From the VP and Associate Provost

Andrei E. Ruckenstein
Andrei E. Ruckenstein

Welcome to Research at Boston University 2009. In these pages, you will meet more than 50 faculty members whose research, scholarship, and creative endeavors are expanding the bounds of our knowledge across disciplines—from molecular biology and evolution to Islamic languages and literature, poetry to human diseases and aging, and astronomy to the performing arts.

What unites these wide-ranging pursuits are three characteristics that have come to define BU’s research enterprise:

First, an eagerness and excitement to openly share new knowledge with students, colleagues, and the wider community. Researchers at BU learn in order to teach, and to prepare new generations of reflective, resourceful individuals who are ready to make their mark on the world in which we live.

Second, a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches, which are essential for solving complex, real-world problems. This focus on interdisciplinarity is complemented by steadfast support for individual research efforts in specific fields—both because in-depth expertise, creativity, and vision in a particular field are prerequisites for successful multidisciplinary work, and because traditional disciplines are at the core of our educational and research missions.

Third, an awareness of global contexts. In an era of high mobility and instant communication, faculty and students at BU are keeping an eye on the larger picture—as their work relates to history, politics, science, language, religion, and trade—in order to develop a nuanced understanding of, and a substantial presence in, our intricate and increasingly interconnected world. Our faculty and students are productively involved internationally in the exchange of ideas and learning, and this year elected to create an open access digital archive of their scholarly work, greatly reducing the barriers to collaborations here and abroad.

In short, Boston University is committed to supporting the scholarly pursuits of our faculty and students every step of the way. This means encouraging an early interest in original inquiry and discovery through our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program; helping promising ideas crystallize into novel and influential intellectual endeavors and even new disciplines through internal seeding of faculty projects; and ultimately turning successful research into life-saving and life-changing products through an effective process of translational research and technology development.

I am pleased to introduce you here to some of the talented and dynamic individuals who are driving this exciting era in Boston University’s history.Hide