Distributed October 4, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis



Inauguration of the 18th President

Faculty to present Voyages of Discovery forums Oct. 12-13

In celebration of the inauguration of Brown’s 18th president, Ruth J. Simmons, the faculty will present Voyages of Discovery, a series of 20 public forums on a wide variety of topics, to be presented Oct. 12 and 13, 2001. (Return to Inauguration release.)


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In honor of the inauguration of Ruth J. Simmons as 18th president of Brown University, the Brown faculty will offer 20 Voyages of Discovery, a series of presentations featuring research and scholarship from a variety of academic disciplines.

In keeping with the philosophy and mission of the University, the Voyages of Discovery will celebrate the spirit of academic inquiry and lifelong learning. Topics for the forums were selected from the faculty’s four major fields of interest – the humanities, medicine and biological sciences, physical science and the social sciences – and range from the impact of the human race on global ecology to human aging and decision-making to what today’s schools can and should do for their students.

“Calling upon the Brown faculty to give this array of very exciting talks is a way to give testimony to its high caliber ,” said John Savage, professor of computer science and chairman of the Inauguration Faculty Program Committee.

The Voyages of Discovery are part of a multi-faceted program of events leading to the ceremonial inauguration of President Simmons on Sunday, Oct. 14. All of the forums are free and open to students, alumni, faculty, staff and the general public.

Friday, October 12, 2001
1:30 p.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Television and the Internet
Assistant Professor Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Associate Professor Lynne Joyrich, both of Brown’s Department of Modern Culture and Media, will present “New, Live, and Improved: TV and the Internet.”

Friday, October 12, 2001
1:30 p.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
Geologists on exploring earth, space
James Head, Donald Forsyth and Jan Tullis, professors of geological sciences, will present “Earth Beneath, Worlds Above,” a look at what scientific voyages of exploration have taught us about our planet and the importance of research in education.

Friday, October 12, 2001
2:45 p.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
The mathematics of cryptography
Jill Pipher and Jeffrey Hoffstein, professors of mathematics, will present “Secrecy, Privacy, and Deception: The Mathematics of Cryptography,” an introduction to the basics of cryptography and the challenges of protecting security and privacy.

Friday, October 12, 2001
2:45 p.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Art, science and gender politics
Associate Professor of Art Leslie Bostrom and Anne Fausto-Sterling, professor of molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry, will present “Sexing the Body: The Intersection of Art and Science,” a discussion of how gender politics are often reflected in science and art.

Friday, October 12, 2001
4:00 p.m., Barus and Holley, Room 166
Physicists on state of the universe
Professors of Physics Ian Dell’antonio, Antal Jevicki and Gregory Tucker will present “Dark Energy, Old Light,” a cosmological look at the beginning, evolution and end of the universe.

Friday, October 12, 2001
4:00 p.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
The Human impact on Earth
Professor of Economics Andrew Foster, Professor of Sociology Michael White and Brian O’Neill, an assistant professor for the Watson Institute for International Studies, will examine the complex relationship between human activity and environmental resources in “Treading Lightly? The Human Impact on Earth.”

Friday, October 12, 2001
4:00 p.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
Medical faculty to discuss challenges of world health
Associate Professor of Medicine Seth Berkley and Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Jonathan Kurtis will present “Politics and Parasites, Biology and Bugs” – a discussion of the social, cultural and political realities of creating lifesaving health programs in developing and impoverished areas of the world.

Saturday, October 13, 2001
9:00 a.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Africana scholars on their evolving role
Professors of Africana Studies Lewis Gordon, B. Anthony Bogues and Paget Henry will consider the ever-evolving identity and mission of African scholars in “Facing Blackness: Diasporic Challenges to the Black Intellectual.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
9:00 a.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
The tools and techniques of studying fetal development
Professor of Pediatrics James Padbury and Associate Professor of Surgery François Luks will offer an inside view on the tools and techniques used to study fetal development in the forum “Becoming Human.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
9:00 a.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Educators discuss the culture of education
Providence School Superintendent Diana Lam, Associate Professor of Education Fayneese Miller and Adeline Becker, executive director of the Education Alliance, will tackle the debate over what schools should – and can – be expected to teach in “The Culture of Education.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
10:15 a.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
Do we have to get old?
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology faculty members David Rand and Marc Tatar will join Kristi Wharton, associate professor of molecular and cell biology and biochemistry, in exploring the latest findings on aging and extending life in a session titled “Do We Have to Get Old?”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
10:15 a.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Building technology from nature
Professors of Physics Gang Xiao and Jimmy Xu will offer a forum titled “A Big World of Tiny Things,” a look at the future of computer technology and the inspiration engineers find in nature’s most complex biosystems.

Saturday, October 13, 2001
10:15 a.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Atlantic voyages, literature and culture
Anani Dzidzienyo, associate professor of Africana, Portuguese and Brazilian studies, and Luiz F. Valente, associate professor of comparative literature and Portuguese and Brazilian studies, will present “Atlantic Encounters in Literature and Society,” a look at the hidden multicultural influences resulting from transatlantic crossings.

Saturday, October 13, 2001
11:30 a.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Lifting the veil on the human genome
Professors of molecular and cell biology and biochemistry Anne Fausto-Sterling, Kenneth Miller and John Sedivy discuss the human genome, exploring what it will and won’t be able to tell us, in a forum titled “Lifting the Veil on the Human Genome.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
11:30 a.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
Exploring the Old World through technology
Professor of Archaeology and Art Martha Sharp Joukowsky will be joined by Assistant Professor David Laidlaw and postdoctoral research associate Eileen Vote, both of computer science, for “Virtual Archaeology,” a look at how visualization and simulation technologies allow Old World archaeologists to stroll the virtual streets of the cities they unearth.

Saturday, October 13, 2001
11:30 a.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
The emotional vocabulary of antiquity
Professor of Classics David Konstan will discuss the use and changing meanings of emotional words in the classics and different cultures during a forum titled “The Emotional Vocabulary of Antiquity.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
1:00 p.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Watson faculty on the future of war
James Blight, James Der Derian and Nina Tannenwald, members of the faculty at the Watson Institute of International Studies, will present “The Nuclear Century,” a review of America’s new strategic challenges and the defense policies of the Bush administration in the increasingly complex world of the 21st century.

Saturday, October 13, 2001
1:00 p.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall
The machine inside
Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and Neuroscience Elie Bienenstock, Associate Professor of Computer Science Michael Black and Assistant Professor of Neuroscience David Sheinberg will discuss recent innovative and insightful work on brain function and neural operations in “The Machine Inside.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
2:30 p.m., Starr Auditorium, MacMillan
The human process of decision-making
Economics Professor Robert Serrano and Associate Professor of Philosophy James Dreier consider the mystery of how and why humans make the decisions they do in “Irrationality and Paradox: Making Decisions.”

Saturday, October 13, 2001
2:30 p.m., Salomon Center for Teaching
Twentieth century genocide
Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies David Kertzer, professor of European History Omer Bartov and Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies Maud Mandel will examine the 20th century’s troubling legacy of genocide in “One Hundred Years of Holocaust.”

The Salomon Center for Teaching is located on The College Green. MacMillan Hall is at 167 Thayer St., and Barus and Holley at 184 Hope St.

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