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Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News March 27, 2014
BU Athletics 17th Annual Holiday Reading Program: Tomas Weaver (SMG’15) (from left) and Peter Roberts (CAS’17) of men's crew read to Blackstone Elementary School kindergartners Joseph Marquez (from left), Ryan Tran, and Saahid Troncoso December 12. More than 300 BU athletes read to about 700 students, each of whom was given a book by the University. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi.
Making Sense of Congress
When Congress ended its 2013 session in December, the legislative body had passed just 56 laws—putting it on track to become the least-productive Congress since 1947. To give a sense of how gridlocked Congress has become, keep in mind that just 10 years ago, the 108th Congress (2003–4) passed 504 laws over two years.

Cathie Jo Martin, CAS professor of political science, co-chaired an American Political Science Association task force to try to understand why Congress is so bad at negotiating compromise. The crux of the group’s findings, presented to Congress in December, was that US political institutions work against meaningful dialogue and compromise. Read more
A Revolutionary Moment
Like many of the activists who jumped headfirst into the women’s movement in the 1970s, Deborah Belle found her conception of the world expanded as she learned about other women’s lives. The movement changed her life and the lives of women around the country.

In recent years, however, she began to feel that the public recollection of the women’s movement no longer matched reality. So Belle decided to host a conference to bring together many of the key figures from the women’s movement to discuss lessons learned and also look to the future and the issues facing women today. Held March 27–29 at CAS, the conference will include over 50 panel discussions and three evenings of films, as well as a staged play. Belle expects upwards of 500 attendees, including a large number of young people. Read more
Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing
Few could have imagined last year’s Boston Marathon bombings. What the bombers themselves likely didn’t imagine was that they were attacking a city that had relentlessly drilled for such a catastrophe—not just security personnel, but players usually sidelined in other cities’ disaster rehearsals.

That preparation saved lives, speakers said Monday at a daylong symposium on lessons from the bombings, hosted by BU’s Initiative on Cities (IoC). Read more
BU Study Shows Kids Understand Complex Science
It turns out kids can understand complex scientific concepts—like natural selection—far beyond what anyone would have expected.

To demonstrate this, CAS cognitive developmental psychologist Deborah Kelemen and her co-researchers created a ten-page picture storybook about pilosas, a group of fictional mammals with long trunks. Then they read it aloud to five- to eight-year olds.

The drama unfolds around a central question: How did the pilosas evolve over time from a group of animals having trunks of varying widths to those with thin trunks predominating? Natural selection is generally viewed as so complex—so beyond the grasp of young children—that educational standards in the US suggest that it should not be taught comprehensively until ages 13 to 18.

But the kids who heard the story about the pilosas got it. Read more
CAS Assistant Professors Goldberg, Weinstein Named Sloan Research Fellows
Jared Weinstein, assistant professor of mathematics & statistics, and Sharon Goldberg, assistant professor of computer science, are among the 126 winners of this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowships. The coveted two-year fellowships go to young scientific researchers making outstanding contributions to their fields.

As a network security researcher, Goldberg studies the global internet and—more specifically—the ways networks worldwide connect to one another. Weinstein’s area of expertise is the field of number theory, with a specialization in automorphic representation theory, which studies abstract algebraic structures. Read more

Biology’s Thomas Gilmore is United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year
In Thomas Gilmore’s molecular biology lab course this semester, the classwork includes both gene cloning and using molecular techniques to make mutations in the protein. And, by design, neither the professor nor the students will know how their experiment turns out until term’s end.

Each time Gilmore teaches the course, he picks a different topic and uses what he characterizes as a crowdsourcing approach to specific questions—in this case, questions related to his work as a researcher into the causes of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The aim of the course is twofold. It gives students hands-on experience in laboratory techniques and an understanding of the efforts and rewards of scientific inquiry.

Gilmore’s dedication to research and instruction has earned him the 2014 United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. Endowed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, the award recognizes outstanding scholarship and contributions to the learning arts and the University. Read more
BU Mourns Freshman Diego Fernandez Montes
He entered BU just last fall, but Diego Fernandez Montes (CAS’17) had a whirlwind schedule befitting a campus veteran. Treasurer of his residence hall association and of the Mexican student group Mexas@BU, he often cast his gaze to the troubles of others, from the economic and violence problems in his own country to those in Venezuela, home to several friends.

During spring break, Montes was killed in a robbery while taking a taxi in his home of Mexico City. His funeral drew family and friends from several countries; many of those friends were BU students. Read more
Teaching Award Nominations Due March 31
Each year, the College honors some of our best educators with a range of teaching awards. These prizes are awarded annually to members of the CAS faculty who exemplify deep and broad commitment, skill, effectiveness, impact, and leadership in teaching. Nominations should be sent electronically to Associate Dean Susan Jackson by March 31. More information
Nominations for Hariri Junior Fellows Due April 4
The Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering is now accepting nominations for the 2014/15 class of Junior Faculty Fellows. Read more
more news
Lectures & Events
A Revolutionary Moment: Women’s Liberation in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s
Stability Versus Democratization in the New Egypt
Some Little-Known Mutinies Around 1946—A Lecture by Leela Gandhi
“Female Authority” in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Benedict Lecture Series)
Muslim Women’s Autobiographical Writing in South Asia
The Future of Europe with Bruno Maçães
Annual Core Poetry Reading
View Calendar
Faculty Meetings & Deadlines
Linking Program Goals with Evidence to Improve Outcomes Assessment
Teaching Award Nominations Due
Due: List of 20 Potential External Evaluators for Tenure and Promotion
CAS Faculty Meeting
Initial Requests to Conduct Searches During 2014/15 Year Due
Learning Outcomes Assessment in the Arts and Humanities
Deadline for Secondary Administrative Appointments and Reappointments
Nominations for Hariri Junior Fellows Due
CAS CCD Meeting
Full-Time Reappointment or Non-Reappointment Papers
chairs/faculty calendar
Faculty Meetings
Keep us in the loop
Let us know about news or upcoming events. Announcements about upcoming events, new faculty book publications, and news items can also be submitted online. If you prefer, you can send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Jeremy Schwab at 617-358-1056. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Associate Director of Development & Alumni Relations Jeffrey Murphy at 617-353-5881

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