Manil Suri, Mathematics, and Michele Osherow, English, Reflect on Experience Performing “The Mathematics of Being Human”

ManilSuriHeadShotIn an article in the March 6 edition of India Abroad magazine, Mathematics professor Manil Suri discussed the play he performed and co-wrote with English associate professor Michele Osherow, “The Mathematics of Being Human.” The play is an outgrowth of a seminar that the two professors jointly taught that bridged their areas of expertise. In the article, Suri participated in a Q&A about the play and his experience teaching with Osherow. To read the full article, click here.

Michele OsherowSuri and Osherow, both alumni of Carnegie Mellon University, were also interviewed for a recent news article on the university’s website about the play. In the story, they discussed the value of teaching a course that combined study of math and literature. “We’re trying to suggest that interdisciplinary teaching is extremely hard — there’s something to pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone,” Osherow said.

On March 8, the “Mathematics of Being Human” will make its New York City premiere at the National Museum of Mathematics. For more information, click here. In addition, Suri and Osherow will be performing an excerpt of the play on math and King Lear at the National Academy of Science’s DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER) on March 19 in Washington, D.C. The performance will be held to celebrate the Man Ray exhibit “A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare” at the Phillips. For more information, click here

Anne Rubin, History, in the New York Times, on C-SPAN

Anne RubinAnne Rubin, an associate professor of history and author of Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and American Memory (UNC Press 2014), recently published an article in the New York Times “Disunion” blog, which follows the Civil War as it unfolded 150 years ago.

Titled “Towns Made for Burning,” the article describes Union General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea in South Carolina: “Sherman did not explicitly order his men to treat South Carolina’s Confederate civilians cruelly, but he did little to dissuade them,” Rubin wrote.

Rubin further described the general’s thought process behind the march, including exploiting fear among Southern whites as a way to quickly end the war: “…he recalled, disingenuously, that ‘somehow the men had got the idea that South Carolina was the cause of all our troubles … and therefore on them should fall the scourge of war in its worst form.’ Sherman appreciated his men’s enthusiasm, and was loath to ‘restrain the army lest its vigor and energy should be impaired.’”

In addition to her article, Rubin also appeared on C-SPAN on February 28. She discussed the Burning of Columbia and how the event has been remembered by the city and in history. To watch the full segment, click here.

UMBC Political Science and School of Public Policy Faculty React to Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s Retirement Announcement

After Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced her retirement on March 2, reaction poured in from across the country and state of Maryland. UMBC political science and School of Public Policy faculty were interviewed by several local and national media outlets to provide perspective and analysis on Mikulski’s legacy and what the political future will hold after her seat is vacated in 2016.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)In an interview that aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” political science professor Roy Meyers said Sen. Mikulski’s legacy crossed party lines: “Many of the women that came into the Senate and the House, regardless of whether they were Republicans or Democrats, really viewed her as a role model,” he said. Meyers said Mikulski was “a groundbreaker in terms of making sure the voices of women legislators were taken seriously.”

Tom SchallerPolitical science professor Thomas Schaller reflected on Sen. Mikulski’s service to Maryland and the nation in an op-ed published in the Baltimore Sun: “She will leave a legacy as one of the state’s most admired politicians and among the most influential women ever to serve in Congress,” Schaller wrote in his column titled “A lifetime spent in service.”

Schaller was also quoted in a Washington Post article about former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s decision not to run for Mikulski’s seat, saying “I think this makes it pretty clear that he’s going to run for president or at least give it a shot.” Schaller was also mentioned in a Washington Post column by E.J. Dionne on his analysis of the national Republican party in his new book The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House.

Donald Norris UMBCSchool of Public Policy director Donald Norris appeared on WJZ-TV and commented on what could happen in the race to fill the vacated Senate seat: “Who the Republicans field, if they field a very serious, well-funded candidate, the Democrats are going to have to match that. So yes, it could be very expensive,” said Norris. “There could be a huge number of Democrats in the primary,” he added in a Capital Gazette article.

For a list of complete coverage, see below:

Roy Meyers:
Sen. Mikulski, Groundbreaker for Female Legislators, Won’t Seek Re-Election (NPR)

Thomas Schaller:
A lifetime spent in service (Baltimore Sun op-ed)
O’Malley will not run for Mikulski’s U.S. Senate Seat (Washington Post)
The GOP’s big ‘yes’ to ‘no’ (Washington Post)

Donald Norris:
Race to Replace Sen. Barbara Mikulski Wide Open (WJZ-TV)
‘Free-for-all’ expected in wake of Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s retirement announcement (Capital Gazette)

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, Artist-in-Residence, Wins Herblock Prize

Cartoon-of-Kevin-kal-Kallaugher-us-democrazy-458x400Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, artist-in-residence, has been awarded the 2015 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. The Herblock Prize honors artists who use editorial cartoons to preserve freedom of speech and the right of expression.

The judges called KAL’s work “clear, thoughtful, [and] forceful” and praised his cartoon on Edward Snowden. “His portfolio reflected his dual editorial-cartoonist roles, and impressed the judges with his ability to jump between macro-international policy issues to Baltimore mayor’s stonewalling about the accuracy of its speed cameras,” the Herb Block Foundation said.

“I consider the Herblock Prize to be a special honor,” KAL said. “I am honored and  humbled to have been selected for this extraordinary award.” KAL was also recognized this year by Europe’s Grand Prix Award with Europe’s cartoon of the year award.

Click here to read “Baltimore Sun, Economist cartoonist KAL ‘humbled’ to win the 2015 Herblock Prize” in the Washington Post.

2015 May Commencement Ceremonies

UMBCFrom: Provost Rous

As we prepare for the 2015 May Commencement, President Hrabowski and I cordially invite you to participate in the Commencement ceremonies of the Undergraduate and Graduate School Programs. Doctoral and Master’s degrees will be conferred on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in the UMBC Retriever Activities Center (RAC). Baccalaureate degrees will be conferred on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. at the Royal Farms Arena. As you know, these events mean a great deal to our students, their parents, and guests, so I hope you will make a special effort to share in their celebrations.

RENTING REGALIA: As in the past, UMBC will subsidize the rental of academic regalia for faculty, and administrative and associate staff. Faculty and staff may order regalia beginning Tuesday, March 3 through March 29. Click on this to reserve regalia: If you have ordered regalia at UMBC before, your information will automatically appear on the screen when you enter your username. If you have not ordered before, you must enter the following information: your cap size, height with shoes, weight, degree earned, and the name of the school where the degree was earned.

DEADLINE TO ORDER: Please order your regalia no later than March 29. Beginning March 30, you will be asked to pay a late charge of $25.00 for your order. Please note that it will not be possible to order regalia after May 4. Even if there is a slight chance that you will attend Commencement, you should order regalia. It is easier for the Bookstore to return unused gowns and hoods then it is to place a late order and not receive delivery on time. Regalia will be ready for pick-up beginning May 6. If you have any questions, please call Gail Dupree at the Bookstore, x53904.

LUNCH AND BUSES: You are invited for lunch at 11:00 a.m. at the Royal Farms Arena before the Undergraduate Commencement. Bus transportation from UMBC to the Arena will also be provided, leaving at 10:30 a.m. for lunch and 11:30 a.m. for ceremony only.

RSVP: Following is the information we need for planning and seating purposes.

  • Your name
  • Your plans to process in the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, including whether you will come for lunch, and whether you will ride either the 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. bus from UMBC to the Arena.
  • Your plans to process in the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony.

If you plan to participate, please send your response for either or both Commencement ceremonies by May 4, by clicking this link:

For additional information about the 2015 May Commencement Ceremonies, please visit the Commencement website: We look forward to your participation in the Ceremonies.

President of Portugal Honors Tony Moreira, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs

TonyMoreiraThe president of Portugal has honored Antonio “Tony” Moreira, vice provost of academic affairs and professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, with the title Commander of the Order of Public Instruction.

Ambassador Nuno Brito bestowed the honor upon Moreira this week at the Portuguese Embassy in Washington, D.C. At the ceremony, Moreira discussed how he works to foster connections between UMBC and Portugal. “In my almost 25 years working at UMBC… I felt that I need to support the youth of Portugal and provide them opportunities,” he said.

President Hrabowski praised Moreira’s work at UMBC during the ceremony. “Portugal has a rich tradition of exploration and of working across cultures,” he said. “Tony’s efforts to expand international opportunities for UMBC students clearly reflect this tradition. It’s very fitting that he was selected for this honor.”

Peace in the City: As Colombia Peace Talks Advance, Citizens Build Peace in Medellin (3/6)

Peace in the City
As Colombia Peace Talks Advance, Citizens Build Peace in Medellín
Sonia Ines Goéz Orrego, Executive Director of CEDECIS, the Corporation for Community Development and Social Integration in Medellín, Colombia
Friday, March 6, 2015
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Wing B, Room 150
Baltimore, MD 21250
Sonia Ines Goéz Orrego is the executive director of CEDECIS, a dynamic community organization working in some of the most violent areas of Medellín. With two decades of experience in community organizing and building a culture of peace, she can show how people have come together to prevent forced recruitment of young people by gangs, paramilitary and guerrilla organizations, to train children and adolescents in nonviolence, and to build more resilient and peaceful communities.
CEDECIS’s experience is especially relevant today as the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas are advancing steadily in peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba, that would end the Western Hemisphere’s longest running conflict. Yet as talks move forward, communities like those CEDECIS serves are still caught in conflict. Moreover, if an accord is signed, it will still be up to local communities to construct a lasting peace on the ground.
Ms. Goéz is a lawyer, teacher and community organizer. She has helped create strategies to prevent forced recruitment and free children and young people from armed groups, has assisted communities of displaced people to receive social services and exercise their rights, and has pioneered programs to build a culture of peace. She has a teaching degree as well as a law degree from the Fundación Universitaria Luis Amigo. Ms. Goéz is also a representative of the Coordinación Colombia Europa Estados Unidos (CCEEUU), the main network of some 245 Colombian human rights and nongovernmental organizations.
Organized by the Latin America Working Group and Colombia Human Rights Committee
Sponsored by: Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication; Global Studies; PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture.