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Boston University Arts & Sciences
A Letter from the Dean
Professor of Earth Sciences Matt Jackson and four colleagues from other institutions recently discovered the oldest rocks on the planet. Their findings were published in Nature on August 12. Surveying Cenozoic-era lavas on Baffin Island in Canada and in West Greenland, they found primitive lead-isotope ratios that indicate they formed in the ancient Earth's mantle roughly 4.5 billion years ago.African Studies Center Receives Over $2 Million in Federal Funding
The African Studies Center (ASC) recently received renewed US Department of Education (DoE) Title VI funding to support African language education and area studies. The ASC received a $1,092,000 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grant to provide scholarships for students of African languages, including for the first time three annual fellowships for undergraduates. The ASC was also named a National Resources Center for African studies and received $1,085,244 to support curriculum development, community outreach, and research.Sclaroff and Team Win $10 Million Grant for Computer Modeling Research
The National Science Foundation recently announced its three Expeditions in Computing awards for this year. Computer Science Professor and Department Chair Stanley Sclaroff is a principal investigator on a team that won one of the three awards. Their project is titled "Computational Behavioral Science: Modeling, Analysis, and Visualization of Social and Communicative Behavior."BU Astronomers Record Evidence of New Solar Activity
Scientists from Boston University's Center for Space Physics (CSP) announced recently that they have sub-visual evidence of the onset of a new cycle of solar-terrestrial activity. The key results being reported deal with the fact that recent auroral displays at high latitudes (ones visible to the naked eye) were accompanied by far less luminous glows in the atmosphere at lower latitudes.
Al Silverman, the generous donor behind the Creative Writing Program's Saul Bellow Fellowship in Creative Writing, recently increased his grant from $60,000 to $100,000. The fellowship is given each year to a promising fiction writer, and the increased grant will allow the program to offer a larger annual prize. Silverman, who is currently writing a book about the CAS Creative Writing Program, was a friend and editor of Bellow's. A Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner, Bellow is considered one of the greatest novelists of the 20th Century.BU Enters Partnerships with African Universities
Boston University, through its African Studies Center, has signed Memoranda of Understanding this summer with the University of Fort Hare in South Africa and Addis Ababa University and Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. Fort Hare, located in Eastern Cape Province, is the most important historically black university in South Africa, including among its alumni prominent South Africans Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Steve Biko, as well as President Seretse Kama of Botswana, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, and President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Founded in 1950 and located in the capital, Addis Ababa University is the premier center for higher education in Ethiopia. Bahir Dar, located in northwestern Ethiopia, was founded only ten years ago but already has grown to over 45,000 students and includes important programs in agriculture, engineering, and land administration.Bringing People Together to Discuss Religious Differences
Professor of Religion Adam Seligman's International Summer School for Religion and Public Life was highlighted in the August 15 New York Times article, "Letter From Cyprus – In a Divided Land, Lessons in Living Together," by Nick Thorpe. Twenty-eight participants from diverse religious and secular backgrounds attended the eighth annual summer school, organized by Seligman and BU's Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs. This year's theme was "divided cities," and the program began in Nicosia, Cyprus and ended in Jaffe, Israel. The purpose of the school is for participants to find a new way of living together. Read the NY Times article.BU Computer Scientist Wins Grant to Develop Internet Privacy Tools
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a three-year, $474,000 grant last month to Evimaria Terzi, professor of computer science at CAS. The grant will fund research to develop tools to protect the privacy of social media users. Terzi is the principal investigator for the project.African Studies Center Receives Renewed Title VI Funding
The African Studies Center recently received renewed Department of Education (DoE) Title VI funding, which is a very important achievement for this, one of the oldest and most distinguished African Studies programs in the country. Title VI awards are important both as marks of national leadership for the program and for providing necessary resources for supporting our students. The DoE awards a limited number of Title VI National Resource Fellowships, primarily to graduate students (BU also offers a limited number of undergraduate awards). These awards are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are studying an African language.Computer Scientist Receives Grant to Make Computers More Reliable
Associate Professor of Computer Science Hongwei Xi has received a new $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The award will support Hongwei's effort to construct software systems that carry safety and reliability guarantees that can be formally specified and then verified.
The Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and CAS Professor of International Relations and Geography and Environment, Professor Adil Najam has been widely quoted in the international and Pakistani media on the devastating floods in Pakistan, the international humanitarian response to them, and on efforts for longer-range rehabilitation and development in the post-flood reconstruction.Grant to Help Super-Computers Run More Smoothly
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jonathan Appavoo and colleagues from other institutions have received a grant from the US Department of Energy to support research on "A Fault-Oblivious Extreme-Scale Execution Environment."
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Welcome to New Faculty
CAS welcomes a new class of talented and distinguished faculty members this fall. This year, 27 new scholars will join the ranks of CAS tenured and tenure-track faculty in 18 departments. View list
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