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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News: March 2010
See the calendar listings below for updated dates for faculty meetings, etc. Please disregard the calendar listings in the previous version of the March newsletter, sent on Friday.

Major Changes in CAS

The Office of the Dean of CAS is undergoing reconstruction this summer with the goal of serving the College better in the future. Dean Sapiro has announced the following new developments.

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Hadron Collider Yields Results

During December, the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collided protons at record energy, making it the world’s highest resolution microscope. The first physics results were published in the Journal of High Energy Physics on Feb. 10, 2010. The Boston University group at the LHC has been very active.

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On the Move

Reporting on the “State of the University” at the recent Spring Management Conference, President Brown announced plans for a new six-story building to be located at 100 Bay State Road. Depending on when ground is broken, the new building would be open in August 2012 or August 2013.

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Howard Zinn

CAS Establishes Howard Zinn Fund

The late Howard Zinn will be memorialized at Boston University by the Howard Zinn Graduate Fund for Studies of Democracy, announced this month by Arts & Sciences Dean Virginia Sapiro. The fund will support graduate students in the University’s political science Ph.D. program working on any aspect of democracy, democratic politics, democratization, or threats to democracy.

Read the BU Today article on Zinn’s passing.


The research of professors of Physics RAMA BANSIL and SHYAM ERRAMILLI , in collaboration with former BU graduate student Jon Celli (CAS ’07), has made it into the National Science Foundation FY 2011 budget request to Congress. Their research explores how the ulcer-causing bacterium moves across the mucus gel of the stomach and was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009. It was a BU, MIT, and Harvard Medical School collaboration and part of Celli’s BU PhD thesis.

Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature ABIGAIL GILLMAN was awarded a Harry Starr Fellowship in Judaica from Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies for the spring of 2011. By drawing together scholars from a variety of universities and a variety of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, the Starr Fellows not only share their research with each other, but also with members of the Harvard community. Her project, A History of the German Jewish Bible, 1780-1937, explores the reasons behind German (and European) Jews’ return to the Hebrew Bible beginning in the eighteenth century. While the Torah remained the primary vehicle for ritual observance, the Hebrew Bible became a bridge to the broader Christian culture of Europe.

Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature Senior Lecturer GISELLE KHOURY'S organization The Academy for Arabic Teachers has been selected again this year for funding by the National Security Agency (NSA) for its STARTALK Arabic Teacher Professional Development Program. The funding is part of the NSA’s STARTALK 2010 program. Established by President Bush in 2006 as part of the National Security Language Initiative to expand national capacity in critical languages, STARTALK has received widespread acclamation from the national language teaching community, students, parents, and members of Congress. This year, Dr. Khoury will serve as principal investigator for the project.

Professor of Chemistry TOM TULLIUS received a 2009 Senior Scholar Award in Aging from the nonprofit Ellison Medical Foundation. He received the award to support a new project in his lab on genome damage and aging, particularly whole-genome maps of oxidative DNA lesions at single-nucleotide resolution. Genome damage caused by reactive oxygen species has long been thought to be associated with aging and neurodegeneration. Because of limitations in available experimental methods, previous work focused on determining the overall levels of various kinds of oxidative damage. Professor Tullius plans to use next-generation DNA-sequencing methods and bioinformatic tools to relate the damage map to the underlying genes and functional regions of the genome. The aim of the project is to obtain unique new information on how oxidative damage affects the genome and so contributes to aging.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Arts & Sciences Faculty Meeting and Sherry Hour
4 p.m., CAS 522

Sherry hour
CAS 106

CAS Staff Appreciation Reception
3 p.m., Trustee Ballroom, One Silber Way, 9th Floor

Faculty Assembly
3:00 p.m., Tsai Center

Open House

Third Quarter Budget Due Date

Reappointment papers for full-time faculty due in Faculty Actions

Secondary (administrative) appointment papers for 2010/2011 due in Faculty Actions

CAS Open House

CAS Open House

Natural & Computational Sciences CCD Meeting
4:00 p.m., CAS 132

CAS Open House

Initial requests to conduct faculty searches during 2010/2011 due in Faculty Actions

Patriot’s Day

Arts & Sciences Faculty Meeting and Sherry Hour
4 p.m., CAS 522

Sherry hour
CAS 106

Arts & Sciences Senior Reception
5:30 p.m., Metcalf Ballroom

Spring 2010 mid-tenure reviews due in Faculty Actions

Departmental Events

Plato and the Talmud
Professor Jacob Howland of the University of Tulsa gives a talk on Plato and the Talmud.
When: Thursday, March 18, 4 p.m.
Where: Department of Philosophy, CAS Room 525.

Chairs' Calendar

Keep Us in the Loop

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize? Please send them to cascom@bu.edu for inclusion in the e-newsletter.

Keep Students in the Loop

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize specially to students? Please send them to the CAS Weekly Newsletter for students at casevent@bu.edu.

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