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)

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.

James Grubb, History, Named Trustee of Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

James GrubbHistory Professor James Grubb has been selected to serve as one of three trustees of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, a philanthropic foundation headquartered in New York.  According to its website, the The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation “promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions which transmit our cultural heritage.”

The Foundation sponsors projects in four areas in which the founder was keenly interested: libraries, humanities, artistic performance in New York, and Venetian studies.  The annual budget is about $2.5 million. Grubb will oversee the programs in the humanities and Venetian studies, although all decisions are made by the three trustees jointly.

The selection of Prof. Grubb is a recognition of his prominence in the field of Early Modern Studies, Venetian Studies, and Italian history. For more information on the foundation, click here.


Robert Provine, Psychology, on Australian National Radio

Robert ProvinePsychology Research Professor and Professor Emeritus Robert Provine was recently interviewed by Radio National (RN) in Australia about his research on yawning, sneezing, and hiccuping. Provine’s interview appeared on the RN program “The Body Sphere” and the title of the segment was “Breathing Through Pain.”

“One of the most striking things about contagious yawning is that it reminds us that we are not a conscious being with total voluntary control of our behavior. When you see someone else yawn, you don’t decide, I’m going to do what that person over there just did. We simply do it,” Provine said during the program. “When we yawn, and when we hear other people yawning, we’re synchronizing our behavior with other members of the group,” he added.

To listen to the full RN segment, click here.

MLLI Department Announces Spring Film Festival Series Lineup

The Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication Department has announced the lineup for its spring film festival series. Films from across the different areas of MLLI are represented. To view a video promoting the series, see below.

MLLI will also participate in a Short Film Festival during ArtWeek at UMBC. The information is below:

Short Film Festival during Art Week
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sports Zone, The Commons

A screening of foreign film shorts will be shown in the Sports Zone. We
will have drinks and free popcorn! Come and see short films from France,
India, Israel and more. For more information, click here.