

On January 18, 2011, Boston University Women in Chemistry (BUWIC) joined women chemists in Canada as part of an international event that connected scientists in 37 countries in cyberspace. The event, titled "Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time," ushered in the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. Using Skype, BUWIC scientists linked to fellow chemists in Alberta, Canada, to share perspectives on careers in chemistry for women and ways to spur interest in chemistry and biology with educational events that span beyond the classroom.

"The Bowl Championship Series (BCS): Is It Fair and in Compliance with the Antitrust Laws?"

Antitrust specialist Paul M. Kaplan (CAS'73) argues that the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), college football's series of end-of-season bowl games, is a classic monopoly that raises concerns that go far beyond the game of football. Kaplan will deliver a lecture and lead a discussion on this hot topic from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, February 8, in Barristers Hall, BU Law School, 765 Commonwealth Ave. Read the BU Today article.

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2011 Boston University Alumni Awards Nominations

The Development & Alumni Relations office and the Boston University Alumni Association are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2011 Boston University Alumni Awards. For details on how to nominate someone, click here.

Learn About Your Newest Colleagues

Each year we are fortunate to recruit excellent new scholars and teachers to our faculty. Click here to view an updated list of those hired during the 2009-2010 recruiting season. You can click on a faculty member's name to view their bio.

Earth Systems Forum: Save the Date

On February 4 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. in the Photonics Center Colloquium Room, CAS will host a forum open to all interested faculty with the goals of providing the Boston University community the opportunity to learn about and discuss existing activities at BU related to the Earth's integrated physical, natural, and societal systems; to initiate the process of identifying core strengths and opportunities moving forward; and to develop a vision for research, teaching, and facilities related to Earth Systems at BU.


Water, Water Everywhere

Have you ever seen Marsh Plaza under 18 million gallons of water? Well, you can if you go to bu.edu/sustainability. There, you'll find detailed information about BU's massive carbon footprint, energy and water usage (including a montage depicting Marsh Plaza as it would look if all of our trash, water, or electricity usage were dumped there). More importantly, though, you'll find out what we as a University community are doing to reduce our environmental impact and how you can get involved.

Questions, comments, or suggestions on environmental sustainability at CAS? Write to your Sustainability Liaisons, Liz Taylor and Jeremy Schwab, at casgreen@bu.edu.

Procedure for CAS Online Bulletin

Faculty and staff please note: if you have changes to the online Bulletin text that are urgent (such as factual errors that affect the current requirements for degree programs), please send these changes to Peter Law (pgl@bu.edu) for College of Arts & Sciences departments/programs or to Geri Montgomery (gmonty@bu.edu) for Graduate School of Arts & Sciences departments/programs. Otherwise, please submit your changes, as usual, during the editing cycle of the next year's Bulletin to your department/program's Bulletin coordinator. Thank you for your cooperation.

Globally Speaking

Globally Speaking is a fun, low-stress way to start learning a new language! Many languages are offered, including isiXhosa, Arabic, Hausa, and Wolof. All classes are for beginners with no prior knowledge. BU students, staff, and faculty are welcome. Sessions begin Monday, January 31, and run through Thursday, April 7. No pre-registration necessary. Questions? Contact Arlene Ovalle at ovalle@bu.edu or visit www.bu.edu/projectgo. View class schedule.

Pardee Center Accepting Applications for Graduate Summer Fellows

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future is now accepting applications from BU graduate students for its summer fellows program. Read more.
Lectures and Events

Earth Systems Forum
See announcement above
12:30–5 p.m., Photonics Center Colloquium Room, 8 St. Mary's St., 9th Floor

Mapping "Mild" Sickle-Cell Disease in Senegal
12-1:30 p.m., 232 Bay State Rd., Room 505

Gender in the Civil War
Arts, Culture and Ideas Series Luncheon
12:30 p.m., The Union Club, 8 Park Street, Boston
Featuring Professor Nina Silber of the College of Arts & Sciences
Live Registration Link

"The Bowl Championship Series (BCS): Is It Fair and in Compliance with the Antitrust Laws?"
A Lecture and Discussion with Paul M. Kaplan
1-2:15 p.m., Barristers Hall, BU Law School, 765 Commonwealth Ave.

Discoveries Lecture Series: "Political Humor Throughout the Ages"
Led by Jeff Henderson, Professor of Greek Language & Literature
7 p.m., Metcalf Trustee Center, 1 Silber Way, 9th Floor
Live Registration Link

Visit www.bu.edu/winterfest for more information.

"Skid Row: Poverty and Place"
Part of AMNESP's House and Home in American Culture Series
Presenter: Ella Howard (AMNESP'07), Assistant Professor of History, Armstrong Atlantic State University
5:30 p.m., CAS 200
For more info, contact jlroscio@bu.edu.

Full calendar

Faculty Meetings and Deadlines

Faculty Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 211

Luncheon discussion on the CAS/BU experience for LGBTQ faculty
12-1:30 p.m., CAS 132
All interested tenure/tenure track faculty welcome.
For more information, contact Michael Mercurio (mwm2@bu.edu)

Social Sciences Chairs/Directors (CCD) Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 228

Humanities Chairs/Directors (CCD) Meeting
4 p.m., STH 625

Natural Sciences Chairs/Directors (CCD) Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 132

Full Chairs/Directors (CCD) Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 211

Faculty Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 211

Social Sciences Chairs/Directors (CCD) Meeting—Tentative
4 p.m., CAS 132

Chairs' Calendar


After spending 16-plus hours each day running the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, American General David Petraeus tries to thumb through a few pages of a book each night before his eyes close and it falls to the ground. The most recent topic? Afghanistan, of course. The four-star general told Reuters that his nightstand currently holds a book by a leading expert on the country: CAS Professor of Anthropology Thomas Barfield's book titled Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History. Read the full article on Reuters.

Archie Burnett, Professor of English and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute, has been awarded the John T. Shawcross Award by the Milton Society of America for the most distinguished reference work on Milton published in 2009. He shares the award with Stephen Dobranski (Georgia State University) for A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton: Samson Agonistes (Duquesne University Press, 2009). Professor Burnett wrote the critical introduction to the volume; Professor Dobranski edited the text.

This January, Oxford University Press published the sixth expanded edition of CAS Professor of History Charles Capper and David A. Hollinger's American Intellectual Tradition, 2 vols. These volumes have been in print through six editions over the last 20 years and are now the standard sourcebook used in American intellectual history and related courses in colleges and universities throughout the US and the UK. Read by a wide range of educated and scholarly readers, the works have sold over 100,000. Capper is also the coeditor of the journal Modern Intellectual History, published by Cambridge University Press.

The work of Chemistry Department Chair John Straub and his collaborators at the University of Maryland, Dr. Govardhan Reddy and Professor Dave Thirumalai, demonstrates that when aggregation occurs in aqueous solution between amyloid or prion peptides—which are associated with protein-misfolding diseases—a dry interface between the biomolecules forms in two different ways, suggesting how aggregation rates might differ substantially between proteins. The work is highlighted in the December 2010 issue of C&E News.

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.

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